Speech Therapy Update – 6 months

I have been writing about random things regarding Guto trying to get a picture of what his behavior is on different situations in an attempt to show how different he really is from a typical child. I have never been around any autistic person so I am trying to give everyone an idea of what it is for us, as you may not have anybody close to you in the spectrum either. Since we have started therapy 6 months ago, I think it is time for a more medical type post.

Guto started speech therapy in mid april of 2016, he was getting 60 minutes a week of therapy. Not long after he started, in mid June we went to Brazil so he was out of therapy for a month. A couple of weeks after we got back from our trip he started going to therapy for 90 minutes and got a new therapist since his initial therapist was out on maternity leave.

After only 6 months I can definitely see a gigantic progress on Guto’s communication skills. When we started therapy he had less than 5 words in his vocabulary and now here is the list of words he is saying, though some words his pronunciation is not 100%, but you can definitely understand what he is saying.

– he can count to 10 (in Portuguese and English)
– he says the colors blue, yellow, orange, black, pink and green
– he sings the ABC’s
– Mickey Mouse – Miska, Muska, Mickey Mouse 🙂
– Goofy
– Agua (water in Portuguese)
– Mais (more in Portuguese)
– Acabou (all gone in Portuguese)
– Ball and Bola
– Macarrao (pasta)
– Vovo (grandma in Portuguese)
– Thank you
– Okay
– Sapato (shoes in Portuguese)
– Tomate
– And his latest word was Mamae (mommy in Portuguese). I almost had a heart attack when he said it for the first time! <3 In therapy he is combining two words like blue ball. He is making some sounds like tchu tchu when playing with a train, or bi bi with a car. He is imitating a lot more and "singing" some songs. He is the cutest thing singing twinkle twinkle little star and he loves the Jacarelvis DVD. His eye contact is getting better with other people, I never had any issues, I never noticed poor eye contact since he always had good eye contact with me. He answers to his name (Gustavo and Guto) almost half of the time! He has been more aware of his needs. This is a big deal since he would never show signs of thirst or hunger and that really scared me as he would go hours without eating or drinking unless we offered him something. Now he will take us to the kitchen and show us what he wants to eat and say water when he wants something to drink. Everyone is very pleased with his progress so far, I am so thankful for his therapist, she has been awesome. I know a lot of people are against the use of electronics for long periods of time, but I do believe a lot of Guto's progress were also made through the videos he watches on his ipad or the TV show he likes. No doubt he spends more than 30 minutes a day (what is recommended for his age) on those kinds of activities. To me all of these small steps are amazing and every time he says a new word or does something he was not doing before is a big celebration. I can't wait to see the changes he will have in the next 6 months.