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Update:  I haven't updated this in a while... Zachary is doing great... he is now 10... home schooled... our story involves so much that I refer you to my 4 books for more.   I didn't want to delete this as it is a good record of many issues. END OF UPDATE POSTED NOV. 2007

Note To Visitors:   Some search engines define my site as a "Journal of an Autistic Child".... this site is MUCH, MUCH more than this... go to the home page and you will see videos showing neurodegeneration due to mercury exposure, secret reports from behind closed door CDC, Immunization program meetings, and a ton of other valuable information for parents of children with autism.  

Parents who really want to understand the many, many issues of autism are encouraged to read - especially - "Book 3" which I have written and posted in full on my website.   You will also find a book dealing specifically with language issues, parent teaching tools, etc.     Zachary's continuing progress is of course, very much a part of all 4 books I have written...      The "journal" is but a very, very small piece of this site... and one I have not updated in a little while due to the fact that I have written 4 books in 2 years - in addition to the research found on this site...

I very much encourage all families to take the time to surf the home page of this site.   On it, you will also find the amazing parallels (over 160 of them) between autism and Alzheimer's... and between autism and schizophrenia (over 140).     This "comparison" was provided to Dan Burton for the Dec. 10th, 2002 vaccine hearings.  Amazingly, all three of these disorders - autism-schizophrenia-Alzheimer's - also share a very, very strong link in terms of their history... understanding all these issues will help parents to very, very clearly understand a great deal... again, "Book 3" is the book I strongly encourage all families to read!   Note that all my books are posted in full on my website and are available for free downloading to all families of children with autism per "Terms of Use".

Journal Of Zachary's Progress - Exciting Stuff!!!

Date Posted - Date Updated

Comment

May 2005

Water - Our most important nutrient - and perhaps our most important chelator... THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE WATER YOU DRINK!

We had been drinking distilled water because we live in an area that has a very high iron content in the water.   It appears "distilled" water is considered "dead water" and that ionized water may be much better for you.

http://www.waternutrition.com/

 

May 2005

I just found out that epsom salts can contain mercury...

Epsom salt baths are often recommended for children with autism... please check with your local pharmacist before giving your child epsom salts... because just when you think you are doing something to help your child...  you could be making things worse just because the FDA does not appear to think it necessary that products with mercury in them be labeled as such ON THE PACKAGE itself!   Instead, consumers are referred to website to find out the contents of certain things that may contain mercury... in spite of the FDA knowing of the dangers of mercury!!!  

One more for the FAILING IN DUTIES ADMINISTRATION!!!   Incompetence at its best when it comes to supposedly being there to "protect the consumer"... we could go on a long time on "matters of integrity" at the  FAILING IN DUTIES ADMINISTRATION... Reports posted on this website will give you "an idea" of what I am talking about!

July 2004 I am happy to report that Zachary's speech is just exploding... and I honestly think a lot of that has to do with him finally understanding how pronouns work.   I never would have thought pronouns could be so critical to speech... but the more I worked on the issue of pronoun confusion in Zachary, the more I came to believe that this issue of pronoun confusion was truly one of the reasons Zachary's conversation had taken such a long time to materialize.  You simply can not have conversation without an understanding of correct pronoun usage.  

For example... look at this simple sentence... "I want you to give me that."   In only 7 words, 4 of them are pronouns... and 3 - I, you, me - are what I refer to as the "flipping pronouns"... they change based on WHO IS DOING THE TALKING... and this was a huge issue for Zachary... a child who truly lived "via reference communication"... and if the "references" - the pronouns - were "moving targets", how could he possibly understand how they worked unless this was explained to him.

I know for a fact that proper pronoun usage played a huge role in his development of conversation.   I could give many examples of this... but, over and over I saw Zachary "testing out pronoun usage".   For example, when he saw his father at the counter one day, out of the blue he asked:   "Is dad him or his?".   My reply to him was that he could be both, for example, I could say, "that sweater is his" or I could say "that sweater belongs to him".   I knew Zachary understood.   That same week, as we were all playing on the bed in my bedroom, he stated to me as he talked about his father... "I love him and him loves me"... again, I corrected him right away and stated: "Zachary, you say, "I love him and he loves me"... right away, he then turned to his sister who was also in the room and said:  "I love her and she loves me".  

I would also notice him as he played with the dogs... he would say the same thing using different pronouns... again, testing "proper pronoun usage".  For example, one day we had both dogs in the house (we now had 2 Australian Shepherds).   They were laying just in front of the door and my daughter Anika was petting them.   Zachary went to see the dogs too.   He started almost right away... testing pronouns again.   He said the following:   "That is Patchees and Freckles"... then he continued... "These are two dogs"... and again he continued... "Patches has 4 legs"... "that dog has four legs"... "it has four legs"... "these are four legs"... and on and on he went... saying basically the same thing but using different pronouns.   This was clearly what he was doing... testing pronoun usage... of that, there could be absolutely no doubt.  

This kind of activity went on for several days... and since that time, in about the last 2 months, Zachary's conversation skills have now exploded... actual conversation... with perfect responses and sentences... and he seems to go out of his way to respond in sentences instead of simply one or two word answers as he had so often done in the past.   So, this looks like another huge hump we are finally overcoming... and I am absolutely convinced that it is the failure to understand proper pronoun usage that is the hurdle that keeps many of these children from moving more quickly to actual conversation... you simply can not have conversation without the proper understanding of pronouns!  

 

How can one speak without understanding pronouns like:

I, me, you, my, mine, he, she, him, her, his, hers, your, yours, its, their, theirs, who, whose, whom, they, them, we, anybody, anyone, another, each, either, everybody, everyone, nobody, no one, neither, one, other, others, someone, somebody, many, both, few, several, all, any, some, none, this, that, those, these, which, what, whoever, whomever, whatever, whichever, etc.

These were all words that we used so much in speech... and I very much suspected children with autism did not understand what these words meant or represented, because, again, they were "moving targets"...and could mean "one thing in one instance" and "something completely different in another situation"!   And that, in my opinion, was the key to "conversation"... understanding how pronouns worked.   You just can not have "conversation" without an understanding of how these words work and what they represent... and how "what they represent" can change.  Now that Zachary understood pronouns, his speech/conversation was simply exploding!   For more on this, see Pronoun Confusion section in Books 3 and 4.

 

July 2004

UPDATE:  I am happy to report that Zachary is finally potty trained (at almost 7 yo... trained in June 2004, he'll be 7 on Aug 12th, 2004).  When I finally decided to "try again", it turned out to be much easier this time around.   I had noticed for a while that he was bothered now when soiled.   He would stand up instead of remaining seated at the computer if ever he soiled himself.   My brother-in-law had helped us to put in a wood floor in the living room.   I knew that taking the diaper off would be key for Zachary.   Sure enough, as soon as that new floor went in and I tried again, Zachary was somewhat stressed when he had "no diaper" and when it was time to go, he looked for "a place to dump it"... and this time, he did go to the potty and use it.   I knew that he very much loved trucks.   He often stated that he wanted to be "a trucker".  So, I told him I would buy him "trucker underwear" that he would have to keep clean.   I think that was a huge motivator for him.   I also told him that truckers do not poop in their pants... they use a potty to keep their trucks clean.   Luckily for me, when I went to the store to look for "trucker underwear", Hanes had just put out a new "pattern/design"... and it was exactly what I needed.  :o)   Zachary was thrilled to have "trucker underwear"!  

He still had a few accidents, usually when really captivated by what he was doing at the computer.   Interestingly, visual processing and somatosensory processing are co-located in the parietal lobe... it was almost as though his visual processing greatly over-rides his somatosensory processing... when busy on the computer, he could just "forget he had to go" or he would "wait until the last possible moment".   A few reminders helped a lot.   I did not have to use timers or anything though.  He also wakes up dry now... pretty well all the time... and so, for him, when ready, he was "really ready" and so there was really no "nighttime issues"... at least not so far.   Traveling has also proven to go well... he can hold it until we get to a rest room.   I now have dad take him into the men's restroom... I called it the "trucker's bathroom" and so he was thrilled to try it out even though it was totally new for him.   So, looks like this is one issue we can FINALLY put behind us!   Thank you, Lord!  :o)

 

12-17-03 One area Zachary still has trouble with is certainly "explaining" things.   He can't tell a story for example.  So, that is something else I want to work on this year as far as speech/language issues.     He also seems a lot more easily distracted lately and it makes homework time very difficult at times.   He knows the answers to things and he figures once he states them, that he should not have to write them down.   Working from a notebook is much more difficult than working on the computer.   He can do the same type of work much better, and much more quickly - on the computer - based on what I've come to understand about the working of the brain, (see book 3), I'm not surprised that this is the case.
11-24-03 Now that I have a little time to breathe, I wanted to update this section to provide for readers an idea of where Zachary is at - at age 6 years 3 months...

Zachary, while he was still 5, learned how to tell time and count money.   By age 6, he now reads quite well (books for anywhere from 2nd to 4th grade level - varies based on publisher) and knows all his basic addition and subtraction.   He also knows all his multiplication tables through 12.  He is now learning "parts of speech" and knows that a noun is a person, place or thing, that an adjective modifies a noun, that an adverb modifies a verb, adverb or other adjective, that a verb is an action word and he also has a basic understanding of conjunctions.   He understands contractions also (i.e. would not = wouldn't).   He is truly an excellent speller for his age also.    In my opinion, it is critical Zachary understands the parts of speech in order to truly move forward in understanding how to put together speech... conversation.    As such, I will be doing a lot of sentence graphing as outlined in "Book 4" this year in order to help reinforce these concepts of speech.   He is also learning the different sentence types... statement, exclamation, question and is doing much better with proper pronoun usage... an issue it had taken me a long time to recognize.   Zachary also loves to learn about science and how things work - in general.  

On the socialization front, that is still an area that needs a lot of work, and so, I now have him in a small group once or twice a week in order to interact with other children - although I "shadow him" since the supervising adults there are really not familiar with dealing with autism.  I have no doubt that as he progresses in his understanding of language that socialization will also flourish.   I have taken a great deal of time trying to understand the issues behind autism and with 4 books in 2 years, a website plus all the research I have done, I must say I am looking forward to a slower paced year this year.   I've shared a great deal about our journey with autism in the four books I have written (hence the huge gap in this journal), and now, I am in need of "more observation time".   As such, instead of getting up and researching at 3:00 am for months at a time, I plan on resting a little more this year and focusing very much on teaching Zachary during the day.    He has almost completed his first grade curriculum - a curriculum I purchased from a home schooling materials organization.  

Although I only recently completed the language book I called Breaking The Code To Language and Communication:  The Ultimate Puzzle For A Child With Autism!, I find that already, just based on some of the language exercises I have done with Zachary, that there are many more very interesting observations I have seen in how his brain processes information.   As such, come spring, I suspect I'll be adding "an update" in the area of language development... but, for now, I'm truly happy to have time to just enjoy my wonderful little boy... and to hopefully get to potty training... an issue we still struggle with and one I put off for far too long.    So, no, Zachary still isn't potty trained... and I know that even though I've worked on this a great deal in the past, in the last 8 months or so, I really let that issue go to the wayside as I focused on writing and researching and was simply too exhausted to address "potty training" during the day.   Caring for Zachary during that time was work enough as I had to juggle him and all my projects.  :o)  

Zachary certainly has allowed me to see life very, very differently, and that, has indeed, been a huge blessing.    I strongly encourage all parents to read "Book 3" especially.   Truly eye opening in the issues it addresses - issues with implications that span far, far beyond autism. :o)

The autistic child - once the forgotten child - now the key to so much!

 

12-06-02 IRON OVERLOAD!!!  I've done a great deal of research lately and I have serious concerns about iron intake for Zachary.   Research indicates autistic children and those with Alzheimer's  usually have iron overload although they may be diagnosed as having "anemia"... As such, they can be prescribed or given iron supplements when in fact the problem is not one of too little iron but one of too much iron.   What happens is that rather than going to blood production, excess iron accumulates in the organs and as such, a blood test would not show that the problem is one of "iron overload"... not anemia!   Before giving any child an iron supplement for "low iron", I strongly encouraged all families to read this information on IRON OVERLOAD in spite of an ANEMIA diagnosis (see also paper on INSULIN and Research File)

Note:   Insulin and Iron have a bi-directional relationship - they modulate one another - ... and as such, DIABETES also very much fits into this picture!

I encourage all parents to read the following critical information on iron.   Excess iron causes damage in the brain, heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas... and as such, can lead to a whole new set of problems, such as cancer!   As such, I will be limiting Zachary's intake of iron best I can.   I am no longer going to provide him with iron fortified foods - best as I can - and will give him vitamins that do NOT contain iron - even if that means going to individual vitamins.  Note that vitamin C tremendously increases iron absorption!   This area of iron overload is a huge area of concern for me.  These are some of the articles I have read of this subject.  There are articles here for both autism and Alzheimer's.  Please take the time to read this CRITICAL information.

http://www.childscreen.org/Iron%20Overload%20and%20Autism.htm

http://hemochromatose.tripod.com/0/connor.htm

http://www.ohsu.edu/news/111301alzheimers.html

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag99/mar99_medup.html#3

http://munstermom.tripod.com/IsADironoverloadofthebrain.htm

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2000/oct2000_report_lactoferrin.html

http://www.qimr.edu.au/research/labs/grega/

http://spinwarp.ucsd.edu/NeuroWeb/Text/br-500.htm

 

12-04-02 I recently completed book 2... the continuation of our story and much much more.   I encourage all parents of the autistic to read that book along with the updates I posted on my website.  You will be amazed at the information in these materials.    I'm constantly reading to learn more in terms of the supplements I think will be most helpful to him.   I updated that information on my link entitled:  If I had to do it all again....   Zachary is doing well.  Even though he is on enzymes, I have decided to remain cfgf for now and use enzymes to help support digestive functions (i.e., trace gluten, phenols, etc.).

I've come to understand a lot more in my son and that information is provided in book 2 and updates (top right hand on my main web page).  With the writing of book 2 and the research on Alzheimer's and caring for Zachary, I've been quite busy.   Had I not written that second book, however, my understanding of my son would not even come close to what it is today.   In trying to help others, more than ever, I came to understand my own son... and, with that greater understanding, I can now focus my efforts even more in helping Zachary.   :o)

08-18-02 Zachary had a very negative reaction to Cod Liver Oil being rubbed on his skin.  I encourage all parents to read information provided here.  This nightmare lasted about 24 hours.   Given Zachary's reaction, he will NEVER again be given cod liver oil... I truly believe it has the potential to kill him next time... that's how bad this reaction was!  I'm happy to report he is fine now... but there is certainly a lesson in this for all parents of the autistic!  Also, recently, I've noticed Zachary's overall conversation has GREATLY improved... we've finally rounded that bend - conversation is finally coming!  :o)

I will now only use flax seed oil... and rub it on his skin just before I put him to bed.   It can be readily absorbed through the skin and since he hates the taste of it, that is the best way to go.

08-08-02 I noticed Zachary had dark circles again today... could be due to cheese from yesterday... so, I'll be watching that carefully.
08-07-02 Well, since Zachary has been on enzyme for about 5 months now, I figured it was time to do a "first test"... so, today, I gave him a huge chunk of cheddar cheese to see how he would react... NO REACTION whatsoever... no red ears, no red cheeks, no abnormal behavior... nothing!    I had given Zachary two peptizide enzymes capsules (in his rice milk) just prior to giving him the cheese.  I'm thrilled.    I will continue to monitor him closely and will only reintroduce other milk products very very slowly... perhaps spreading them apart by weeks rather than days... but, this first test with cheese and enzymes has been very very exciting to say the least. :o)   I decided to start with casein because it takes 3 days for it to leave the body... gluten can take up to a year.
07-16-02

12-04-02 (update)

Today, I came up with a couple of good thoughts on finger pointing and potty training.  You'll find these under.   I've also come up with very interesting thoughts and observations on "spinning" ... I will post in a week after I return from a trip to Canada. I included these in book 2.
07-15-02 I took Zachary off the TMG.  He had been on it for just over 2 years.  This is the product Kirkman Labs recommended to help trigger speech development.   Here is the really interesting thing... Zachary has only been off TMG for 3 days and during that time, I've noticed much much better ability to converse.   Is it possible that TMG helps with initial speech development but that after a time it actually hinders speech dealing with conversation?   I have no way of knowing.   I haven't seen any studies looking into this issue.  This is simply something I have observed in the last couple of days... something others have noticed as well.    I'm very puzzled by this.  Nothing else has changed in Zachary's diet in over 3 months.    Zachary knew many many words... but conversation just wasn't coming...now, it is coming fast... just since I've removed the TMG.    There were many short sentences before... but now, the conversation is showing up... finally!   He is also less hyper than he used to be.   This is all very interesting and exciting.    :o)    I  have also discovered the best way to teach Zachary many many coping skills...the whole concept of "parts" making up "the whole" as explained via FRACTIONS.   
07-07-02 I have not written in this journal for a while since I was working on my "Parent Nuggets" and "Signs of Autism" file and reference materials, etc. for parents... more time savers for my readers .... and I've been enjoying life in general.   Zachary is talking more and more in sentences...still a lot of use of short command phrases, but the sentences are coming along.   Last night, he had a hard time sleeping and came into the office and said:  "Mommy, I can't sleep".   Of course, as soon as he went to "mommy's bed", he fell asleep right away.   A few days ago, I gave him rice ice cream with a cfgf cone.   The cone was cracking on the bottom.   I showed him that and told him to be careful.   As he walked away with the ice cream he said:  "Thank you for the broken ice cream cone."  That's his longest sentence ever I think... 8 words!   I find the "sentences" are there... he just chooses to let me know on his own time that he can speak this well.  We also discovered "water balloons" yesterday.   That was great fun for him.    I have found, however, that there is more regression in some areas... seems to want to spin more lately and such... and there has been diarrhea lately too.  I don't know if it's from swallowing water from lake MI or if it is more yeast die off.   My gut tells me yeast die off but, not 100% sure.   I gave Zachary some dreaded raisins (used to go into major fits within 2 hours) along with some No Fenol... he was fine.  :o)   So that was really good.  I also introduced soy cheese... that could be the source of his recent problems too... I believe a lot of kids don't take well to soy, so I'm going to remove that for a while and see.   Overall though, Zachary really enjoys interacting with people a lot more.   His use of pronouns is excellent.   He can read better and better each day... his reading really flows well...so, I'm thrilled about that.   This month, I'm going to stop the TMG and extra Folic Acid.  He gets enough Folic Acid from his multivitamin (just a regular gfcf chewable... no longer on mega vitamin doses).   I encourage all parents to read the "Parent Nuggets" file on my site... you will learn a ton of stuff there... summary of parent discussions on many many topics... kind of helps put a  lot of pieces of the puzzle together.  :o)  The only new thing I've done is I started to put cod liver oil on his skin at night when he goes to bed... so that he can get that much needed vitamin A absorbed through the skin.    Finally, most people now say that unless I told them Zachary was autistic, they would not know it... I know many people still can't even recognize autism... but, at least now I am seeing most people seeing him as a "regular kid"... if they are around him very long, then, they could pick up on some of the tendencies, but, to most strangers, he looks normal.  I'm one of those "really hard to convince myself" persons... and I know a lot of that is simply because they don't KNOW how to recognize autism... so, I take some of these comments with a grain of salt... I know Zachary is still a ways from being "normal", but, he has come such a long long long way!
04-26-02 Zachary had a major breakthrough today as far as breaking order is concerned...I finally figured out the key to the train puzzle!   Please read this link to learn more! http://autismhelpforyou.com/UsingPuzzlesInNonsenseWay.htm.  This is so very very exciting for me!  This link is under the "Simple Exercises I Do At Home" link on my web site.  There is a lot more there for parents who want to try some of these things.   A major major breakthrough for teaching Zachary!  Zachary has now been on enzymes for about a month...doing absolutely wonderfully on them.   I've been reading a lot on chelation (removal of heavy metals) and am thinking I'll probably end up doing that too...but, still need to learn much more on that before I try it!  I encourage all parents to read about Chelation on mercury and autism message board... you'll learn a ton of stuff.   Both this and the enzyme board are excellent!   I am starting to believe that yeast will always be an issue to keep under control until chelation is done...seems that until heavy metals are removed, yeast will keep popping up over and over again.   There are risks to chelation (in terms of liver, kidneys, etc.) so, I want to make sure I am very very informed before I undertake this.  I may not do it for a year or so...want to see how much progress I get with enzymes first.  But, chelation is definitely on my "radar" screen!  For more info on chelation, or to hear what parents are saying, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Autism-Mercury/.  The moderator of this board, Andy Cutler, has several files parents can read on line that provide excellent information on chelation and protocols for doing it.
04-04-02 I will be putting Zachary on enzymes to break down phenols.. new product from Houston Nutraceuticals (http://www.houstonni.com/.).   Zachary's disposition is so much better since he is on enzymes.   A happier child overall with much much better eye contact.  Motor coordination also improving greatly.   I bought him a bike today...within 2 hours he was riding like a pro...except for "brakes" ... LOL.
03-10-02 Zachary has been on enzymes about 3 weeks now.   His eye contact is NOTICEABLY much better and his disposition is also better...much happier child.   I also find his skin color to be better than it has ever been.  Still continues to amaze me with spelling...almost any word I write, he can figure out.   He has also grasped a lot of math concepts a lot more as far as computer based learning.   Things he used to have a really hard time doing, he can now do just fine...like counting out the appropriate number of pellets to feed fish in the Early Math program I have.   He used to always want to take them "ALL OUT" (the all or nothing thing)...now, he can take out the right amount, and so, when that happens, the fish open their mouth and can be fed.   I find he is not always "all or nothing" anymore...getting to be much more flexible.   He still has his days/times with that...but, overall, doing much better.
03-03-02 Read on enzymes and autism thread that probiotics (i.e., acidophilus) should not be given at same time as enzymes...just wanted to mention that.   Suggested that enzymes be given before the meal...probiotics after.  Also mentioned that fluoridated water can also negate enzyme effectiveness, as can chlorine (swimming pool - water absorbed through the skin).
03-01-02 Today, Zachary took a pencil, scratched out the letters V-A-W-L-T on a paper and then said: "violet".   That is the first "word" he has ever tried to write out without any prompting from me...he can easily write the easy ones...cat, dog, hat, mouse, etc....this was the biggest one yet, and it was totally on his own.  :o)   I also gave him grapefruit seed extract (GFSE) liquid for the first time yesterday...2 drops in a cup of diluted juice.   He took it fine.   GFSE is supposed to be a great natural yeast inhibitor....tastes terrible though, so you have to mask it in juice or something else.  He will get 2-3 drops twice a day.   It cost me $11.00 for a 2 oz bottle...should last a while though.   If you/child has a heart condition, you/child should NOT take GSE without first checking with your doctor.
02-17-02 Got my first "I love you, mom" today.  Golden!  I've waited a long time for that one.  I put Zachary on digestive enzymes after reading quite a bit of information from the yahoo groups called: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/enzymesandautism/    A lot of parents say their children can eat more normal diets with help of these enzymes.   I am going to try them for several months (5 or 6) and then try to reintroduce certain foods with casein and gluten.   I encourage all parents to read/join this thread.   A lot of good info.  A lot of parents say eye contact is one of first things they see improvement in once their children are on enzymes.   Zachary has been taking some for just over a week (I'm starting him very, very slowly though) and I do also notice better eye contact now. :o)   I use enzymes from company called Houston Nutraceuticals (http://www.houstonni.com/.).  Zachary is on Peptizyde and HN-Zyme Prime (I try to give 1/3 of each capsule 2 or 3 times a day...just to "build up" for now).
02-08-02 Zachary figured out how to pour himself a cup of rice milk today...to my surprise.   I had seen him look in the refrigerator before, but never thought he'd get to the top shelf and "help himself".   How funny!  I'm also noticing less "all or none behavior" in certain things.   When he "colors" pictures on the computer for example...in the past, the entire picture had to be ONE color...now, he uses multiple colors.  So, that's good!   He has also discovered how much fun it is to throw snowballs at family members and I've shown him how to wave goodbye - a new favorite thing to do!   :o)  I noticed he had a "goose bump like" rash...found a web site on skin rashes and added it to my web site...seems to be due to low zinc or vitamin A.   I only recently started to give him zinc and only sporadically.   I'll be doing that more regularly and check vitamin A too.
02-05-02 Yesterday, for the first time, Zachary actually seemed to understand the concept of asking for help.  He needed help with a computer game, and this time, he actually yelled for help instead of just saying it "quietly".   So, now, I just need to make sure he knows to yell when faced with danger too.   Also, I have been using play dough a lot lately.   At first, Zachary always wants all of it in one big pile.   Breaking order means showing him that it "doesn't all have to be together"... that it's ok to have it in a bunch of different areas.   Yesterday, as he played with his play dough, he had it "all in one pile"...as I walked away from the kitchen, I said: "make mommy a snowman"...to my utter surprise, when I returned to the kitchen, there was a snowman (with about 8 snowballs stacked one on top of the other).   The good thing though was that there were a bunch of clumps of play dough all about the table too...he had not used 90% of the play dough...he had simply "left it"....I was thrilled!
01-17-02 Today, while working with "wooden blocks" that were stacked in a "disorderly" fashion, Zachary said the words "smoke stack" as he looked at them.   He is actually starting to associate things with "real world" objects... even when those things (i.e., blocks) are "not perfectly ordered".   I'd say that's progress because he is slowly beginning to accept "non perfect order" as he learns to associate it to something in real life.  The whole exercise is still stressful for him, but, I still do see these utterances as very positive!  Perhaps "labeling" funny stacks as "smoke stacks" or something else on my part will better help him deal with the "unusual".  I still find Zachary wants to spin more than he used to though... I know these exercises are hard on him and he is constantly looking for that "order fix".... making these "meaningful task order fixes" will be key, but difficult!
01-13-02 As I work on "breaking order", Zachary's need for spinning seems to be increasing.  I know he wants his "order fix" and as I suspected, this will be my biggest challenge as I work with him.   Also, when he feels we are "bothering him", he now says, "go away" or "leave me alone".    I know he is making progress.   I see him less frustrated with "Easter egg" and "wooden block" exercises geared to "breaking order".  He had a long bath tonight and played a lot with Anika.   When I put him to bed, I closed the door.   I heard him trying to open it.   When I put him back to bed, he said, "it's a mommy"... I said, "yes, it's mommy, now you go back to bed".   He stated:  "open the door".   I told him I'd leave it open if he stayed in bed.   On my way back to my bedroom, I hear him say: "Thannnnnk you".  I reply, "you're welcome" as I smile and go to bed myself.   He went to sleep.

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