Making Progress Walking Backward

As many of my dear readers know, since I can't keep my mouth and fingers quiet about my life, Nathan recently went through a severe behavioral episode. We then made it much worse by changing his meds. Suddenly he was screaming, crying, biting for 16 hours a day. It was a nightmare. And since it had come on the heels of a regression, we weren't sure if it was the meds or was just his behavior worsening even more. Being a realist (or a pessimist) I always laugh when people say "Well, at least it can't get any worse than this." OF COURSE IT CAN! I can name several ways it could get worse.

Anyway, after finding my husband crying, yet again, with helplessness in the face of Nathan's overwhelming anger/sadness/despair, I said "enough, we are changing his meds TODAY.' And we changed back to the old med.

But we didn't know if it would work. And so I thought, 'What can we still work on? What is most important?' And immediately I thought 'Communication.'

In home school we have been working on social studies with maps, on reading aloud and from dad (the teacher), on math, and on handwriting. But we have left the iPad as a communication device at a dead last. We slacked. But my thought during that dark time was that, at the core, none of that matters if he can't communicate. This has to be the centerpiece of our homeschooling.

And so we went back to the basics. I advised Paul and Nathan's TSS to start a program similar to how we did Sam's PECS--start with simply requesting highly desirable items. I laid in a supply of small, easily consumed sweets (favorite items.) And it worked great. We have been able to expand the length of sentence from "I want..._____" to "I want....to eat...____" And we have been using it for going places, watching videos, listening to music. Paul also set up the Proloquo to force him to type. He would have a very high desirable and not list it, then switch the Proloquo over to type. Nathan was ready. I want to make sure we do not progress too fast, but also that we don't progress too slow. He is ready, he has the words. He NEEDS to communicate.

The behavior storm is over. For now. We have had them in the past, and I am sure they will happen again. I hope to not compound them by switching meds. Certainly not to this particular offender. But the blessing of this one was that it forced us to focus on the most important thing.

Comments

  1. We have had those days that have driven us to tears too. Glad the storm is over for now. xxx

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