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Thoughts on Speech therapy, need help, suggestions... etc

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Ds 10.5 was dx with Asperger's Syndrome last late August. In October we began Speech therapy, and have been going weekly since for the most part. In Feb we began Occupational therapy, specifically Interactive Metronome, and it has done great things for him!

THEN, in May we began Neurofeedback. if you have never heard of it, I encourage you to check it out. eeginfo.com This has done wonders for him! Calming, improving issues with obsessions, opposition, as well as improving relationships, anxiety and more. We are also going to address concentration and focus (ADHD issues) and people social skills. We are about half way through with Neurofeedback... looking to hopefully being finished by the end of the year.

It has all been very expensive, yet worth every penny! We have learned a TON in the process!

All this background to say....

I have looked at some books on social skills and specifically Room 14 from Lingui systems. this is what his speech therapist uses with him. While I value her help, expertise etc.... I am wondering if i could get this and continue myself??? Now that I have much more knowledge and understand of pragmatics, know the areas that need to be addressed etc....

Expense wise... we are swinging it, but that's it.... if i were to take this on myself, would I be doing us a favor financially, or a disservice to my son by stopping too soon.... ugh......

Any thoughts, experience suggestions etc.... I am ALLLLLLLL :bigear: :bigear: :bigear: :bigear: :bigear:

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I guess it depends in large part on how well you can work with him getting him to do something like the therapy. My Aspie daughter balked like a mule with every assignment we had from vision and occupational therapy; I wouldn't have wanted to add a single minute more in which I had to try to coax her through the exercises. It was bad enough watching her with the therapists!


Then, too, some therapies are really far more complex than we see from observation. I understood OT far better than I did the vision therapy, for instance, despite extensive reading in both areas and watching the therapies and talking at length to the head therapist.


Social skills therapy was a different kettle of fish altogether. The program we attended was set up for more explosive, uncontrolled Aspies and did not suit my daughter, who is extremely inhibited and unassertive in public. I read around and felt it would work better to simply deal with social understanding and behaviors in the course of everyday life since she was so different from the other kids in the program. I did not try to replicate any kind of curriculum or course of exercises, though, because this was far beyond my abilities and not suited to integrating skills into everyday behavior.


So: it all depends! Not too helpful, was it? But that's been my experience.

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Thanks Karen Anne... your reply was helpful.


I know there have been times when I have been sitting in speech therapy with him and thought, I could do this at home. Alot of it is learning the steps to handle various situations... Stop, Think, (what is happening), what are my options, which one is best.... and we do incorporate this into our daily lives as well. There are also many social stories about the various situations. Teasing, meeting a new friend... keep friends, making conversations etc....

And. there have been times where something the therapist says or does and I had never thought about it... but not as much as in the beginning....


I have started to pray about it, and need to see where God leads. When I look at the curriculum, it is mostly her reading from the book, social stories and we discuss it. UGH this is so hard!

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Some aspects of therapy I think parents can get more of a handle on than many professionals realize, particularly when a certain "brand" program is being followed. And we know our kids, in incredible detail, so we can often judge when to grab the moment and use it for a therapeutic purpose or when it would be best to let it slide, save therapy for home. We also know our finances like no one else!! And that is a huge consideration, particularly these days.


Most of us certainly can't provide our kids with professional therapies in all the areas it would probably be useful to some degree or other. There are too many, and none of them are covered by our insurance at least. And by around age twelve, kids become more resistant to formal therapies (at least that's what I've seen in my daughter and in a few other kids I've known).


One thing I've found as my daughter grows older (she's fourteen) is that there are some wonderful other programs and activities out there that come very close to -- or in some cases even exceed -- what formal therapies offer. Just because you stop a particular formal therapy doesn't mean you don't approach the issue from another angle.


For instance, many people who are authorities on Asperger's, and many parents, recommend acting classes and theater groups for the learning of body language, the conventions of social interactions, etc. Your child is at a really great age for this. Our local junior theater group was good for my daughter for a number of years, until around 8th grade, when the girls became too clique-ish and the group began to split into insiders and outsiders. This seemed less the case with the boys at that age.


The other thing we've had enormous success with is riding horses. Many Aspies have a wonderful connection with animals, lowered stress around them. The extensive grooming, lifting, buckling, and fine motor work has been like the best OT in the world for my daughter, and she gets several hour-long sessions per week. The riding works on balance, sensory issues, and visual-spatial issues; it's been one of the only things that makes me hopeful that someday my daughter might be able to drive a car. And she's around people of all ages, all of whom are brought together by a love of horses. She now works at the stables around 15 -20 hours a month, earning extra lessons and the loan of a school horse for showing.


This is not to push riding in particular, but to urge you to consider whether there is some activity, perhaps a sport, perhaps not, that would offer your child similar beneficial, therapeutic benefits -- perhaps not at the moment, but when your initial round of intensive therapy is over. I mention them because I know I fretted massively not only about current therapies but about two years, three years, five years from any given moment and would have loved to know what other options are out there.

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I am an SLP by training. I think if she is just using a linguisystem book and role-playing situations then you could definitely do as well at home if your child will do it with you. That being said, I would be honest with the therapist and see if there are other goals she is working towards that are not as easily targeted by a simple workbook program. If it is 1:1 therapy, I feel you would do just as well to educate yourself and do the program at home. Once again, this is assuming your child would work well with you. There are probaly therapists out there that will want to shoot me or have different opinions than that. But, if it is financially a burden, look at the big picture. Hope this helps!!

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For the social issues, have you heard of the "Model Me Kids" videos?


I just ordered and started using them with my son who hasn't been dx'd as Asperger's, but has some tendencies. They are very well done. There is a set of ones for younger kids and older kids. I think your son would do well with the older kids videos. I used to be a ST and really think these videos are well done.


It's hard to speak to your overall question of how much can you do at home. I think in cases like this you at least need a lot of guidance. Perhaps you could let your therapist know that you want/need to decrease visits and would be willing to do a greater amount of structured homework. I think they would work with you on that if you explain that it's getting a little too costly.

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Our therapist has been great to work with, and has even given us some websites to go to for fun exercises, etc and some other things to work on at home as well. I did mention to her a while back about getting a social stories book and maybe buying the linguisystems workbook curriculum and she didn't respond much to that. She knows it is costly and very tight on the budget. I think I will mention at the next session we are considering cutting back and see what suggestions she may have.


thanks ladies!

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