Sveti Saint Tomaz Tuxedo Park, New York
Sveti St. Tomaz
Find Your Own Voice



 Responses vary from child to child but typically what we see is that the child will become either calmer or more alert depending on if s/he is either over or under reactive. The child will appear more focused and more purposeful in his or her behavior. Often in the early stages there is improved eye contact. The parents report that their children become more affectionate. They seek their parents out and want to join in on more family activities. Often they show a keener interest in their parents faces. They attempt to study the face as if trying to figure out how the parent's mouth is working. They also show more interest in themselves, studying themselves in the mirror. They begin to imitate more readily, both gestures and sounds. They show more awareness of their environment. They will start to notice things they seemed oblivious to before. Some of the sensory sensitivities that were especially extreme will start to decline.

If the child is non-verbal, they will start to babel more. They will start to make new vocalizations the families have not heard previously. Parents will notice that the child responds to his/her name more readily. They may hear words that they can recognize. If the child is already verbal the family will notice more and increasingly complex phrases. The child will repeat words more readily. They will start to use words spontaneously that they previously had only used routly. They also demonstrate that they understand more of what is being said by following directions more readily. Communication become more purposeful as well as more interactive. There is more of a two way street.

Parents describe it as an opening to the world. Not only do their ears open, but also their eyes, and the rest of their senses. At the same time expressive and receptive language improves, other behavioral changes are observed. There is increased purposefulness in their behavior. Children who never played with a toy seem to better understand how they work. They seem to understand how things relate to each other. They are learning more readily through imitation and following verbal directions. We also start to see the children play symbolically for the first time, such as making the toy car go to the store.

Often there is a change in emotional affect. The child will be observed to be less in their own world and more willing to join our world. They start to develop words that give them more control of their environment. This helps to ease the tremendous sense of frustration they have. In understanding more of what is being said to them, they can be reasoned with, tending to become more flexible and better in their handling of transitions. As the child starts to develop a sense of control and mastery over their body, they start to feel more confident and their self esteem improves. With more internal control they develop a greater sense of autonomy and independence. Overall they are happier children.

These are some of the changes we have seen, yet they vary from child to child and are therefore difficult to predict. While we cannot predict exact changes in a particular child, we are able to observe particular patterns and styles of progress. This is why counseling throughout the program to help the families maximize the emergence of new behavior, skills, and communication styles that are emerging in their child. (Valerie Dejean) CONTENTS PAGE

Copyright Valerie Dejean, 1997,2006