We're nearing the end of yet another school year. Once again, I find myself lamenting the passage of time. When my son was first diagnosed with autism (and every day since), I desperately wished I could stop time. I wanted to find the perfect combination of interventions that would alleviate his symptoms and then send him on his way through childhood. Despite my fervent wishing, he has continued to grow while I stumbled through research and countless trials (and errors). With each passing year, I am reminded that the older he gets, the impact of interventions will be lessened. In other words, if I haven't recovered him yet...it's not ever going to happen.
And yet, I still have hope. I hope he will continue to improve. I hope he will grow out of some of the symptoms. I hope he will have friends. I hope I am making the right choices for him. I hope...I just hope.
This year, as I began my annual struggle to push away the negative thoughts and focus on hope, my son experienced a big developmental leap. Talk about perfect timing!
Here's a list of the new developments...all of them happened in one week:
-He lied to me. TWICE! Most parents would be upset at this particular turn of events, but autism moms know it's a sign of improvement. This will certainly make it more difficult to determine which of my kids actually started the fight, but I welcome the challenge. Of course, now I have to teach him that it's wrong to lie. I much prefer this particular lesson over last year's 'let's not crap in our pants anymore'.
-He finally learned to use the pedals on his bike! My husband has worked on this with him for years to no avail. My son simply couldn't manage the pedals at all. It was very frustrating for us because we so desperately wanted him to have the experience of riding a bike. All of a sudden, it clicked for him. He can pedal forward. He can stop. He can ride around the block!
-He started nodding his head to indicate 'yes' and shrugging his shoulders for 'I don't know'. My son is very verbal, so these non-verbal expressions are not essential for communication. But, it's still great to see him pick up on these things and then utilize them. Here's the kicker though...I caught him standing in front of the mirror on several occasions 'practicing' the nod and the shrug! Not only did he pick up something new, he wants to make sure he is doing it right! Love, love, love it!
I don't know if it is common in autism to suddenly have several things click all at once, but I do know that's how my kid works. These developmental leaps help keep me motivated. And this particular one couldn't have come at a better time!