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Ashton's Diary - february 2020

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

February 2020


Saying goodbye 👋

Teaching Ashton to say hello and goodbye is on going and I try and use every opportunity to embed the concept into his brain.

Today we went to shark reef, Ashton just loves all the sea creatures and it is difficult to get him to leave.

I started saying we need to say goodbye because we need to have lunch then go home, this was after we have been there longer than an hour with Ashton moving from one display to another and back again.

So I asked him what sea creatures he wanted to say goodbye to, he was so good and waved and said goodbye as we made our way past each display.

In this goodbye snippet he waves to the parrot fish and says “goodbye parrot fish.” As he waves.

So wonderful— our aim is to get him to say goodbye once I say we are going . At the moment I have to tell him to say hello and goodbye.


Goal - Generalising -

Hello - goodbye - rules to go by when meeting people.

Receptive language -

Expressive language -

Activity created so Ashton has to go around and meet all the animals .

I will give him king Godora and encourage him to go around the safari I set up and say hello to the animals at each waterhole.

He will need to say “hello I am King Godora “ this will require modelling.

I will say “ hello I am an elephant.”

Ashton will be encouraged to say “hello elephant.” By me modelling.

Extensions can be that he will need to say goodbye as well.

Also can extend by going around the animals and not prompting him with the exact words but see what he says.

I then want to achieve the goal to generalise, he will do this by translating and generalising what we are doing into being socially acceptable and saying hello and goodbye to people without me prompting.

Matching shapes

Intentional teaching -

formal learning


Goal-Ashton to look at me (connect) when I am talking to him - asking him wh.. questions.

I have chosen LEGO as this is one of his favourites to play with and so I am hoping it encourages communication-joint attention.

It is an uncomplicated activity. I am holding the pieces to the side that he might need in the hope that he might ask me for them or at least connect with me.

I got him to answer me when I asked “what is it?” And he made eye contact-joint attention when I asked him if he needed the piece of LEGO .

Goal partially achieved as he was more interested in the LEGO than interacting with me.

It is a fine balance we tread when teaching Ashton to play socially, to engage with him with activities he is interested in, but for those activities to not be so inviting that he is immersed in them totally and lost to us.


Ashton was playing with Godzilla and mothra and some other creatures from Godzilla . I tried to join in and got no response so I went and got some little fire 🔥 flames from the playmobil fire 🔥 station and put the flames under king gadora and mothra and said “oh no they are on fire, what do we need?” I aimed a truck we had nearby which had a rocket on it and pretended it was a fire hose . Ashton replicated there play numerous times and engaged with me and said we need the water !! He the pretended to spray it on the creatures. He even put the flames on and off them. Great that he modeled my play scenario and then continued with it. We played for about five minutes..


Goal - to get Ashton to acknowledge the diver in pretend play by modelling. I am using a sea scene because he loves sea creatures, so by extending on his interests I am hoping he engages.

An ocean scene has been set up with fish and coral and a diver, well, two divers so I can model what I want him to do.

I want him to acknowledge the diver in his play ( Ashton rarely acknowledges people in his play) and to get him to act out a scenario where the diver saves the fish. ( Ashton had previously identified a diver while looking at his sea creatures book and I thought I could extend on that to develop his imagination, joint attention and receptive and expressive language skills. )

His sister comes to play which is spontaneous and Ashton is disturbed by her joining him in his play. I encourage her to join us and as I model the scenario of a fish getting caught and he needing to get the diver to save it, you can see that Scarlett very quickly responds to my play acting and tries to save the fish. Scarlett is 3.5 years and Ashton is 5.3 years. Ashton is not interested , all he wants to do is have more warm water..

Ashton was able to use expressive language to ask for what he wanted. But was unable to connect and join us in the play activity.


A lesson in life’s classroom-

A visit to the aquarium today. We know we have to give Ashton lots of time to experience the different exhibits.

From Ashton we learn -

⁃ patience

⁃ Resilience

⁃ Gross motor skills

⁃ Repetition is important

⁃ Cognitive skills

⁃ Recall

⁃ Receptive language

⁃ Love

⁃ Wonder

⁃ Kindness



Thank you Ashton - that was a big day



What did Ashton learn ?-

⁃ leadership skills

⁃ Lead and they will follow

⁃ Listening skills

⁃ Cognitive skills

⁃ Kindness

⁃ Love

⁃ Expressive language

⁃ Recall

First time in an aquarium tunnel.

Ashton loves looking at the lion fish 🐟


Happier to go to Brain balance today.

Coordination - visual following - responses-


Brain balance today . Ashton was quite happy to come. I pre empted getting ready - I said, we are going to brain balance, so first we are going to brain balance, then we’re going to have a cracker and then you can come back and watch Godzilla, and then I repeated it back to him and I said again, first

we go to brain balance then a cracker then ..... trying to give Ashton time to answer and Ashton said Godzilla. All the while Ashton was smiling and trying to make a cry but smirking and smiling. So he is very much beginning to understand and relate back a chain of events or what is going to happen to him with a bit of prompting. I am able to reason with him. He will listen to options.

We hopped in the car and he was very happy and on the way here I was talking about ( reinforcing as I do) , first we are going to Brian balance then we have a cracker and then we’re going to watch Godzilla and so I started talking about my favourite Godzilla‘s and I said, I like Mothra and then I said do you like Mothra and he said yes and I said and I like King Godzilla I said do you like king Godzilla and he said yes and then he just out of the blue said how about do you like Godzilla X or whatever the name of it is I’ll have to have a look when we go home and I said yes and then he said another one and I said yes and we had a whole conversation about our favourite Godzilla characters. It was just so wonderful and then as we walked into brain balance he opened the door and he looked at the picture on the left which was a brain inside a head and he pointed to his head and he said brain, cells in your brain.

Picture of the brain.

Taking turns with Anastasia


Turn taking... the art of learning to get along with others is difficult to master and navigate. We have had to teach Ashton to take turns enabling a positive social outcome when he is in that environment where sharing and turn taking is required.

If he lets someone have a turn then he can have a turn and there is enjoyment in playing and connecting with another person, yes, taking us back to .....

joint attention, communicating, socialising and much more.

Life skills that will allow Ashton to play in our socially structured world where we only get accepted if we are able to share, take turns, offer play ideas and be accepting of others ideas.

There is so much he has to learn, but each day he surprises us and each day I feel he is more connected.


Brain balance is about exercising the left or right hemisphere of the brain. To better understand how it all goes together for a fully functioning brain Dr Susan De Vito describes it like this.

“For example when we read words, it is a left hemisphere function, but putting the chain of words and sentences together into a paragraph, and ultimately (making it into) a story and the comprehension of that is a right hemisphere function. “

Makes sense. ?

We are a complicated being aren’t we.

Anyway we just need it all to connect and so we help Ashton do what he needs to, physically, cognitively and sensory motor wise.

“The programme promotes the development of new pathways, stronger connections, and faster processing speeds until communication of the two halves of the brain are restored.[][][]”

Says Dr Robert Melillo.


Ashton had a good sleep after Brain Balance. He fell asleep at 8 and woke at six. Very good .

He didn’t want to go to bed though and every time I asked he said “I don’t want to go to bed. “ in the end I had to put everyone else to bed and turn the tv off and take his hand and say everyone else is in bed so now you need to go to bed. That made it a little easier and he went to toilet and bed...


Ashton to brain balance today.

He didn’t want to go and got quite upset but I said “ brain balance then crackers the home and Godzilla on the tv. “

So he went with only a little resistance.

Sad at brain balance . I think he said we need to cancel brain balance.

He was better once the therapist came to get him.

Then happy when he came out.

In the evening reading his animal book.

Ashton loves his animal book...

He names all the animals and plants.

He looks at it while watching tv as you can see.

When he names the octopus he also calls it by its technical name..



Ashton has been running a little more than normal yesterday and today. Maybe because of brain balance, I have found he is a little stimulated when he does the sessions. We will see what happens tomorrow after he goes .


Ashton started back at brain balance today. In America. He will go Monday Wednesday Friday for an hour a day.


Wh... questions...

Trying to get Ashton to answer me when I ask a question of wh... “

“What are we doing ?”

“Where are we going ?” Then

“What are we going to do.”

“Who is that?”

“What are they doing?”

Trying to get Ashton to answer me when I ask “what did you do today, or this morning, or an hour ago.” E.g “ Ashton we are playing with LEGO now, what did you play with first?” He doesn’t answer this yet as it is too much of a thought process and recall. But I answer for him anyway. “ I played with play dough, then I played with LEGO.” Or “I played with play dough first then LEGO.”

I ask Ashton the question , pause, give him time to answer and when he doesn’t, I answer for him while showing him or taking him.

Tonight I said “we need to go to the bathroom and clean your teeth. “

As Ashton finished dinner . He was running around and I said it again . Ashton did not come to me so I went over and took his hand and said “where do we need to go?, and what do we need to do? “

Ashton said “Bathroom, clean my teeth.”

So good to have him answer my question which was two questions with a where and what!!


Ashton said his full name . Clever boy.


Ashton acting out animals - receptive language as he acts out requests.


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