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I am sure many parents in “my shoes” ponder. It really boils right down to that “pesky” pincer grasp! Kids like Wyatt JUST DON’T grasp it. Literally. For years now he has been practicing. Practice makes perfect…isn’t that what “they” say?

Practice, practice, practice…WHY? It does’nt matter to me if Wyatt ever writes a lick! Let me qualify that. On paper…that is. Like the way of the future, computers and communication devices will pave the road for alot of autistics. The path for these kids needs to be defined early on. Many have no troubles with pens, pencils, crayons and scissors. While others like Wyatt just do. O. T. (occupational therapy) deals with these motor skills. Fine and Gross. Yes fine motor skills are needed for so many daily-living skills. However when a child is just not able to successfully write, draw and cut…WHY should that child be continually forced to. Prodded and pushed to meet a goal. A goal that is a battle for another day. Can you say…back-burner?

Why not assess pincer grasp at the get-go. Kids with skills,have at it! Write, draw and cut…woo hoo! Kids that can’t… should concentrate on PECS ( Picture exchange card systems) as they work their way up to computers and communication devices!

As one of Wyatt’s school-district hired assessors told us at an I.E.P. Meeting (Individualized Education Plan) “Choose which battle to fight“. They were’nt listening because they never stopped forcing him to try and write. I wonder do they think that one day these “non-graspers” are going to just wake up one morning…and “wella!” ?? They’ll come to school and it will just happen …from ALL THAT PRACTICE? Would be nice but, I’d rather be real. Learn when its time to stop forcing that issue. Yes work on practicality…fine motor-skills that pertain to daily life and hygiene by all means. However I am O.K. with my child never writing or drawing or cutting paper. Really, what is all the fuss ? Especially with all this technology! Let’s use it…so these kids don’t “lose-it”!

So many times I am told that Wyatt “hates to be wrong.” Well of course he does. He has actually been predisposed to it on a daily basis! How would you feel ?…Everyday you PRACTICE & PRACTICE and still you can’t do it . You can only do it with hand- over- hand help and constant reminder . Oh and don’t forget , you can’t talk to tell them HOW FRUSTRATED you are. So please…Let us cut our losses! There are other hills for Wyatt and those like him to climb. Perhaps there are other ways to write?

In example …this AMAZING LITTLE BOY took an end-run around that “pesky” pincer grasp. Talk about a fighting little spirit!! So AWE INSPIRING! O.T. Therapists may cringe…after-all that is not appropriate! The heck if it isn’t! Clearly it works for him. So who’s to say… if it’s WRONG OR WRITE!?

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For autism awareness…encoura…

For autism awareness…encourage ALL to watch HBO’s Temple Grandin!

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Barney loves Wyatt…and I love the both of them!

It is a long affair that began when Wyatt’s autism did. Wyatt’s case is what “they” call regressive-autism. He hit his developmental milestones like …roll-over, babble, smile, sit-up, stand-up,walk…and slowly talk. He was a bit slower than his (10 yr. older) brother Aaron. However, Aaron did everything FAST…too fast. Still does but, THAT… is another blog best left un-written!Meet Wyatt

Wyatt absolutely loved to count and recite the alphabet! He could get any random letter off of the fridge whenever requested. So happy and proud to do it! He could spell out his name…we would start him off…W…Y…and he would excitedly chime in ATT! It seems like Wy accrued about 75 words. I can’t say for sure…I never really kept track of them or listed them. Why would I?

After the first words are uttered and notated its usually…FULL SPEED AHEAD…with “Why, what, where, when, how, can I, will we??! I remember thinking , (as a girl looking toward motherhood) how will I teach a child to speak? When I asked an adult about that…there was a pause and a,”well it just happens.” So through…OSMOSIS we learn to talk without much trouble?! Words push through our “stream” of consciousness effortlessly. LUCKY US.

Wyatt NOT so lucky. Toward the end of his 3rd year…his speech began to blurr. Words he had mastered began to “fall apart” so to speak. One consonant after another would drop off, until there was nothing left! We were dumbfounded and had no idea what was happening. We were “hoping” that it was a temporary set back…nothing serious. Yet other behaviors began as well. His obsession with back and forth motion as he watched it in reflection. At first …we thought, cute. Until we realized , it was the start of his self stimulating behaviors. Him literally moving to “activate” his brain.

Barney became very important to him during this time … as he entered his abyss. Barney was literally the last word he clung to! The word he tried to hold on to as all the others were stripped from him ONE BY ONE. That was 2002…and Barney is as big a part of our lives as ever. It just makes him HAPPY! The singing and dancing gets him up and moving, laughing and chirping! How can you not love a guy that’s been a life-line to your child?! Using both hemispheres of the brain occurs effortlessly for most. Not for autistics.

Movement therapies are now emerging that force autistics to use both hemispheres of the brain. This explains the “innate” side-to-side or rocking motions that are so common! Barney is also BIG ON MANNERS and TURN TAKING. Essential elements in A.B.A. Therapies… (Applied Behavior Analysis.) So BARNEY has been fighting the GOOD FIGHT! For years… an unwitting therapist if you will! Many autistic children continue on with Barney as their typical peers out-grow him. As Wyatt approaches 11 …we will continue to do movement therapy with Barney. Our BARNEY A.B.A. ! We will learn manners and greetings and as he so aptly says…we will keep learning “HOW TO BE A FRIEND!”

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Have any Autism Awareness Events coming up? Let us know and we will post it for you! Advertising options available on Autism Hwy

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