Saturday, November 13, 2010

Latest development

Paeditrician Report
So just yesterday we got our report back from the Paedatrician. Great thing is very subtly it reads that he would like the speech therapists to do a I quote "more accurate" speech assessment. Also recommending that because we struggle financially to see the pyschologist we need help from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services from the hospital.

Overall I am pretty happy with what he wrote. He said he has a normal IQ which is reassuring. So we got a phonecall from the Speech Therapist. We also got a phonecall from CAMHS and they are going to discuss Josiah at their next case meeting. Hoping that someone will come out of that. Planning to contact them on Monday to find out.

Recent progress
So it would seem Josiah is making more progress. Little by little. After speaking in front of my sister for the first time. On the weekend he spoke clearly at the dinner table at the park. So asking for sauce more food and other comments. Obviously not talking to my rellies but talking in front of them is something he has NEVER done so that is great for him.

At school we have been working on playing with kids one on one. And we have done that for two weeks. We are realising that working with the teacher in the last term won't help him a lot because he will be going to a new classroom with a new teacher next Summer. So he played with around 4 kids and all of them he talked in front of them, which is great.

One kid actually exclaimed in shock "Josiah talked, he can talk" Josiah continued on with his activity like it was no big deal. But I guess he thought it was pretty amazing. Also we did some easy book activities with three kids including Josiah and he was able to answer what number it was eg counting. Mostly he didn't need me to ask him again, he whispered but it all is progress.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Selective Mutism-Stages of Social Communication Scale


Stage 0 - NO responding, NO initiating

Child stands motionless(stiff body language), expressionless, averts eye gaze, appears frozen 'MUTE'

Seemingly ignores person while interacting or speaking to other(s) MUTE toward others

For communication to occur, Social Engagement must occur


(Nonverbal and/or Verbal)

To advance from one stage of communication to the next, increasing social comfort needs to occur.

STAGE 1 - Non verbal communication NV

1A Responding - pointing, nodding, writing, sign language, gesturing, use of objects (eg whistles, bellws, non voice-augmentative device (e.g. communication boards/cards, symbols, photos)

1B Initiating - getting someone's attention via pointing, gesturing, writing, use of objects to get attention (e.g. whistles, bells, non-voice augmentative device (e.g. communication boards/cards, symbold, photos)

STAGE 2 - Transition into Verbal Communication TV

2A Responding - via any sounds )e.g. grunts, animal sounds, letter sounds, moans etc.) Verbal intermediary or Whisper Buddy; Augmentative Device with sound (e.g. simple message switch, multiple voice message device, tape recorder, video etc)

2B Initiating - Getting someone's attention via any sounds (e.g. grunts, animal sounds, letter sounds, moans, etc.): Verbal INtermediary or Whisper Buddy; Augmentative Device with sound. (e.g. simple message switch, multiple message device, tape recorder, video etc)

STAGE 3 - Verbal Communication

3A Responding - Approximate speech/direct speech (e.g. altered or made up baby language, reading/rehearsing script, soft whispering, speaking)

3B Initiating - Approximate speech/direct speech (e.g. altered or made up baby language, reading/rehearsing script, soft whispering, speaking)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Resilience without communication?

Something recently illustrated one of my greatest fears, is that when my son is in trouble he is not able to speak out and get help. So last week or the week before there was an incident where he was shaken by the collar, enough for him to be in fear. Another child called for help for Josiah and it was dealt with fast.

We had a discussion, firstly on the issue of sharing. Just because someone wants something does not mean that you have to give it to that person. You are allowed to play with a toy but it is important to share with others especially if you have had a turn on the toy. That he can go to others for help or simply going closer to the teacher will help him be safer.

Resilience is a quality we want our children to possess. Part of this is the ability to communicate in some form or another. Asking for help is a quality needed to survive in our world, and it does bother me that Josiah is not able to do this at this stage. But we are hoping that in the future he will feel more comfortable.

When you don't think anything is happening.....

When you are a parent in the middle of trying to help your son deal with problems he is dealing with it is hard to see the progress unless you take a step back. But as I have discovered recently there is progress small significant steps that if you don't take the time to observe you miss it.

So in the interest of observation these are the things we have noticed recently that has been great.

  • First of all Josiah spoke in front of my sister Lucy. So far my son is four and she has not really heard him speak full sentences. On this occasion he spoke a full sentence and a good one at that in front of Lucy.
  • He has also spoke in front of other people that aren't in his comfortable circle. Usually when myself or Scott is present but it still is progress.
  • A significant step at school is that Josiah has felt comfortable enough to respond to the teachers with a simple nod when asked a simple question such as if he wants fruit or wants to ride on a bike.
  • Josiah is now able to call out for me in the shops, and has been able to hand over money or items when buying something for himself.
  • He now shows facial expressions when spoken to smiling, frowing and so on. In the past when spoken to he would look back with a blank facial expression showing no emotion.
  • In the after school sessions Josiah is also feeling more and more comfortable and is not needing to have as much support to speak in front of the teacher. This afternoon I noticed that instead of having to ask the question again, which he will answer me, he answered the teacher's question straight away.

Perspective is a powerfull thing. I wish I had more observation skills to take in the progress that is being made so I don't feel as discouraged at times, and to notice how much things are getting better and improving.