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Ashton's Diary - March 2020

Updated: Jul 30, 2023



Video 1 - alphabet tubs

Goal - to name and sound out the letter of the objects in the alphabet tub (K&D)

Outcome - Ashton was able to identify the letter D, he was able to name all of the objects that came in the letter D box and make the sound “d,d,d”. The letter K was a little harder for Ashton to identify however was able to make the sound “k,k,k”. I put the two lids on the table that said K&D and placed a dinosaur and kangaroo on the table and asked Ashton to put the animal on the letter that sounds the same. He was able to put the correct animal onto the lid.

Video 2 - Animal yes/no

Goal - for Ashton to be able to clip yes or no independently onto the card which has asks “is this a (animal)? Yes or no?

Outcome - Ashton was being cheeky during this activity as he was saying “no” when he knew the answer was yes when I was asked the question, “ is this a panda?” He did that a couple of times during the activity.


Video 1 - Catch and Count octopus game

Goal - For Ashton to wait and take turns with his siblings during a board game.

Outcome - Ashton wasn’t as interested in this game today, he did wait and take turns however didn’t seem too engaged in the game. He didn’t watch his sister as she took her turn, I also had to prompt Ashton a few times to take his turn.

Video 2 - Making Statues/Buildings

Goal - Gross Motor/Role Play

Outcome - Ashton enjoyed this activity today, we each took turns in being a statue or a building to knock over, while the other 2 were Godzilla/Mothra trying to knock it down. Ashton liked being knocked over as well as being Godzilla. We will continue to do this activity as Ashton hasn’t quite grasped that he needs to use his strong muscles to remain still like a statue for as long as he can without getting knocked over.



We have been back in Australia a week now.

Ashton had a wonderful trip home and the 14 hour flight wasn’t too bad. He woke with 5 hours to go and watched “how to train your dragon”

Pm 3 times and played angry birds. Ate some breakfast and all in all was very happy. ( thank goodness )

It is a big trip and I always have some trepidation about it.

We returned to 14 days isolation and are going to be fine.

We feel for all those who do not have yards for the children and hope that there is not too much discomfort and confusion for the children and their family. It can be a difficult thing to understand and we are all doing our best to explain to our children.

Our therapists have set up online therapy so we will see how that goes.


Friends -

We will keep you safe - always.

Ashton with his special friend Kevin.

Ashton has been learning about coming to us when we call his name.

Long term goal for Ashton to come when called. Such a huge safety issue and one we are so conscious of.

Ashton has never been out of our sight for the five years of his life.

Ashton always has someone with him, except when he sleeps and then we have a camera on him.

You see Ashton would never come to us if he was called, so if he ever did go out of our site we would never find him.

Ashton now comes to us when you call his name. We have never tested it if he is out of our site and we called, that is the next goal, but for now we rejoice in the fact that he will actually come when we have been able to catch his attention. Before he may have looked at us if we called but he never turned and came back to us.

Success- Ashton comes to us and even gives a cuddle, a squeeze and a kiss if we ask and sometimes even if we don’t ask.

Acknowledging a friend or family is a wonderful thing for Ashton to do.

I believe this picture is so poignant- it is symbolic of Ashton and his journey with autism-

Ashton - We are always reaching out to hold you and keep you safe, even if sometimes you don’t realise we are there!


Even though Ashton has been a little distant one thing he is responding very well to is when I say come here he actually will come to me and when I asked him for a cuddle or a kiss or a squeeze he responds by actually doing those actions which is fantastic because he wasn’t doing that probably six months ago, even just coming here so I think now when we said come here now that’s come about because we’ve had those goals set in place and we’ve been doing activities with Ashton meeting the goal set which is to respond to us when we call him and to respond by coming over to us. Ashton might just be a small distance away and we say come here Ashton and then you know we give him a cuddle and then, he might be across the room and we say come here Ashton and we’re doing it in every area of his daily activities. [][][]


Ashton has been a little bit distant of late not much trying to connect with us, he has been speaking more and I think that communication has taken away his looking at us and joint attention and really connecting with us when he speaks it’s more like demanding to have something and we have to remind him to speak nicely .

I think it’s the same thing that happens with Ashton when he learns something new, something else decreases this happens for a while as different skills become dominant this goes for a little while until he gets used to the new skill that he’s learnt.[]


This was taken around beginning of March or end of February 2020.

Pattern match

Intrinsic motivation

Ashton is able to get the sequence correct without much conscious thought or major deduction. He is very quick to pattern and is happy to have accomplished the activity with the only reward being the accomplishment and good job from us.

We have never given Ashton tokens or edible rewards, we have always tried to have him intrinsically motivated. The only thing we do is say “this first and then dinosaurs 🦖 “ this can be seen as a reward but it is more a motivator as he likes dinosaurs and he will often complete tasks or activities without this.

We do use motivators when he really doesn’t want to do something or go somewhere, we will say “ first we are going to the park, then dinosaurs.” Or whatever he is interested in at the time. We try not to use them for every activity and he is usually happy with a high five 🖐 or an encouraging word or a cuddle.

Pronouns - gender nouns

Ashton is being introduced formally to gender nouns and pronouns.

Ashton is identifying the picture, he has said it is a person and we are trying to get him to identify if it is a boy, girl or he or she!

Ashton gets distressed and does not get the concept of a person being a boy or girl or man or woman or a he or a she.

In trying to offer Ashton words he might understand Sami is going through every name she can in order to get Ashton to recognise something. But he is adamant it is a person.

Yes Ashton it is a person!


(This is from 1/2/20 Sammy took it and she needs to send it.)


Ashton wasn’t interested in this activity however was able to eventually answer the questions I had asked with some prompting.


I would like to continue doing this activity in the same way, asking the same questions to eventually get a quicker response



Ocean magnetic book


1. Show Ashton the animal magnetic book , ask him if he would like to look through the book

2. Say to Ashton wait until I finish packing the toys away and then we can read the book together

3. Then go over to the table and open the book and take out the animal magnets

4. Ask Ashton what page he would like to look at.

5. Ask him questions about what he is doing (what do you need next?, what is the fish doing? Etc)

6. Tell Ashton it’s my turn to have a go

7. Talk about what I’m doing on the page that I choose

8. Let Ashton have another turn and ask more questions and see where the play will lead.

Outcome Ashton was able to wait patiently when it was time For me to have my turn even though he didn’t want the page that I had chosen to play with. He was able to answer the questions that I had asked him throughout the activity.


——Ashton’s place ——

A place to feel secure

A place to be at peace

A place that calms me

A place that meets my sensory needs

A place to be me

Ashton’s Place, a foundation developed to help children find their place in this world. Our aim is that,

by participating in the ACE (autism connect early) programme, a research based programme with proven results, children with autism will be able to be social active contributors in society.


Ashton was getting ready for bed tonight and he had been to the park in the afternoon.

I asked him as I always do what he did during the day and how was his day, most of the time I don’t get an answer unless I really push and ask questions in the right way or give leading questions so that he is able to answer. So I might say “Ashton what did you do today.” and he doesn’t answer me so I say “Ashton did you go to the park today?” and he’ll say “yes.”and then I’ll say “who did you go to the park with ?”and he might not answering so I’ll say “Ashton did you go to the park with Kevin?” and he’ll say “yes.[]”

Tonight I asked him did he have a nice day. Ashton replied “yes” iI then said “Ashton what did you do today?” and then I prompted it with, I went... and then he said “I went to the park today.” and then I said “did you like it ?” and he said “yes” and then I said “who did you go to the park with?” and he said girls and I said “oh you went with your sisters !” and he said “yes.”and I said “who else did you go to the park with ?” and he said “ I went to the park with Kevin.”

Very very good communication and answering questions.


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