Jeff and the kids just left to go to the park and I am sitting here blubbering like a maniac. Though we have plenty going on that would make anyone sad, my tears today are from sheer joy...absolute, complete, utter happiness.
Since we began working with a DAN! Doctor, the kids have made tremendous strides. Sarah's symptoms are nearly non-existent now. She still exhibits some sensory seeking behaviors (the body slam), occasional meltdowns and a very small amount of echolalia. But, the zone-outs, daily marathon meltdowns, spinning and overuse of peripheral vision have disappeared. I think we might have spared her from a serious regression.
Jacob's progress has been equally as astonishing. He has been on a steady path of improvement with the interventions we had in place prior to the DAN! visit, but I have to say that our doctor set him on a course of rapid recovery that I never would have imagined possible. He is talking very well and the robotic tone is nearly gone. He is interested in other children and plays with his sister all the time now (lots of imaginative play too!). I've even been able to talk him down from major meltdowns on a few occasions. In the last week, he has begun telling me when he feels sick or has a boo-boo. He is reading well and I just started teaching him basic math. I am beyond excited by all of his progress and truly believe that reversing the course of his autism is not only possible, but quite likely at this point.
As I think about the new skills that make me so happy, I have to wonder what these things must sound like to a mother who has not experienced autism. Imagination, play, telling me when he is sick...it all sounds so mundane. To us, it means everything.
He is better able to show affection now. In the past, a 'hug' from Jake was little more than a bump up against me. He didn't use his arms, he would just lean into me. If I asked for a kiss, he would lean forward, allowing only a quick peck on the forehead. He has begun to show affection spontaneously, which leads us to why I have been blubbering.
I was sitting at my desk doing the daily job hunt when Jake came up to me and said, "Bye-Bye Mommy. We're going to the park now!" I asked him for a kiss and he surprised me with a smooch right on the lips. That alone was enough to set the tears in motion, but the surprises kept coming.
He climbed right into my lap and announced, "Mommy, I like to be with you because I love you." I was trying to hold it together at that point and was doing a pretty good job of it until he kissed me again. Then he asked, "Are you crying because you are so happy?"
Mommy jumped past happy a few minutes ago...now she is delirious.
When it was time for them to leave, I stood up to walk Jake to the door. Daring to press my luck, I asked for a hug. For the first time, he used his arms and I got a real hug from my son.
Okay, ya'll have to go now because Mommy is going into the ugly cry and doesn't want any witnesses.
I intend to revel in this magical moment for as long as possible. I can't wait to see what happens next!