Katie Verdecchia's Journal
Written Jun 24, 2013 11:37am
Katie is doing great. She is seizure free on one medication (Keppra). Katie was diagnosed with Autism in July (a diagnosis we sought) and it helped get us more ABA, which has been beneficial. Katie is energetic and active, but well behaved for her cognitive level.
o Turning lights on and off entering and leaving a room
o opening doors and items that have a safety feature on them
o choosing what she wants to wear when given an option
o Flying through IPAD. She can now navigate the different windows of the IPAD and can choose her own videos to watch (of which she has several to choose from now)
o mimicking motions for songs like things like wheels on the bus and twinkle twinkle.
o waving goodbye (but this is still difficult for her)
o Katie is doing fantastic on her communication device and using it to communicate. She can pick up people and items very quickly once shown. She asks for TV shows, different foods, and we are working on difference between need and want.
- asking to go to sleep at night
- picking up new people (like her ABA therapist- had with two times shown)
- asking for different foods, drinks, TV shows
- manners such as saying hello, how are you, thank you, and goodbye (she had please down right away) she mostly does these when prompted, but still, she knows where and how to ask.
- ‘Yes’ No, although she understands yes more than No. (We don’t use that word much- usually stop, or don’t do that’)
o bringing the talker with her from room to room (realizing it is her voice)
o understanding patterning
o playing better with others, not quite grasped sharing yet, but she is watching kids and better about waiting and turn taking. slowly she is choosing activities that are intended for multiple children than solo activities. So slowly she is tolerating her peers in her environment and slowly starting to interact with the,
o will color/draw lines when asked and not eating the crayons anymore
o sitting to watch entire TV episodes, and sometimes another w/o getting up to find another activity
o asking for help on talker or her sign language when she needs our help
Physically- Katie is can walk/run and loved to jump on her trampoline. Her agility and dexterity are better, but she still has left side weakness and falls sometimes She goes up and down stairs without holding the handrail and sometimes holding objects. She can unzip her jacket and use her left hand to stabilize something to open a zipper to get something inside she wants. She is in the undress stage- taking off her clothes to include pants, shirt and diapers (if she does not have a onesie on backwards). She can get in and out of her own bed
So hard to believe she starts Kindergarten next year!I have taken lots of viedo to show you all the great things she is doing now. One thing I need to get is the 'Head, shoulders, knees, and toes song" Katie knows all these body parts now :)The videos of her picking letters was last November (yes I am late) the other viedos in last two months.Still no seizures on meds!
Katie- Valentine's Day!
Written Feb 14, 2013 4:12pmA friend, Alan Burger reached out to us, and reminded me how long it has been since I have updated Katie's page.This winter we have been fighting illnesses with Katie back to back it seems for 2-3 week stretches to include a viral rash. She is doing much better now. The good news is she is growing and developing.I lost my job on December 13, 2012 and Katie lost ABA for awhile. We were able to finally get that started up again last Thursday with basic ABA services with a BCBA. The new insurance guidelines since I lost "ECHO" meant that I must have the actual BCBA doing her services. We finally found her though and she (Shawn) is wonderful! after 4 visits Katie loves her, which is so nice.Katie loves her new IPAD as well. she is enjoying the sound and turns it up at full blast each time she gets it. We turn it down, she turns it up. We can tell she missed the sound. She also I am sure is happy it doesn't freeze up anymore. We still ahve the old broken one. Does anyone have any recommendations for non-profits that except IPADs that need repair?Things Katie is doing now:o Turning lights on and off entering and leaving a roomo opening doors and items that have a safety feature on themo choosing what she wants to wear when given an optiono Flying through IPAD. She can now navigate the different windows of the IPAD and can choose her own videos to watch (of which she has several to choose from now)o NOT chewing on her glasses anymoreo mimicking motions for songs like things like wheels on the bus and twinkle twinkle.o waving goodbye (but this is still difficult for her)o Talker advancementso asking to go to sleep at nighto picking up new people (like her ABA therapist- had with two times shown)o asking for different foods, drinks, TV showso manners such as saying hello, how are you, thank you, and goodbye (she had please down right away) she mostly does these when prompted, but still, she knows where and how to ask.o bringing the talker with her from room to room (realizing it is her voice)o understanding patterningo playing better with others, not quite grasped sharing yet, but she is watching kids and better about waiting and turntaking. slowly she is choosing activities that are intended for multiple children than solo activities. So slowly she is tolerating her peers in her environment and slowly starting to interact with the,o will color/draw lines when asked and not eating the crayons anymoreo sitting to watch entire TV episodes, and sometimes another w/o getting up to find another activityo asking for help on talker or her sign language when she needs our helpPhysical:o Going up and down stairs without holding the handrail and sometimes holding objectso unzipping her jacketo taking off her clothes to include pants, shirt and diapers (if she does not have a onesie on backwards)o jumping very well. working the trampoline has given her great strength and balance in her left lego getting in and out of her own bedo starting to use her left hand to stabilize something to open a zipper to get something inside she wantsand so much more! I am sure I am forgetting some stuff!Happy Valentine's Day all from Katie!
New IPAD and new Skills
Written Nov 16, 2012 8:51am
Thanks to generous donations for friends and family, we were able to get Katie a new IPAD and case. This is a great early Christmas for her as I search for a new job. I wanted more video of her getting IPAD, but she was so excited to have it it, the video was blurry and bouncy. I cannot even tell you how touched and humbled I was at everyone's help to get this for her. Thank you.
Her progress report:
Katie has come so far! Katie uses a Vantage for communicating her wants and needs. She received this device in April 2012 and has quickly learned how to use it and is making progress communicating her wants and needs with others. She has made great gains in this area and she is able to follow 1-3 step routine directions. She enjoys singing and is beginning to imitate the hand movements (like asking for help- which is not the exact sign- but close- you will see it in a couple videos her shaking her hand up and down). With highly motivating activities she will look towards the person if they pause. We would like her to work on expanding her communication, gaining a person’s attention, increasing her joint attention, decrease her running, consistently use a fork and spoon (she is horrible about this!), following directions, and playing with others – sharing/turn taking.
Cooperation and Reinforcer Effectiveness
Katie will readily respond to a reinforcement offered to her. She will look towards other for social reinforcement such as “Yahoo” and “Yeah.” Katie has increased her time on task, on most days she can work up to 15 minutes before she needs to have a motivator. She enjoys cause and effect toys such as musical/ light up toys, interactive books, and interactive applications on the iPad. For highly motivating activities like - tickles, singing songs (twinkle twinkle little star, wheels on the bus) she will look towards the person if they pause and sometimes touch their hands to continue the activity. She is not yet looking towards the instructor for instruction.
Katie enjoys completing puzzles on her iPad. She can do simple single piece puzzles. She is able to do a variety of matching skills such as matching objects and pictures. She is able to copy an AB pattern and is sorting non-identical items. She is not yet sorting by category or matching associated pictures.
Katie can follow familiar 1-3 step routine instructions. She is beginning to bring items to people when asked - especially if it is something motivating. She is beginning to get her Vantage when she wants to request or tell someone something (this is huge to us!). She is selecting one of two objects when offered to her. Katie is using her Vantage to request items. She needs some reminder to use “I want” and is starting to use a person’s name to gain their attention. She is able to request highly desired items (swing, playdoh) without the item in sight. She is able to request without prompting highly desired items that are placed in front of her. She is asking others to perform the actions up, open and is beginning to request others to remove or stop an activity - all done, let’s go, move (for moving hand on an item) , tickles. She is able to label over 20 favored and common items and pictures - book, trampoline, swing, doll, blocks, etc. She is beginning to label familiar people - dad, mom, Uncle Michael. She is not yet labeling actions or using a carrier phrase. She enjoys looking and labeling pictures that she sees in books and picture cards.(as seen in video) Katie uses her Vantage to communicate. She is able to produce a 2-4 words sentence when requesting. “I want puzzle please” or “[name] I want crackers please.”
Katie is starting to imitate!! She will roll a car, bang on a drum, feed the baby, give the baby a drink, and is expanding on these skills. She is also starting to discriminate using the objects ex when asked to feed the baby - she will take the correct item. Katie enjoys singing songs (Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Wheels on the bus, and Itsy bitsy spider)and is beginning to imitate the hand movements (opening and closing her hand, arms up and down, touching eyes for baby crying, tapping right hand on left fist for beeping horn, etc) - she is even trying to use her other hand. She also touches each of her fingers and opens and closes her hands - especially when playing back and forth with dad. She is beginning to make fishy faces. She can also 'clap' (need to get this on video but she pats her left hand with right)
Katie shows interest in her peers and is beginning to have brief interactions with them with help from an adult. Recently she has begun to show interest and approach peers. Example at G6 – a jumping/trampoline place, she will go towards other peers her age and wants to jump next to them and/or watches them. She is beginning to say hi to others when prompted. She will take motivating items offered to her from a familiar peer or adult. She will bring an item to a person, take them to the item that she wants, or use her Vantage. She will look for a person if they leave with a highly desired item – iPad, playdoh. She is not yet approaching or engaging with peers if they do not have a motivating item/activity or imitating her peers, although with a familiar adult in a small setting she will imitate familiar hand movements for songs. With a familiar adult she will take turns with games – rolling the ball back and forth, playing connect 4 – by taking turns putting the checkers in.
Katie is interested in letters and books. She is beginning to work on matching the word to a picture. She will use her Vantage to read familiar words from books with an adult. She is able to pick out the correct letter from the alphabet cards when asked “give me X.” (Seen on video). Katie is able to match letters and fill in 3-8 letter familiar words on her iPad application. She is showing an interest in words and we will be expanding on this. She is not doing other spelling activities.
Katie is able to rote count with her Vantage. She has an interest in numbers and can match them. She will point to items while we are counting. We have just started having her use her Vantage while counting to tell us how many. She is not yet able to count objects, sequence numbers, or match number to objects.
Katie is able to take off her socks and shoes. She is beginning to help take her shirt off. During toileting she will help push down and pull up her pants. When asked to get her shoes she is trying to get her foot into the shoe. She will also help with the straps on her brace. She will help unzip a zipper that has been started for her. She is not able to fasten or unfasten buttons or snaps. These are difficult tasks because of her mobility on her left side.
Videos and pics are still uploading- may take an hour to upload them all (7am Pacific Time)