Tag Archives: therapy

One Word Photo Challenge: Brown


3

My daughter has been doing horse back riding therapy, also called hippotherapy, for almost seven months now and she really enjoys it. It has helped her out in many ways and has encouraged her to become more verbal, more attentive to her surroundings, plus she gets excited when I tell her that she’s going riding today.

It took her speech therapist four horses, each a different size and gait, to figure out which horse best suited my daughter’s needs (for both autism and sensory processing disorder). Though each horse she’s ridden has been really sweet and lovable, I sincerely love the horse she has now. She’s (the horse) is well taught in being a therapy horse, she’s smart, and likes to take part in some of the games we’re playing, such as puzzles, she likes to look at the puzzle board with us.

Since this week’s one word photo challenge is brown, I’ll share a few pictures of some of the horses around the farm where my daughter rides.

 

horse10horsin1pony2pony1

Advertisements

Autism and Ignorance


Two things that are often paired with one another, autism and ignorance. There are many people out there who are ignorant on what autism is. You can’t just look at a child and say, “They don’t have autism” or “Oh yeah, they have autism alright.” You have to either be familiar with it, or get to know that child well enough to see the signs.

Some look at my daughter and think there’s nothing wrong with her, that she’s just quiet and reserved. Some tell me that she’s just slow because she couldn’t sing her ABC’s to you. Some tell me that meltdowns are a part of her being a child and that I’m not doing right by properly punishing her and letting her get away with bad behavior. If there was a class to learn about what autism is, I would suggest it to these people, but unfortunately there isn’t. There isn’t a class for us parents who have autistic children, to learn how to deal or cope. There ARE support groups, but not enough out there and some aren’t even nearby.

There are many sides to autism, not every child with autism are the same, it’s that broad. That’s why the doctors call it, autism on the spectrum. One child may display anti-social behaviors, while another child many not be anti-social. One child may like to hug, whereas the other child doesn’t want to be touched completely. Lack of eye contact, inability to understand emotions, delayed speech, all those that I’ve said above are all autistic behaviors.

My daughter has progressed so well since having started therapy. I commend each of her therapist as I’m starting to understand my daughter better and she is able to understand me better. After picking her up from daycare each day I’ll ask her, “Did you have a fun at school today?” It took her many months before she would reply with a yes. A small word that many parents may brush off as being normal, but for me that’s in a sense, moving mountains.

Just yesterday at breakfast we were eating eggs and toast, our usual breakfast meal as she would only eat just that. She looks up at me with cinnamon on her face and says with a big smile, “I like toast.” It threw me for a second as this is the first time she’s ever confirmed liking anything. Better yet, this is the first time she’s used a full intelligent sentence with every word being understandable and clear. She usually talks in babbling sentences with one or two words that are understandable or mumbled to the point I have her repeat what she said just so I could try and figure out what it is she is trying to say. This is where it gets upsetting, her inability to communicate clearly and my inability to understand what she’s trying to say.

Another thing ignorance doesn’t see is that majority of children with autism are very, very smart. Every day I can see just how smart my daughter is. She may not be able to communicate very well, but she does not forget anything, especially if you told her something this morning, she’ll remember it at the end of the day. She can put a puzzle together really fast on her kindle. She can understand three different languages, even say a few words in another language. She can even count to ten in Spanish without missing a beat.

A person should never judge the capabilities of a child with special needs. That child may look at us as the one with a special needs. My daughter continues to amaze me every day. I have never judged what she can and can’t do. I myself will test that, just to show others that you can’t tell me I can’t do something. My exact response is always, “watch me!” My daughter will learn this from me, and I will be there to encourage her every step of the way. Autism isn’t a disability or something to be afraid of. Autism isn’t a label. It just gives a child their own uniqueness. The ability to show those that are ignorant around them that they are just that, ignorant for not believing in what they can do and for judging and doubting them.

Slowly Breaking Habits


My daughter, from about the time she was one, has always had to carry a toy or two, or a bucketful along with her to the car. It didn’t matter if I was just driving down the street to the bank, she still had to have her toys with her. And if I were going into the store, she had to take her toys in with her. If I didn’t allow her to take them, it would create a meltdown.

Image

Let’s see, I got my sippy cup, airplane, giraffe, little lamb, and dinosaur. Did I forget anything?

There’s only been one time where I couldn’t allow her to take a toy into the store with us, as it was her big plastic dump truck. I can understand why she loves the thing, it is colorful, it’s a big cool truck, and it can carry more of her toys. But I’m not sure the store’s employees or security team would see it that way, especially if she tosses it out of the buggy a few times and I relentlessly give it back to her, rather than leaving it where she threw it.

When I say meltdowns, some people just think, oh it’s just a toddler thing. But to those who have Autistic children or have worked with them know how Autistic children can be when it comes to needing that particular toy or item. Autistic children can either be very smart or the complete opposite. They don’t understand feelings, like if they hit you, they don’t know that it hurts. They can’t understand why they can’t have a certain toy, or a cookie before dinner. This leads to a meltdown.

My daughter has a Sensory Processing Disorder which means certain things feel funny to her, or she doesn’t like it if you touch her hands, or feet. She can’t stand the feel of mud on her skin, or silly putty, or anything that feels wet on her skin (unless she’s taking a bath or swimming in the pool), her reaction is to quickly wash whatever it is off of her.

She also has the tendency to hit herself when she has a meltdown, sometimes even bangs her head against something, mostly the floor. When I say she hits herself, I’m not talking about a light tap, she has her hands in a fist and literally hits herself in the head or her arms, really hard.

She has a wonderful group of therapist that see her each day. And I had the chance to see what all they do with her this past summer. By seeing how they work and her reactions I’ve been able to continue the same process with my daughter myself. Like drawing, coloring, helping her with her shapes and colors, puzzles, playdoh, the list is endless on the amount of activities and all to continue to help my daughter throughout the day.

Most recently we’ve been working on keeping the toys and stuffed animals in the car, instead of taking them in with us. I think she started doing this when I started taking her swimming this summer. I told her calmly that we couldn’t take all of her toys with her, but she could play with them once we got back in the car. I began to notice that she started leaving her toys in the car when we took our trips to the store and now when I drop her off at daycare in the mornings. She still has meltdowns, but not when I ask her to leave her toys in the car.