Can you believe we’ve already been down this therapy road for 6 months!? Just like parenting, the days are long but the time is flying by! Besides the mountains of paperwork & scheduling times, this has been pretty smooth & it makes it even better that we can see the results in Jackson.
I’ve learned sharing our journey about Jackson helps me really break it down to myself but it also helps provide some comfort for other going through a similar journey with their babe. So I’m going to list out his information from his initial start & to a couple weeks ago at the 6 month mark! There are obviously still delays in more than 1 area but that’s expected! ASD isn’t something that is ‘cured’ with therapy - let alone 6 months of it. There’s no cure at all! The therapy is meant to help us enter his world, help us learn how to assist him & help him connect to everything else in a calm[er] manner.
For reference, standard delay in area is 0-15%
INITIAL INTAKE // 20 MONTHS OLD
SELF-HELP DOMAIN [0-6%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 19-24 MONTHS
This domain addresses how younger kids take care of themselves. These skills include being able to pay attention to an activity, eating, sleeping & other tasks [like dressing] that they are able do to themselves.
At this point, he had MASTERED chewing completely, exploring cabinets & taking shoes off when shoes are unlaced. He needed to work on scooping food solo, showing discomfort when wet, imitating adult behavior, uses zippers & washed hands.
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL DOMAIN [7-29%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 14-19 MONTHS
This domain measures how a child interacts & gets along with other people [adults, kids, family & strangers]. Showing a range of emotions.
At this point, he had MASTERED being messy [that’s a thing], remembering where toys belong & showing toy preference. He needed to work on showing a sense of humor, expressing a wide range of emotions & recognizing several people in addition to immediate family.
COMMUNICATION DOMAIN [41-58%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 8-12 MONTHS
This domain shows 2 skills: expressive language & receptive language. Expressive are what he puts out using sounds, gestures & words. Receptive is how he recognizes sounds & understands us.
At this point, he has MASTERED gestures. He needed to work on using 1-3 words, knows what no-no means, responds to simple requests with gestures, recognizes 4 animal pictures, identify 1 body part & color with crayons.
GROSS MOTOR DOMAIN [0-11%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 18-21 MONTHS
This domain measures how children move around like sitting, crawling, walking & running.
At this point, he had MASTERED picking something off the floor without falling, running at least 10 ft without falling, walking upstairs with 1 hand held. He needed to work on jumping in place, walking up stairs holding rail, kinking a ball forward & jumping a distance.
FINE MOTOR DOMAIN [30-39%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 12-24 MONTHS
This domain measures how children use their hands to pick up objects, play with toys & color with markers or crayons.
At this point, he had MASTERED pointing with an index finger. He needed to work on holding a crayon properly, scribbling, building towers with 2 cubes & placing pegs in a board.
COGNITIVE DOMAIN [30-45%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 11-14 MONTHS
This domain addresses thinking & learning skills. Young children demonstrate these skills by showing how alert they are to their surroundings, how they respond to what is going on & how they solve problems like completing a puzzle.
At this point, he had MASTERED taking detours to get around something & matching certain objects. He needed to work on showing understanding of size difference, drinking from a cup, matching animal sounds & bringing objects from another room on demand.
Overall, Jackson was standard with Self-Help & Gross Motor Skill, slightly behind on Social/Emotional & clearly behind on Fine Motor, Cognitive & Communication Skills.
6 MONTHS IN // 26 MONTHS
SELF-HELP DOMAIN [0-14%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 22-29 MONTHS
Now, he’s MASTERED dressing & undressing self with assistance, scoops food solo with little spilling, brushes teeth with assistance & shows he’s uncomfortable when wet. He needs to work on using zippers unwrapping food, opening door knobs [terrified for this one] & sits on toilet.
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL DOMAIN [0-19%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 21-26 MONTHS
Now, he’s MASTERED recognizing several people in addition to immediate family & shows jealousy of Miles. He needs to work on showing a wide variety of emotions, attempt to comfort others in distress, play peek-a-boo & plays with a ball cooperatively.
COMMUNICATION DOMAIN [60-72%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 7-10 MONTHS
Now, he’s MASTERED understanding some words with gestures & answers to his name more often. Still no words but many more attempts. He needs to work on using 1-3 words, knows what no-no means, responds to simple requests with gestures, recognizes 4 animal pictures, identify 1 body part & color with crayons. We will also begin using a PECS system since he isn’t responding to sign language
GROSS MOTOR DOMAIN [1-12%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 23-26 MONTHS
Now, he’s MASTERED running, going up & down a slide, walking up & down stairs alone or with rail & jumping in place with both feet. He need kicking a ball, trowing a ball within 3ft of target & standing on 1 foot.
FINE MOTOR DOMAIN [38-46%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 14-16 MONTHS
Now, he’s MASTERED building tower with 9 cubes imitates circular scribbling & placing pegs on pegboard. He needs to work on holding a crayon properly, stringing beads & pre-writing.
COGNITIVE DOMAIN [37-47%] DEVELOPMENTAL AGE: 14-16 MONTHS
Now, he’s MASTERED imitating housework & other real-life activities, turning toys on & off & puts items back where they originate from. He needs to work on matching animal sounds & bringing objects from another room on demand.
Overall, Jackson is currently standard with Self-Help Skills, Social/Emotional Skills & Gross Motor Skill, still behind with Fine Motor, Cognitive Skills & has shown no growth in Communication Skills.
This may seem like just a lot of random, unmeasurable information but our team of therapists have been working with Jackson SO much over these past 6 months. We have seen so much growth in him even if it’s not completely showing with the numbers yet. Obviously, we still don’t have any words to report yet [he almost said BUBBLE a few weeks ago] & I know I’m gonna be a hot mess when that happens but we’re working on it!
To any parents out there debating on if you think your kid needs some assistance in their growth, please don’t hesitate to make those moves for them! The first few weeks are the hardest but in time, the evidence is there! The first time Jackson looked at us when we called his name instilled in us this was what we needed to do & now we have a plan for our kid for the next few years to get him all the help he needs.