High functioning ASD - how do you fill the day? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 08-27-2014, 06:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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High functioning ASD - how do you fill the day?

My son who is 4 got diagnosed this year April. He started special ed school in same month ( awesome school district!).

He goes for 6 hrs for 4 days to the school, and it has changed my life! And he is making huge gains. My biggest challenge is how to fill the hours of the day? Specially the 3 days he is not going school.

He has very restricted interest as anyone with ASD kid will know. And almost zero initiation, so he needs constant playmate. He is verbal ( at 2.5 yrs level now) and bright. I am willing to pplay with him or take him places but its such a battle. He resists going out ( its a fight to go for walk or zoo ect). But I am going to work on that hopefully through in home ABA/help.

I just want to know what do other moms do? How do you plan each day and literally fill the hours?
He is my only kid so maybe that adds to our issue. I am just so exasperated.

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#2 of 5 Old 08-27-2014, 08:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Amy@STL View Post
My son who is 4 got diagnosed this year April. He started special ed school in same month ( awesome school district!).

He goes for 6 hrs for 4 days to the school, and it has changed my life! And he is making huge gains. My biggest challenge is how to fill the hours of the day? Specially the 3 days he is not going school.

He has very restricted interest as anyone with ASD kid will know. And almost zero initiation, so he needs constant playmate. He is verbal ( at 2.5 yrs level now) and bright. I am willing to pplay with him or take him places but its such a battle. He resists going out ( its a fight to go for walk or zoo ect). But I am going to work on that hopefully through in home ABA/help.

I just want to know what do other moms do? How do you plan each day and literally fill the hours?
He is my only kid so maybe that adds to our issue. I am just so exasperated.
I am so glad you have a good school district!!!That is HUGE!

At that age my son had 3 hours of preschool, 4 days a week, and then some additional therapies some afternoons (social skills, OT, additional speech). I kept his schedule very full to reduce his time to get lost in his own world. He did gymnastics, therapeutic riding, music class and I always did a library story hour on the day off from school. Anything to get him used to other kids, sitting in a group, following another adults direction. I aimed for activities that had a double benefit (OT or language based).

By getting him in the activities with kids, it was a kind of unintentional integrated playgroup. If that therapy is available in your area, I would sign up right away. I took a training to provide those to my son at home because they are not offered where I live. That was by far the most important thing to date.

And I did a daily block of special time, Floortime style, where I connected to his play and interests but expanded then into more typical play. For example, he had a little toy riding mower he just mowed the carpet with back and forth and back and forth for as long as he could. I would join him but then add in an play theme, an pretend obstacle, etc, until we were closer and closer to the way kids his age would pretend play, (lawnmower school, lawnmower superheroes, etc). And on the long day at home, I took him to the grocery store, out to lunch, etc.

A visual schedule of the day/ week helped us both know what we were doing and when and stay more or less on plan. My son is an only and didn't want to go out either, I insisted most days on going out but began with things he loved (the park, swings) on the visual schedule (there is now an Ipad app for that). Then next my agenda for him (therapy or a group class) then something he would want again, then my agenda item. I spent a lot of time showing him "if we do... then we can do...."

Lots of luck and love him up....

Last edited by Julianito; 08-27-2014 at 09:09 PM. Reason: adding detail
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#3 of 5 Old 08-27-2014, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!!! So much.

I am reading and learning and DIR is something I want to do. We already play a lot one on one. He has started some pretend play and is always interested in playing with me...which in itself is awesome. He has really been making progress by leaps and bounds. But I am not good at pretend play and anything requiring such NT like play. I never played with dolls or stuff in my childhood, am nerdy So I really am struggling how to "expand". I almost wish I could observe normal kids....he is my first child and growing up I didnt have exposure to cousins etc.

Also, what did you/how did you get trained? I want to do that though we do have lot of resources where we live ( all of that requires money hence I have been reluctant but we can afford it if its imp), but I feel getting trained will really help me at home.

babyboy.gifborn on April 3 '10namaste.gifnovaxnocirc.giffamilybed1.gifread.gifgd.gif

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#4 of 5 Old 08-31-2014, 09:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Amy@STL View Post
Thank you!!! So much.

I am reading and learning and DIR is something I want to do. We already play a lot one on one. He has started some pretend play and is always interested in playing with me...which in itself is awesome. He has really been making progress by leaps and bounds. But I am not good at pretend play and anything requiring such NT like play. I never played with dolls or stuff in my childhood, am nerdy So I really am struggling how to "expand". I almost wish I could observe normal kids....he is my first child and growing up I didnt have exposure to cousins etc.

Also, what did you/how did you get trained? I want to do that though we do have lot of resources where we live ( all of that requires money hence I have been reluctant but we can afford it if its imp), but I feel getting trained will really help me at home.
I did my training through community organizations and the local university.

The community autism organization brought in Pamela Wolfberg (Integrated Playgroups) and V. Mark Durant (Optimistic Parenting, which I then read again with a group other moms). And I found out more on. Parts of many trainings are on Youtube, or available for purchase (The Play Project DVD training in DIR, for example!)

My university psychology department had doctoral candidates who were able to come to the home supervised by an expert faculty, and train me in ABA. They really stressed developing a schedule and doing toughest community outings but in very small chunks (5 mins at Micheal's today, 7 mins tomorrow). These things really pay off now since most Apsie moms I know can't take the kiddo to the market or on errands, and my guy is comfortable. Also I have a way to approach tougher outings (pre-teach, look at pix, make a plan) this worked for me last week at an amusement park, and by the end of the day, my son was in line by himself with cousins riding the rides while I watched on, drinking my ice tea on the deck of the lodge. Not everyday is amazing now, and this age has new challenges, but many days are great, and I know that by learning I can handle what is ahead!

You will get there, just keep feeling the joy of your boy and his strengths on the way!!!
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#5 of 5 Old 08-31-2014, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did my training through community organizations and the local university.

The community autism organization brought in Pamela Wolfberg (Integrated Playgroups) and V. Mark Durant (Optimistic Parenting, which I then read again with a group other moms). And I found out more on. Parts of many trainings are on Youtube, or available for purchase (The Play Project DVD training in DIR, for example!)

My university psychology department had doctoral candidates who were able to come to the home supervised by an expert faculty, and train me in ABA. They really stressed developing a schedule and doing toughest community outings but in very small chunks (5 mins at Micheal's today, 7 mins tomorrow). These things really pay off now since most Apsie moms I know can't take the kiddo to the market or on errands, and my guy is comfortable. Also I have a way to approach tougher outings (pre-teach, look at pix, make a plan) this worked for me last week at an amusement park, and by the end of the day, my son was in line by himself with cousins riding the rides while I watched on, drinking my ice tea on the deck of the lodge. Not everyday is amazing now, and this age has new challenges, but many days are great, and I know that by learning I can handle what is ahead!

You will get there, just keep feeling the joy of your boy and his strengths on the way!!!
Valuable advice!! I def dont want to end up his challenges become a barrier for him and us. Thanks for the info and kind words.

babyboy.gifborn on April 3 '10namaste.gifnovaxnocirc.giffamilybed1.gifread.gifgd.gif

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