Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Little Things...

I understood a long time ago that my little wonder boy wasn't going to be developing along "typical" time lines. That's okay.. but it doesn't stop me from having the highest hopes for his happiness. When my little 4.75 year old dragged me to the corner this morning, globe ball in hand, and told me to stay there I was curious as to what was up. He then turned, took 3 steps away from me, turned back to face me and tossed me the ball. I then tossed the ball back to him.. and he caught it! Our little volley lasted no fewer than 10 round trips at which point our little game of catch was disrupted by his big sister. Now this might not seem like an activity worth writing about to most of you.. but to me.. who wondered if the day might ever come.. I am again astounded.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A New Interest

A couple of years ago we got this great little log cabin building set as a gift for Will and, although he enjoyed immensely watching any of the rest of us put it together, he had not yet ventured into actually assembling the cabin himself. We hadn't had it down off the top shelf in quite a while and so when he pulled me to the shelf yesterday and said "log" I thought that was sufficient to reward him with the toy. We set up a spot in the middle of the living room floor where we could work with it. It's cute.. just a little cabin with one door and a window.. and after assembled he will often put various figures in there.. you know.. because they fit. I think our school bus driver from this toy has been in there a lot.. and I'm certain fireman Elmo has also had his share of incarceration play time in the camp. Occasionally various cows and a giraffe will tend watch in the yard outside..

It's really just a 3D puzzle.. and a bit more complex than the jigsaw puzzles he's been so good at doing all on his own for years now. But there is a bit of thinking ahead involved in putting it together. Regardless, he's attached himself to this old toy in a big way and is having a blast putting it together.. and then tearing it down.. and then starting all over again.

Oh.. and I've definitely noticed a reduction in his verbal stims over the last couple of days.. lots going on in that brain of his right now..

Friday, June 20, 2008

Kiss It Better, Mom..

I had my hair pulled this afternoon. Not just your ordinary hair pulling, mind you, this hair pulling had purpose! Never one to shoot down my son's behaviors without an attempt at comprehension I went along with it.. although I do believe a small "ouch" may have been uttered in protest. What followed was astounding. William directed my lips to his finger.. which he had just injured.. albeit very mildly.. and wanted Mommy to kiss it better. Yay for hair pulling!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

New words..

The rain falling this morning was anything but light.. more like a deluge. And with that deluge comes a sick little boy. He crashed early last night on the sofa and when I went to move him to bed I could feel his fever. I hate to wake him up with a medicine treatment but it had to be done..

So he gets the grape stuff.. to which he didn't protest too much.. he must really have felt bad.

Somewhere along about midnight or 1am I hear him.. he's wide awake.. in a pretty good mood.. and belting out words I've never heard him say before.. and occasionally giggling. It's not the first time I've noticed a connection between pain relievers and new words.. I wonder if "they" have ever studied it..

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rain..rain..feel free to stay..

I love the rain...

As I watched my little wonder boy lay in front of the furnace vent and gaze out the window at the endless rain falling I realized he is seeing his world this morning much the same as he has since his life began. He was peaceful, still waking up, and the dancing drops as the unbroken light rain gathered forces and dripped off the rooftop must have captured his attention completely, much as I recall being mesmerized by the rain as a child. The brightly lit droplets joining together on the end of the branch hanging just outside the glass were hypnotic.. and the option of refocusing the eyes to the waiting puddle below, infinite splashes contributing to its size, made for more visual stimulation than any small child could ever hope for first thing in the morning.

As I gazed upon my wonder boy gazing upon the simple force of nature we call rain I realized that it is my perception of the world that has shifted, albeit ever so slightly. Yesterday I had an uncommon opportunity to meet with Will's teacher. She and I had talked about how I would cherish the chance to watch him in his classroom environment.. his interaction with the other children.. his level of participation.. and distraction. But other obligations had held this experience from me. This amazing woman then told me she had made a video tape of Will in class and extended an invitation to meet with me at the school to view it. On that brief 30 minute recording I saw a happy little boy, struggling to be part of the group, willing his own instinctive behavior into submission so that he could participate in these beloved activities. I saw a child who was taking it all in, organizing every detail into its appropriate place, sure to be drawn upon in a future need. I saw a child who seemed more aware of his enormous challenge than even I. But most importantly, I saw a child who was clearly autistic.

It's been years since our family began this journey of discovery with our son. That journey has led us to knowledge and understanding, to grief and pain, to acceptance and fortitude. But observing him there, in his own separate world, working through it all under the talented guidance of these skilled artists, was like being hit by a freight train. I awoke from my denial in that brief time and came to see that even though he does not display many of the "classic" behaviors so commonly associated with autism, many of his behaviors fit the mold perfectly. And like the many variations in the dance playing out just beyond the window pane this morning there are equally as many variations in the children we label as autistic.. yet they are all amazing.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Panic? Me? Nah..

Will sat quietly on the kitchen floor for an unusual amount of time this morning. I was busy preparing food for the younger one and wasn't too distraught.. a few minutes of calm is a nice change. But then I moved into his immediate area and he was up.. and in his hand.. nay extending out BEYOND the edges of his hand.. was a giant wolf spider! In hindsight he may have been wanting to show it to me.. look mom.. lookie lookie what I found! all full of excitement.. But I, instead of showing a calm genuine interest in his new found toy, totally lost it. I'm generally not terrified of spiders.. my 6 year old daughter is.. she insists on spider patrol before she'll agree to go to bed.. and we are routinely removing smaller less dangerous ones that I wouldn't have a problem with hanging out and hatching a brood right in the corners of my bedroom. But this one.. it was HUGE! And, in my own defense, even the experts state..

"the bite of the Wolf Spider is poisonous but not lethal. Although non-aggressive, they bite freely if provoked and should be considered dangerous to humans. The bite may be very painful. First aid and medical attention should be sought as soon as possible, particularly as to children or the elderly."

So who am I to argue with the experts? My reaction may have been a tad overblown but getting that spider out of his little hand and into a secure zone was primary on my task list. He gently placed it upon a shirt hanging over the chair at the kitchen table.. but my screaming at the top of my lungs (AAAAHHH NOOOOO NOOOO PUT IT DOWWWWN!!!) apparently startled my little boy and he thought his new friend would be safer BACK IN HIS HAND!! and so he lovingly picked up the giant demon spider off the shirt. This of course was followed by even more screaming by me.. NO!! PUT IT DOWN!! AHHHHH!!! I was then successful in knocking it to the floor.. where it ran and hid under my purse. Ih...

Mere seconds after it had all begun Daddy had arrived on the battlefield and was ready to assist. Move the purse.. squish. Will was genuinely distraught. One lethal spider.. his new found friend.. terminated. Guess it beats squishing a bunny.. but I can't help but wonder what sort of lasting impression this event, played out entirely by instinct, might leave on this little boy..