Are you a good candidate for AIT
History of AIT
How AIT works
About Terrie Silverman
Preparations for AIT
For more information, please contact:
Terrie Silverman, Training & Consultation
524 E. Jefferson Street
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
Thanks for writing and checking up on J. and C. We have noticed some increased ability to focus for J and his ability to tune in to his sister and friends seems increased as well. Remember on the first day of AIT when C covered her ears because the dog next door was barking? C has not needed to cover her ears for any loud sounds since AIT. J just started Kindergarten and is doing very well, I feel the AIT has helped. Thank you for fitting him in and allowing C to sit in and listen as well.
T has had a great response to AIT. We noticed a big improvement with his expressive language. He is commenting on everything and he frequently starts up a conversation with his sister. Grandparents, aunts, and therapists have also commented on his improvement. We feel that AIT was great therapy for him.
At first, his behavior got worse: not paying attention, fits and tantrums, just like you said, but now he's been real good. Here are some of the things we've seen: 1) I took B. to a movie (Ice Age) last week. This was the first movie that he sat through without walking out in the middle (though during the Star Wars trailer he put his hands over his ears; it really was loud). Afterwards, he said he wanted to see it again, and is looking foward to seeing the "Hey Arnold" movie, which comes out in a few months. 2) We took him to a restaurant which was noisy (music, kids, etc) and he sat quietly and calmly and ate his lunch. He didn't go under the table, or play with the pepper and salt shakers as he has done in the past. 3) He has been real good in his Tae Kwon Doe class: he follows instructions, waits patiently for his turn etc
Now, we do have personal experience that AIT did have some benefit to L. Her post AIT audiogram shows many changes L isn't plugging her ears as much as before, and can watch a show at the movie theater without much discomfort. She definitely still has fears, probably from years of pain, to sounds and her environment. Her language is still unorganized and scrambled.
Her speech reception is excellent at this point.
Hope the rest of your travels went well! I wanted to give you an update on some things we have noticed with K. First, he is sleeping through the night consistently!! We are thrilled. Also, he went for a tractor ride with my Dad on day 9 of AIT. Normally he is terrified of the noise from the tractor & hides inside as soon as he sees it.
He told me "it doesn't make my ears feel like they are going to explode like it used to." A few days ago we were skipping through a parking lot and heard an airplane. K's typical response to the noise of an airplane is to stop whatever he is doing, cover his ears, and scream "what's that noise??" This time he kept right on skipping, pointed up and said "cool Mom, an airplane." It didn't phase him at all. And yesterday he went swimming with my husband. He has always been terrified of the water and won't venture off the steps in the swimming pool. He floated on his stomach while my husband supported him with his hands & K paddled his arms & kicked his feet....what a big step for him! He also went under water, which he has NEVER done before.
I've noticed little changes too...he appears to be listening better, or I should say complying better. When I ask him to get dressed, brush his teeth & put his pajamas in the hamper (like I do every morning) he does all three now. No asking him 2, 3, 4 times & he is not complaining/whining at all - just doing it. He just seems calmer & better able to listen/focus. Thank you so much for all you have done. I am so proud of him & his growth & so glad I got in touch with you. Keep doing what you're doing!
September 30, 2002
K loves school!! What a great thing to be able to write. His teacher flagged me down in the hall last week & asked if I could come in one morning to talk with her. My heart sank & I thought "here we go again." She must have seen the panicked look on my face, because she said "no, it's good, it's all good."
As it turns out, K's OT, speech therapist and the folks from the county had all called the school to schedule times to come out and observe him . As she said, "I listened to all of their concerns, but I just am not seeing anything to be concerned about." She said he is her BEST listener...unbelievable! I never, in our wildest dreams, thought we would hear that about K. She said he always listens, always knows what is going on and always follows directions - he's no longer off in his own private Idaho!! What a thrill! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
It was great to hear from you. I am sorry I missed your call, although this letter lets me really detail my experience. Let me tell you about the AIT experience!
First of all, it was a pleasure to meet and work with you and your staff. You all really had to work hard during our sessions as my boys were quite active and demanding. Our sessions were all handled with exceptional professionalism and at the same time were very personable and knowledgeable. I know there was difficulty with one of the clients that was affecting our schedule. You were all very effective at remedying this situation immediately. I really appreciated this as it was a very busy week for me and timing was very important. It was a real joy to work with your program!
The most immediate changes I saw in A was a calming effect. He stopped being so defensive and difficult. He was more accepting of requests to pick up toys and clean his room. This I saw within the first few days. I've even seen an improvement in his ability to handle transition. This, always a problem, seems less intense, so he is able to handle what is being expected of him. Now after a few weeks, he has been pushing his boundaries (and luck!) with what he is allowed to do and what he thinks he can do. He is definitely more focused.
J immediately started talking more clearly using single word and 2 word sentences. He even interjected into our conversation we usually have in the car. As we talked he yells "me, me" when he wants to be apart of what we have spoke of. It almost made me cry with joy after 2 years of trying to get talk to me in the car. J now has started to be more assertive and defiant. He seems more focused on his surroundings and his ability to say no and set his boundaries using words. Overall, I have seen immense growth in the both of them as they are pushing their boundaries and not just reacting to simple daily events and stresses.
I also had quite an AIT experience. I am more tolerant of crowded noisy situations. I still have trouble with the TV volume, although the craziness with the house full of children does not seem to bother me as much. I too seem more focused on my projects and staying on schedule. What seems strangest of all is my keen sense of smell is gone. Since the training, I have not experienced any kind of sinus trouble or pressure changes. My acute sense of smell could detect odors and smells that others would detect much later. This is not happening and even the most offensive of diaper smells take a while for me to detect. Where smell was a big factor in all situations, its impact seems to have disappeared. In some respects it is nice not to be so sensitive to smells for once! It seems strange, but it did coincide with AIT.
Overall, I am very happy with the AIT training and its results. Our experience with Jennifer guiding us though was wonderful and a great pleasure. Thank you so much.
I have been meaning to update, but life gets sooo busy! I have and will continue to pass your # on to folks. You guys did a great job.
E. continues to do very well. He started kindergarten last week (typical class, no aide). He will receive speech therapy, fine motor and some social skills classes, but essentially is indistinguishable from his peers. Certainly, his miraculous recovery has been a team effort, but we feel that the AIT was a very helpful addition to his biomedical therapy and his verbal based ABA (to name just a few!).
He played T-Ball very successfully on a "regular" team an is currently playing flag football. The football has been more challenging for him to follow but he seems to like it.
He is also in a local aftercare program at a church 3 x per week (he is not identified with any Dx there) and seems to be fitting in well, if shy.
All in all, we are the parents of one of the very few, the proud, the RECOVERED (and NO, he was not misdiagnosed). We thank you for the part you played in E.'s recovery from autism. Yes, it IS possible, Thanks again.
J. is doing great. We are so pleased with his changes. He is so much more aware of his surroundings overall. He was noticeably upset last week, with all the Christmas decorations going up around the house. It was almost as if he was noticing all these changes to his environment for the first time. This year, he is adamant he does not want to go see Santa, now asserting his own opinions!
I just had my holiday open house. There were over 80 adults/kids running through the house. He did great and two neighbors said that he seems much more comfortable in his own surroundings and seemed more "with it." I almost didn't have the party this year because I didn't want the noise level or chaos to stress J. so soon after the AIT, however I was voted down by the rest of my kids and husband. As the preparations were stressing him last week, I was so worried that we were making a huge mistake. I had arrangements to have J spend the day at a cousin?s house, but that fell through last minute. However it all turned out great and he made it through the whole day. For the first time he did not try to retreat to a room by himself.
Riding on the highway seems more comfortable for him now. If it is raining he still puts his hands over his ears. However that could also just be something he is afraid of and not just the sound.
Yesterday for the first time he put up his own hood on jacket while it was raining. He did it several times as we ran errands all day in the rain. Very appropriate.
I can't wait to see J?s doctor next week to see if J. acts any different in his office, as we have been going there for years. I probably shouldn't set my sights so high, but it would be a clincher if he actually on his own said "Hi doctor" or "hey doc are you done with me yet because driving up here is really interfering with my playtime!"
So overall we are really pleased. I guess the question will be do we repeat the AIT and what should our timing look like? Our occupational therapist is also noting positive changes in Jake, stating he is more aware and more engaged.
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Summary of an AIT Experience and the Year Following
Day 1 of AIT PM Session
Bobby told his mom my brain is working very hard.
Day 2 of AIT
Bobby told mom my brain felt really up tight, then I read a book and reading calmed me down.
Day 3 of AIT
Bobby has a stuffed up nose, but tells me he feels happy.
Day 4 of AIT
Bobby is tired, doesnt want to go to school.
Day 5 of AIT
Bobby is tired, went for a haircut, told us the little hair on his back and neck are annoying, chewing on his shirt increased and eating poorly 2 behaviors mom has not seen recently.
Day 6 of AIT
Bobby tells us he loves AIT! He is very tired.
Day 7, 8 & 9 of AIT
Very calm days, no new issues.
Email End of Day 10
Bobby finished up his AIT like a trooper. He has been tired and more anorexic than usual. However, we havent had any behavior breakdowns. Yeah! He has been hyper-verbal, but on the way to AIT, Saturday (day 9 of AIT), he and I had a very grown up conversation about the upcoming election, candidates, issues, etc. It was a wonderful conversation. I will keep track of his doings. Heres hoping for more positive changes.
Email 1 month Post-AIT
Bobby is doing quite well. His hyper-verbal tendency has diminished. His appetite has improved. However, he has restarted some OCD stuff we hadnt seen in awhile, such as picking hair off of his clothing nearly non-stop. I believe you were seeing that during AIT. This has diminished over the past week, but the eyelash stuff hasnt. He is pulling out eyelashes and using them to give himself tactile facial stimulation.
Lately Bobby has shown more of an unwillingness to start homework. Who can blame him? He puts in a great day at school, hardworking, and no behavior breakdowns. I wouldnt want to start homework either. He is still inattentive and off task during homework. That is his norm. However, he is writing more with pencil.
Bobby has been more tired, since AIT, but he is having difficulty falling asleep. This is occurring even though he receives Clonidine at night.
One thing we are absolutely thrilled about is that Bobby has been able to participate in band. We thought that the auditory stimuli would be too much for him, but we have been pleasantly surprised. His 2 teachers have told us that he is doing very well and is one of the best sax players they have in his age group.
We spent approximately 3 hours total in the car this past Sunday. Car rides are usually difficult for Bobby, due to the number of siblings he has. This time, he only seemed auditorily overwhelmed near the end of the ride home. That is definitely an improvement from his past. Also, we went to visit 2 very elderly relatives, and Bobby had 2 hours of socialization before that ride home. He did very well, and I can only imagine the quiet he needed on the way home.
Email 2 months Post-AIT
I dont think Bobby has had to wear his protective headphones at all, in school, since receiving AIT. Also, he has only had to wear them once at home, and that was when 2 of his younger siblings were having quite a difficult moment. Hes conversing more with adults but not with kids (were working on that) and receiving wonderful feedback from school. They say hes been maturing, and that he does snap out of frustration a lot quicker than he used to. They say this is because hes maturing. I wonder if AIT has had something to do with it? I do know that he has had no major meltdowns, no major student conflicts and no major bus incidents. (WOW! Knock on wood!) We have nearly eliminated the hand in the private area thing, and we have cut way down on the eyelash thing.
I havent seen a huge lean in attention / focus to homework. I do have to say, though, that last week, for the first time all school year, Bobby did pull out his math homework, at my request, and sat down and completed it at the kitchen table. The difference, here, was that I was not sitting at the same table while he worked on his math!!!
Email 1 year Post AIT
Bobby is still struggling with attention and focus. Im definitely up for trying the AIT again, and so is Bobby. We do not want to pull him out of school to do so. He was soooo wiped out throughout the whole process last year.
I cant begin to tell you how well Bobby is doing. He is now in 6th grade in middle school. Aside from some teasing at the very beginning of the school year, 6th grade has been a huge success.
Bobby has been getting off the bus smiling. His grades are wonderful, nearly all As. Bobby has made friends with a few boys who fed into the school from another grade school in the district. He eats lunch with them, and he goes out for recess with them.
Bobby is involved in 4H this year for the first time. He also participates in therapeutic horseback riding. He has been going to weekly social skills classes, and the psychologist who runs them thinks that Bobby is ready to take a break from sessions, but he left it up to us. We talked it over with Bobby, and believe it or not, he wants to keep going because he likes it!. Hes involved in Boy Scouts, too. And he has not left a single class this year out of frustration or panic. Since 3rd grade, he had consistently left math class out of panic over new material.
Bobby has really come a long way. We are so proud of his hard work. He is still in band, too. Yes, he still has more to work on, but right now, life is so good for him.
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