Eli, Age 7
After age 1, Eli started showing signs of regression in the little speech that he had. He didn’t respond to his name (wouldn’t turn and look at you when you said his name). He preferred to play by himself and often didn’t like when people invaded his personal space. He enjoyed lining up any objects he could.
He started receiving speech services around 18mo. He was diagnosed with Autism at age 2. We moved to San Diego where he started receiving weekly speech and occupational therapy sessions, intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy 20hr/week, and eventually started attending a special education preschool 3hr/day. Eli consistently used around 20 signs to express his wants and needs but had a lot of difficulty understanding and handling his own emotions.
Eli finally started to talk at age 3 ½ and his language exploded. He went from baby babble to over 100 words within months. He was fully potty trained just after age 4. Since he was nonverbal for so long, potty training was quite difficult. After putting him in preschool settings, he became much more comfortable interacting with others and started to prefer playing with others versus his initial solo play.
At age 5, Eli was in general education kindergarten with and IEP for speech and occupational therapies during school hours. He has an unbelievable vocabulary, can read and write at grade level, has a lot of friends, enjoys social interactions, and is just overall- flourishing.
He still, of course, has areas that he needs to work on.
-His speech still needs a lot of improvement
-He often writes certain numbers and letters backwards
-He has a hard time understanding and controlling his emotions. This often leads to
uncomfortable interactions with his peers. It’s my personal opinion that he is
emotionally younger than his peers.
-Eli becomes easily and extremely frustrated and upset at very minor
inconveniences (more so than other kids his age)
I put together a quick little transformation video of Eli’s progress from age 2 to age 7.
Camille, Age 2 ½
As soon as Camille came around I knew what signs to be on the lookout for. I made sure keep an eye on her milestones and make note of any delays. By age one, Camille had no words, some baby babble (but not much), was not playing age appropriately with toys and did not enjoy playing with others. I referred her to the Early On program when we moved home while my husband prepared for his third deployment. Her Early On evaluation found her with a high risk for Autism Spectrum and we started speech therapy services.
Her official autism diagnosis has been quite a long, drawn out process. It took 6 months to even get the evaluation, when we arrived, we found out that we were not completing the entire thing and had to be put on another 6 month waitlist to be seen by the behavioral therapist to complete her evaluation. Without her medical diagnosis, we are unable to start ABA therapy and other private therapies (insurance funded speech and occupational therapies). Before the recent Stay-at-Home order was put into place Camille had JUST started attending a special education preschool. She got a solid 4 days in before she was sent right back home. Although I’m sure she wasn’t too upset about it. haha
Camille is still very young and doesn’t have as much of a timespan of progress as her brother, but she has shown amazing improvement just in the past few months!
What she was doing:
-Did not play with toys appropriately. Would just hold them, sometimes knock them
together. Did not attempt to stack blocks, use shape sorters.
-No imaginative play. Wouldn’t make dolls or toys “talk”, wouldn’t pretend to drink
or eat play food, etc
-No social interaction with anyone except for mom. She would ignore other people
in the room, *sometimes* just sit back and watch others, mostly just did her
-Only showed interest in about 5 shows/movies
-No words at all. Until Age two Camille was almost silent. She barely even babbled.
After age two her babbling took off but was still just incoherent baby talk.
What she is doing now
-Camille started paying more attention to the movies and shows she was watching.
She began repeating lines from the show (her own baby babble version that
sounded remarkably close to the real word). Then she started singing some of
the songs from her Disney movies.
-She started to engage more in social play (with mom and brother) and eventually
enjoyed some action and reaction type play (ready, set, go- then race the cars)
-She started saying a handful of words, at first very sporadically and not on
command, now much more frequently
*Hi, Bye, Thank you, Mommy, yes, no, bubble, baby, hello, its me, outside
pretty, what, yeah
-Her play time has become much more age appropriate.
*Using more toys correctly (vs just holding them, knocking them together)
*Making dolls and Barbies “talk” to eachother
*Imaginative play (answering a phone, drinking and eating pretend food)
*Starting to color with crayons
Camille is a little too young for a transformation video. Since her progress is still happening… I was having a hard time putting something together to show you all. I still wanted to include her in this blog because I want to keep everyone updated on how great she is doing! So instead of a transformation video, enjoy these random videos of Camille…just being Camille!