Welcome home Emma! We applied a few months ago for a therapy dog for Kailash and there's a 3 year wait! More and more we are noticing how important early intervention is with children on the spectrum but there seems to be many obstacles and delays in the way.
So instead of waiting to try this type of therapy (we are trying so many), we decided we would buy a labradoodle puppy and train her ourselves. We were fortunate to buy her from a family who breads them for autisic children, as they have one themselves and so far it has been fantastic. We have started training with 2 trainers. It's challenging but so rewarding.
Some of the heartmelting moments we have experienced -
Kailash is making more sounds, we are encouraging him to call 'Emma' and say 'sit, good girl, stroke, play, come, down, eat,' etc. Whilst Kailash doesn't say anything but 'naaa' in demonstrating these things over and over, fingers crossed more sounds and possibility words will come.
Kailash is interacting more and more. It's incredible, he really struggles to interact and never initiates it. Emma is pulling him out of his shell and teaching him to engage.
He's aggression has lessened. Seeing Kailash's frustration build to aggression has been a real challenge for me. I am vigilante about Kailash never seeing anger, fights, raised voices or aggression in any form, so when I saw it in him I was heartbroken. He would bite, push, pull, throw, pinch, bang and thrash things and people. So much so we had to keep him separated 24/7 from Maya. We had OT's and child psychologists giving us strategies that worked for a day then stopped. I was so frazzled at one stage I said to a specialist - 'does Maya have to be in hospital from being hurt before this will be taken seriously?' We videoed the behavior to send it off to professionals for help and managed the best we could. When Emma first arrived it was hectic. I thought that the aggression could worsen as I saw Kailash was matching Emma's energy with violence. Doubt swept over me but we continued persisting. Then something transformational happened ... first there was no biting, then no pinching, then no thrashing and banging ceased. The pushing and pulling has been minimal and manageable. We are amazed and in awe of Emma.
Kailash's face lights up when he sees Emma wanting to play with him! Because he doesn't talk, often children don't interact so Kailash spends lots of time with children but alone. Emma runs to him and plays, this is giving Kailash confidence, love and security, it fills our heart.
Personal space. Emma is all over Kailash. This has taught Kailash it is ok and safe to have people touch him. Maya has been having some baths with him and when she touches him, he no longer has meltdowns. The same thing has happened in shops, if someone brushes past him it's no longer a catastrophe.
Distraction. When Kailash is overwhelmed by sensory overload Emma calms him and acts as a big distraction reducing the length and stress on Kailash and all around him.
It is amazing that in the 3 weeks we have had Emma, who is now 12 weeks old, has made a life changing difference. Thank you for giving me the space to share this journey with you. Fury children bring so much love.