Saturday, November 25, 2006

road blocks

Obviously, I'm not talking about the kind of blocks that are in this picture!! But I thought it was a cute photo, and was taken during the time frame I'm about to talk about.

Up until Stage 4, we had been chugging along nicely. Pre-stage-work regulation, Stage 1, 2 and 3, all had been accomplished in about a year's worth of time. Yet once we hit Stage 4, we seemed to come to a sliding halt. We progressed slowly at first, getting Jacob to tolerate more and more variation. But 6 months later, we were still only at the point of toleration. ENJOYING variation still seemed like an unatainable goal for us.

In talking with some other RDI parents on various internet venues, we decided that there must be something (or more than one somethings) standing in the way of our progress. After much thought about it, I decided that we were facing 2 road blocks in our program:

1. School. It just wasn't helping us attain our goals of Autism Remediation, which to us was definitely the #1 priority. I knew how much I accomplished with Jacob during the summer prior to the 2005-06 school year, and I knew how LITTLE I was accomplishing since. He was gone half the day, and it took about half the rest of the time we were left with for him to re-regulate to our household (and to recover from being in school!). That left precious little time to work on RDI.

2. Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD, formerly known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction). We had attempted to address Jacob's sensory issues prior to discovering RDI, but while we had seen a bit of an improvement, we hadn't had outrageous success with it. We couldn't find a professional OT with training in Sensory Integration to work regularly with us, and the program we attempted at home met failure at every turn, due both to lack of professional support, and also, I believe, due to the fact that Jacob was entirely unregulated and not ready for it to help yet. But I thought the time had now come to truly address his sensory issues, as they seemed to be standing in the way of his progress. How was he supposed to get excited about trying new things when his sensory processing was being constantly overwhelmed by input whenever he did make an effort to reach out?

The next two nights I'll post about our solution to each of these road blocks in detail. With them out of the way (or at least shoved aside enough to let us squeak by, in the case of the sensory problems!), we suddenly burst forward and mastered most of Stage 4 in about a month's time!


At 11:33 AM, Anonymous dianne said...

I look forward to reading your posts every day! Thank you.


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