Monday, August 5, 2013

T minus 21 days....

School is about to be back in session! I cannot express how happy this makes me without someone wanting to punch me in the face for making the blog a little too long. Cameron had a bit of a rough start to summer, and so did I. I had serious anxiety over everything. FYI, WebMD and Google are NOT your friends all of the time. Sometimes they make you stay up at night feeling like live bait in a shark cage off the coast of South Africa during the filming of shark week. Or, at least, that is the best way I could describe the beginning of summer..... I saw a doc, got on some meds and feel less agitated.
I wasn't picking up on a lot of Cameron's subtle clues, and that was causing some serious meltdowns, and the fecal smearing. With a few tweaks to the schedule, and a more watchful eye for certain clues, life has been manageable. It helped to have some structure in his routine, and to not stay at home too much. He is too active to stay cooped up inside all day. He craves different environments. I can't really blame him. I am the same way. From the last week of June up until last week, we did a Kids day out program that seemed to help greatly. Both boys loved going, and I enjoyed working with some great kids, and great ladies. It was good for me to get out of the house too.
The biggest change I have seen this summer was when he began requesting for things in sentences. This happened for the first time with a teacher at Kids day out, and again, a few times at home since. He also shocked me a few weeks back. He has sung the abc song for a while now, but mumbles through a lot of the letters, so I assumed he was just singing a song and not correlating the letters in the song to the actual letters of the alphabet. He has a toy train with alphabet letters on blocks that you can stick in the train and it tells you the letter and sound. One night, we were sitting in the living room and he began approaching me with letters from his train in his bedroom. He would show me the letter, then TELL me the letter. He did fantastic! He would run back this room and grab a random letter and repeat. The toughest letter for him to say is X. We are working on it, and it is getting better. At first it sounded like "it", but now he is sounding it out, so it sounds like "eeeeehhhhhhkkkkkk SSS" with an almost silent s sound at the end. He will get it though!
This gives me so much hope. He can now master these letters, and i look forward to him spelling his full name, and typing or writing simple words. It may be a while off, but you have to understand something..... We had hope, but we also read and saw dozens and dozens of stories of children on the autism spectrum who reminded us so much of our son who couldn't accomplish this much, either EVER, or not until adolescence.
So, with a summer like this, I can only imagine the possibilities this school year.

The morning routine

I Wake up to screams. He wants his special milk. While he sips, dress him for special education preschool. He still wears a diaper, and I struggle to change him as he lays there like a limp rag doll drinking from a sippy cup designed for a baby. I pay special attention to his clothing, avoiding things like shirt tags and sock hems. I get a special greeting, as he flaps his arms and nods his head, then sinks into my chest for cuddle time. Next comes hair and teeth, as I pay special attention to his aversions to these tasks. Spend some time feeding and dressing little brother, but not as much, since he is more independent. Trade spots with my husband so that I can dress. The day is planned with special care and consideration. Off to school and therapies, then back home to do chores and spend some special time with little brother. Time for school pick up at his special designated time and location. Snack time with special foods approved with his special quirks in mind. Encourage playtime with brothers so they can develop a special bond. Work on special tasks to help develop everyday life skills.  A special dinner, spoon fed to to him, a calming bath after a 2 hour meltdown, and finally, bed. It is midnight, and I can only think of how special the day ended up being. He is almost 4 years old, and he said his first word today. As routine as this day was, it was also special. I cannot help but feel weary, drained, elated and hopeful. Tomorrow will be special too.  

I  wrote this several months back, and I thought I would share it with you. I can remember thinking as a young teenage girl... " I will NEVER lead a boring and mundane existence!" And you know what? I my life isn't anywhere near boring or mundane. :)