So I don't have much to say, but fancied writing about the day-to-day stuff.
We've had a few small breakthroughs in the last couple of weeks- first off, River has been looking at books! I was starting to think he'd never want to look at books but then out of the blue he brought one over to me & wanted me to hold it whilst he turned the pages. He wasn't interested in me reading it, but it's still a big deal to us! He's also starting to remember/understand a few more words. This weekend, I said,"River-raspberry? Raspberry?" and he leaned into me for me to blow a raspberry on his neck! All the constant repetition is paying off. Also, when we sing & sign "The Wheels on the Bus" (we do this twice a day, before naptime & bedtime) and sing "the wipers on the bus go..." "the doors on the bus go...." etc, he will move our hands so that we do the correct signing, which is great!
The things that aren't so good- the one sound that River had been making was, "baaa baaa baaa" during Old MacDonald. He had been doing this for about two weeks, but hasn't done it for maybe a month/six weeks now. Losing or regressing in speech is not a good sign. Also, whenever anyone comes into the house-whether it be a stranger or a familiar friend- River cries and runs to the conservatory door & takes ages to calm down. He also gets very, very upset if another toddler plays with certain toys or makes certain noises.
He's also showing more ritualistic behaviour- he likes to 'gather' similar objects, so he will unstack his stacking boxes and move them one by one onto the armchair, then throw them off again, then get three matching tupperware lids & spin them repeatedly, then 'gather' them onto the armchair. He still refuses to sit at the table or keep any food in a bowl/plate- if he's at the table, he goes crazy as he needs to 'examine' the food on his armchair. If I put a bowl/plate of food ie toast, raisins etc on the living room floor, the food is instantly emptied out, the bowl is spun on the floor, & food is scooped up and he runs with it to the armchair, where he gathers it into a pile & then eats it.
A bit about the armchair- we've nicknamed it River's Examining Chair, as everything- new toys, food, everything- gets taken to the armchair to be inspected and examined. We try to discourage people from sitting on this armchair, as a)it's River's safe space, and b)It's constantly covered in crushed breadsticks, toast crumbs, and the odd raisin. Gross.
I've also been researching the link between food & autism- there are lots of success stories online about the GF/CF Diet (Gluten Free & Casein Free.) Apparently people with autism are effected by these food groups, & there are many people who claim that after cutting out pasta, oats, bread, wheat cereal, milk, butter, cheese, whey, lactose etc- that suddenly their child could talk for the first time, stopped stimming (flapping arms) pointed, waved. So part of me thinks- if there's a chance of it helping River, shouldn't I give it a go??
But there are others who say it's had no effect. The NAS website says that research shows the most effective cases are the ones where the children have problems with their bowels (it's very common for children with autism to have regular constipation or diarrhoea) which isn't something River has ever suffered with badly.
That's about it for now.