We are finally back to normal in our house. Or at least as close to it as we get. Yesterday I actually even set up the video camera and attempted some structured activities with Oliver. I had to re-think how I was approaching our current objective a bit and felt pretty good about the outcome. Of course Oliver objected the whole way through our three, two-minute activities, but at least he did them and was successful. And I was much better at realizing that extending an activity, just because I'm sure it will go better the next time, isn't always a good idea. In fact, it usually isn't. Besides, the more I think about this objective (coordinating actions) the easier it is to work it into everyday activities so there is always another chance to practice just around the corner. It takes a lot of pressure off so that I don't feel like we always have to get it right each time we try something.
We've been seeing some interesting developments lately with Oliver. First, his receptive language ability is skyrocketing. Hand-in-hand with that is his growing ability to respond more quickly and his ability to respond to cues in his environment without verbal prompting. Getting Oliver dressed used to be quite an ordeal. Nine months ago if I had to change three articles of clothing I would have had to chase him down the hall four times before finishing. Six months ago I no longer had to chase him but I still pretty much had to keep him focused on the task at hand and also had to help him with each article to be changed. A couple of weeks ago I started just handing him the clothes that needed to be changed or put on, telling him that it was time to change his clothes and then waiting for him to do it while giving minimal support. Yesterday I just layed out his clothes for the day and walked away and he had started the task before I even left the room! And the same goes with his shoes. "Oliver, let's go outside. Here are your shoes," I'll say. And on go the shoes. Of course it isn't every time and it isn't always so easy but you can't imagine what a difference it makes! I know this sounds incredible to some people but a year ago I couldn't imagine a time when Oliver would be able to get dressed by himself. And now we are almost there. It makes me feel like anything is possible! And I guess it is, really.