Week 1 Progress

I am still in utter disbelief as to how much Raiyan has improved after just one week of having his ABA therapy. He also had his proper assessment done last Thursday with the child psychologist from Australia and Jeff and I learnt SO MUCH after watching the 2 hour assessment session as how to best deal with Raiyan and his unique character.

I have really worked hard in trying to do everything the child psychologist and his therapists have asked me to do and let me tell you, it is worth all the effort because what I’m seeing now in Raiyan is literally short of a miracle.

To be clear, in terms of his speech, it is still going along well but nothing spectacular has happened so I accept that that side of things will probably take its own sweet time. The improvement I am witnessing is the decrease in his autistic tendencies to have rituals and reluctance to new things. For instance, with his refusal to try new foods, armed with the child psychologist’s suggestion to use the only food he will eat as reinforcement for attempting food he will not eat (which is kinda like bribery..), I have successfully managed to make him try 6 new types of food in the last 4 days! These are foods that he has never eaten in his life! Admittedly, the first day was a complete nightmare as I think it took almost 2 hours of screaming and rolling on the floor before he voluntarily but tremblingly opened his mouth to get a taste of his grandma’s yummy chocolate orange cake! But the second day, the resistance was less and by the third day he would say “try a bit” and would easily open his mouth and try the food! Admittedly, this method that I have used may contradict typical parenting advice to not bribe your children when it comes to food as this may lead them to have unhealthy eating habits in the future, but I guess I am willing to take the risk of having a yo-yo dieter son if it means that he can eat like a normal person.

The biggest lesson of all “rupanya” is to act like you don’t care any time he has his tantrums. I wished I had known this earlier because it would have in the past, saved me so much energy trying to negotiate or reason with Raiyan to try and put a stop to his tantrums. And that doesn’t even count the times that we would just give in to his wants because we just could not his handle his screaming and crying. I don’t know why it never occurred to us before but the child psychologist explained that his tantrums is really a cry for attention and an easy way to get what he wants and every time we give in or give him attention because of it, the more he thinks he will succeed every time he does it. So since Friday, I have been practising my serious “poker” face and ignoring him each time he’s been acting like a diva on acid and lo and behold, I can honestly and proudly say that he has not thrown a tantrum in the last 2 days!

So in brief, here is a progress report of Raiyan’s achievements in the last week. I am still so amazed just listing these all out:
  1. He has mastered yes and no questions;
  2. When he can’t do something or something frustrates him, he asks “please help me” (instead of just screaming non stop until he gets what he wants);
  3. His eye contact is very good when he is singing nursery rhymes for me because he wants to see the satisfaction in me seeing him do something good;
  4. He has only asked for his animals stuff three times since I have packed them away. Today, I used his animal song book DVD as a reinforcement item and he agreed to switch it off after 10 minutes with no drama at all;
  5. He has been eating at the dinner table for all 3 meals of the day for one straight week now;
  6. Last night he left his slippers at his grandparents’ house so when he was supposed to wear it today to school, he didn’t cry when he found out he had to wear another pair of shoes (change of routine!)
  7. He stopped eating tomato ketchup with his food;
  8. He stopped drinking his milk from a bottle before he sleeps and now drinks it from a glass with a straw.

WOW! Syukur Alhamdulillah.. but seriously I never expected him to change for the better at this speed. At this rate, I really do believe in my heart that we can rid of a lot of his autistic tendencies including improving his communication and social skills. I do also accept that it is a LOT of hard work not only on the therapists’ part but also on Jeff’s and my part. But with what I have seen in the past week, the consistent dedication is really worth all the effort.


PURPOSE:Hoping for more understanding and less judgment from all.

 To show the importances of early intervention and an evidence based treatment to help reach the full potential of the child.

 Offering other parents hope to have faith in the positive progress of their child.

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