Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Summer with Bear

 Posing with his bears.

Posing with his favorite bear

Ethan has been in a pretty big development phase lately with speech and language, imaginative/creative play, and emotional/interpersonal growth. It's hard to say whether this is all happening as a result of having bilateral hearing again, or just his natural trajectory of development. It's likely due to a combination of both paired with the services he has been receiving at school and through his private speech therapy. We've also been dealing with new challenging behavioral issues that have us feeling a bit lost and depressed, but we're hoping that once school resumes in the fall he will be able to make progress in this area as well. 

Summers have always been difficult. He craves the routine and structure that school provides and he's such a social creature, he seems bored and restless here at home. Unfortunately, he really doesn't have any playmates at the moment, at least none that have transitioned out of the school setting. He is pretty popular with the kids at recess and is always getting notes from girls wanting to be his "BFF" and asking to play with him during recess, but we've yet to see those friendships blossom beyond the school. 

Ethan is talking and signing up a storm in addition to using his iPad (Touch Chat App) and paper & pen. He will use every means of communication at his disposal and often uses 2 or 3 together, in order to get his point across. He is starting to say more than just "I want..." and is making the occasional comment now. Last week when we were swimming, he looked at the sky then signed to me "sun hot hurt eyes", which totally blew me away. That's making conversation! That's also a lot of words to string together! 

He has been obsessed with his stuffed bear lately, which has been pretty cute. I've been told that kids with autism generally do not display imaginative/creative play skills, which is a critical component to learning about the world. I'm not so sure if that is true since the autism spectrum is so broad and no 2 kids on it seem alike, but it couldn't be further from the truth for Ethan. He has that bear doing everything. Bear goes everywhere, shares meals, gets tickled by Ethan, plays hide and seek, acts silly, pets the cat, drives our cars, etc. Ethan loves nothing more than to stage photos of his bear and sometimes, as in the picture above, he just likes to hang with bear and hold hands. It's pretty darn sweet. 

All in all, there's lots of good stuff going on here. Ethan has summer school 2 days a week from 9-11, which really isn't much, but it's enough to make him happy and gives me a chance to run errands and get some alone time. Still, I'm counting down the days that he is back in school. He's so much happier and more emotionally stable in that routine, and so am I. 


Carrie said...

Holding hands with his lovey. Extraordinary! I love it! Go, E, Go!

Anonymous said...

My bear is waiting in the chair on the porch for Ethan to return and continue his lessons. It's dear the way Ethan teaches. With bears, he seems to have infinite patience. Too bad we're not all furry and cute like that.

Kyla said...

Sounds like overall he is doing really well!! Love him and his bear, so sweet!

Kristina said...

I love how he loves his bears! Emma has lots of animals and dolls but doesn't seem attached to any one of them except her Twilight Turtle that makes her room look magical at bedtime. She fusses a lot unless that turtle is on when she goes to bed.

So happy to hear things are going well and hope your routine gets easier until the fall.

Erin said...

Definitely not true about kids on the spectrum lacking imaginative play (as you know) - Thor has blossomed in this area over the last couple of months so I have seen first hand how deep their imaginations can go. :) Great job Ethan!!

dlefler said...

Could those pics be any cuter? LOVE! I love the communication, too - hopefully he won't get too out of sorts over the summer, until school starts again. Nolan thrives on routine but Matt (my older kiddo) loves the lack of routine.