Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What is changed?

On 13th May 2014, my son has completed his 8 years of his life. I started this blog in 2011, when he was 5 years old. I was just reading my first post in this blog post Tanishk and was trying to find out what has changed in these 3 years. My son is now 8 but still he does a lot of things same as I mentioned in my first blog.
After my first blog, I have written several posts about his developments and behaviors. I had experienced both - good and bad moments. But when I try to analyze that how far I have come and what did I achieve in these 3 years, I have mixed thoughts in my mind.
When I see my son behaviorally, he is the same boy as he was 3 years ago. He still doesn't want to comply. He runs here and there, he is so hyperactive, doesn't sit still, jumps on trampoline and mattress (now he has company, his brother also jumps with him). He is still gadget freak. I have written series posts about this - Computer Stimming. The difference is that now it has converted into IPad Stimming. (I will write more about IPad stimming in my next posts.) Still he has verbal stimming - keeps saying things he had heard through various sources - TV, Computer, Videos, Therapists, Teachers, Parents, Grandparents etc. Still my most of the time goes in prompting and redirecting him.
First blog post - (He doesn't want to comply. He runs here and there & he is so active that he can't sit still. He jumps every where - on the mattress too. He wants to watch same videos, listen same music, computer on & off, goes into the settings of any gadget and just selecting anything. Flapping his hands and holding things in one hand are still there. If he is given a pencil or pen and left unattended, he will scribble everywhere even on the table or floor too. He has got verbal stimming, he just keeps saying the things he had heard through various sources - TV, Computer, videos, therapists, teachers, parents etc. My all the time goes in prompting and redirecting him.)

When I analyze my son's skills he has learnt in these 3 years -

He has learnt basic skills (brushing teeth, washing hands & face, buttoning his shirt, using microwave and toaster, etc.), reading the books, spelling, writing sentences. math (simple addition), catching the ball, throwing the basketball into the basket, playing wii games, etc. Few skills he is still learning - reading comprehension, tying the shoe laces, skating, riding the bike, scooter, board games etc.

But the thing is that he is not interested in anything and he is not curious about anything. He has learnt everything but does only when told to do so. He himself just wants gadgets (iPad, computer, etc.) and he can sit with them hours. He will just forward videos and continue clicking the buttons to repeat the same dialogue / music / noise / tune. Yes, in between he plays games too - Angry Birds, Cut the rope, Appmates etc., but most of the time he just stims with videos and audio.

He has learnt new behaviors too - He knows that he is doing something wrong. When he starts to stim, he gives us a look like he is telling us that  I am going to do what I want. When we stop him doing anything or restrict the access to something, he starts to shout, scream, bang and hit his younger brother. He has become little bit manipulative too. He knows where the things are kept and starts to search for. He knows what upsets us and he does that knowingly.

I have heard and saw that electronic gadgets are good for these kids. They help them to communicate and learn new skills. But I don't think they are helping him. I tried a lot of apps for him, but no success. He learnt but memorized everything. His mind is full of videos, music, different kinds of noises, dialogues, teachers and parents' words etc. and keeps repeating those things again. Like he is playing video in his mind again & again. In this situation, he is not able to learn anything new. If he learns, it is mechanical or memorized. So, I don't know how far we have to go.

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