Last December, 2010 (Nathan’s age 5), Nathan started drinking anti-convulsion medication after abnormal brain waves were monitored through an EEG (Electroencophalogram).
Since then, I immediately noticed he stopped crying at night and his speech came back again. He started to describe things around him again. He also became less aggressive. He stopped biting his sibling.
Recently, he’s been showing some temper like biting himself. But I’m not too worried about it. I believe it will get better.
Nathan’s blood levels of his medication is not optimal. He will now increase dose from 350mg/day to 400mg/day.
I believe that for Nathan’s case this medication will play a role in increasing his attention and thus social skills.
The first session with Tita Lisa was a getting-to-know-you, free-flowing session. Nathan threw a short tantrum but we believe the following adjustments may help:
1. We will use the distraction-free lobby instead of Tita Lisa’s living room filled with exciting DVDs. Nathan asked to watch a DVD. Since he didn’t get what he usually watches at home, he started crying.
2. Mother will step out of the room. I guess with Mom around, it’s easier to act out.
3. We will start with a 30minute session and be strict about the time. Maybe Nathan’s attention span can’t handle the whole hour.
4. We will start at 4:30pm giving Nathan a little more rest from school. Wednesday (Tita Lisa’s day) is hiking day at Nathan’s school.
Today Nathan had another biting tantrum. I am reminded of how his tantrums used to be like. Before, I was always puzzled at what tiny things might have caused Nathan’s frequent tantrums (crying, not necessarily with biting). A lot of times Nathan could cry for up to 30mins. When traveling, he can even cry for 4 straight hours. Many times I couldn’t figure out why he cried and it was easy to give up on soothing him. How could I help my child if I didn’t know what was making him cry? At a certain point, I gave up all together…Nathan is autistic…he cries for no reason. I guess that attitude made things worse. Sure enough, Nathan’s tantrum progressed in frequency, length and intensity. Later on he learned to bite me or himself as a result of his mounting frustration.
Today, as I start on Nathan’s Son-Rise journey, I have decided that Nathan’s tantrums, whether or not I know the cause, can easily be stopped. Today, I wanted Nathan to leave Tita Lisa’s house happy and not have to pull him out because he had a tantrum. It must have taken me only 5 minutes to help him stop.
As I reflect on all this, I realize the power of believing.
Only 6 months ago, my husband always had to take Nathan out of church for almost the whole mass simply because Nathan had I-don’t-want-to-stay-and-wait tantrums. Recently, I keep Nathan at the back, rock him a little to sooth his temper. Then towards the end of mass we even manage to sit in front so Nathan can enjoy the choir.
It does not seem much from day to day but in time big improvements come. Just believe they will.
Nathan had 2 sessions with Tito Mart even before formally starting Son-Rise techniques. He enjoyed the first session as they baked and ATE cookies.
The second time around, he was excited as I told him we were going to Tito Mart’s house. As soon as we entered the door, he asked for cookies.
We practiced some speech therapy skills and he responded very well.
Last August, Tito Edwin volunteered to take Nathan out to Marine Park. Honestly, I was worried about how Nathan would do. But he came back with all smiles and Tito Edwin told us about all the walking and talking he had been doing.
We had our first official Son-Rise meeting today with volunteers Tin, Lisa, Dan and Mart. We discussed our expectations and logistics on how to start the program.
I feel excited that people would like to volunteer their time for Nathan. If I can already feel the love that people are willing to give my Nathan, I’m sure he will and that will create the foundation of his growth.