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Friday, September 16, 2011

Update on Harri.

Anyone who has been reading TTT for a while would most likely know I changed Harri's ABA providers a few months back. See here if you missed it. (yeah yeah I know I really need to learn how to hyperlink).

So it's been long enough now to determine whether there has been benefit for Harri from the change in terms of learning outcomes. And there has. This is clear in looking at the data collected regarding his rate of learning. And more importantly, by directly observing him. His language is coming along beautifully and with that comes a social confidence that at times leaves me speechless. Of course he is yet to work out his difference compared to most others. At this point in his short life everyone and everything has revolved around him. A team of people supporting, helping, teaching and cheering him on. Not only has he developed cognitive and communication skills over the preceding 12 months, but also appears to have obtained an assertiveness in social contexts that I find most endearing.

For example, yesterday after dropping my daughter at her dance class I was walking though the car park with Harri towards a local public library. As he passed a lady coming towards us, he said "hello, I'm just going to the library, see you next week". 'See you next week' is his latest thing. He heard me say it once and now he adds that to all his goodbyes. Then some time later I dashed into a shop to grab some bits and pieces. At the entrance to the store was a rack with canvas bags for shoppers to use. Harri observed a woman come in after us and walk towards a fridge. He immediately took off for the bag rack, grabbed one, and approached the lady saying "here you are, here's your bag" (note those pro nouns).  Once again leaving me gobsmacked at his social awareness and active engagement with others. He is bringing smiles to strangers wherever he goes. He trusts people to respond positively to him, as that is all he has ever really known. So is the therapy effective? Are we seeing improvements beyond what could be considered a natural developmental process? Yes I think so.

So much so, that yesterday when meeting with Harri's senior therapist she indicated he may not need to persist with the intensive program he is currently in. Next year he may just be able to attend 3 year old kindergarten and the bridge program at the centre. The bridge being between therapy and pre school until he transitions completely to the mainstream school environment. I know readers can appreciate what it means to be told that.

Next big step for my little guy is Monday coming. Harri will undergo the first comprehensive assessment since his diagnosis one year ago. It's the WIPPSI, and is an intelligence test designed to pick up strengths and areas for development. It will provide us with a good picture of where he is intellectually and developmentally in relation to his peers. The other particularly exciting aspect to this is if he is Aspie, as some suspect, this test apparently will also reveal that. So it is with some anticipation (and trepidation) that I await Monday. 


  1. He sounds like he is doing beautifully. His language really IS coming along, isn't it?

  2. Yes SS it's been quite remarkable to watch. It's clear now his receptive language has been fine he just lacked the verbal skills. Now they are developing all that information he has stored in that amazing little mind is coming out. It's incredible to see how much he actually know.

  3. Wow, they are some impressive sentences (and social interactions) for such a young boy! It's marvellous to hear. Can't wait to hear how Monday goes, and fingers crossed for all to go smoothly x

  4. This is brilliant to read. He is who he is and autism is a movable feast remember. The labels are for filing cabinets. xx

  5. "a movable feast". Scrumptious description. And so apt.