"QUESTION" I am a caretaker of a 3 1/2 yr. old autistic boy.

Christine - posted on 05/08/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




He is non-verbal and does not have too bad of sensory issues. He transitions well, he loves hugs and tickle time. He plays for small moments with me and toys. He uses an iPAD daily, which he can manipulate to anything he needs, puzzles, matching cards with animals on them. He is brilliant, but I don't know what to do first to help him learn. We are starting sign language with him for food, but he has no support through the public school system. I attended his IEP meeting and they suggested sign language and stated that all his goals from his last iEP were not met. They would re-evaluate in 3 months. What can I use, buy or find for him to teach him some basic language skills. I am with him 6 hours a day and he is extremely smart and stims daily, but can be calmed down easily from small episodes. He only eates pb & Jell, grilled cheese sandwich, granola bars, water, gummy fruit snacks, yogurt in the tube. I really want to help the family start introducing a GFCF diet, but not sure where to start. Help!

I have watched the TEmple Grandin movie and her dvd with her presentation on how to help kids. But most of her suggestions were for kids over 5 and had some speech in place. He makes sounds but nothing on target, just randomly uses his voice. He can hear, hearing has been checked and he can handle loud noises and soft noises. He is on the spectrum, but not over sensitive. Food and texture is what contributes to his picky eating. He will check his bread on how it feels before he picks it up to eat it. Even though it is the same bread everyday.

I am open to any and all suggestions that will help him focus on learning. I study his actions and how he uses the ipad daily so I can hopefully figure out how he learns.


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Iridescent - posted on 05/09/2012




PECS are very useful to help teach communication.

Diet changes can be helpful short term, but the GFCF diet is not going to cure him. Gluten and Casein free won't, either. Feingold diet may help with behaviors, but again...no dietary change will make a significant impact, and it doesn't sound like behaviors are the main concern anyway. It's very helpful to suggest allergy testing though, as some symptoms and behaviors can be the result of allergies. There are a few types. RAST testing is about the best, but not considered accurate until 5 years old. Skin prick testing is good, but again, not accurate until 5 years old.

Adaptations should be listed in the IEP and the family can request a new IEP meeting in writing at any time. They can request that PECS be added, or sign language, and if goals are not met they need to increase their service time with him. They can also request ABA therapy be started under the IEP and provided as a service. They have every right to call the Department of Education in their state and find out what other services that may be available are offered as well, and can ask for a parent/child advocate to be present at IEP meetings if the meetings are difficult.

Katherine - posted on 05/08/2012




He doesn't have apraxia right? Get some simple sign language books you and he can do together. I did ABA for 5 years and non-verbal autistic kids sometimes had Apraxia. Anyways the Feingold diet is good too. Well it's pretty much the same as GFCF http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feingold_di... So basically it's removing all dyes too. If he has sensory issues a fun game might be to let him play in dried beans, sugar, rice, flour etc......

As far as eating, no more fruit snacks! Those are the worst with dyes and high fructose corn syrup. You can find gluten free ones at the health food store but I'm not sure about free of dyes. Jelly is bad too unless it's gluten free. Print out some info on it and show his parents. Tell them you would like to start doing it.

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