Sunday, January 30, 2011

It's the Little Things...

A couple of nights ago, my son was so happy because he got to eat oatmeal for dinner and then had new pajamas to wear to bed!  The simple things.  He actually took his pajamas and rubbed them on his cheek while laughing.  Adorable!  It warms my heart as his mommy.  I saw a teenager in Costco recently with his mom.  Now, I'm not sure that this boy was autistic, but it was just an educated guess.  He asked his mom what they were having for dinner that night.  When she replied, "Chicken," he got so excited, telling her that it was his favorite!  It made me smile.  Hopefully my son will always find joy in the little things.

Never Take It For Granted

Things that my son is doing that might be easy to take for granted, but I never want to:

1.  Using his language more, even if we still can't understand him!

2.  Using his sign language when we can't understand his "words."

3.  Remembering sequence of events.
     -eat dinner
     -brush teeth
     -go to bed (he usually asks for his big brother to put him to bed)

4.  Following multi-step directions in order.
     -go to the kitchen
     -get daddy's water bottle
     -bring it to daddy

5.  Playing with and "taking care of" his little brother.  This is huge for us, especially since he would have never initiated these things just a few months, or even weeks, ago.

Okay, so maybe he's not perfect with these things all of the time, but he is trying.  He still struggles with his reasoning skills, but we are hopeful after watching the other things that he has shown us that he can learn to be safe, even though he doesn't have this natural instinct.


If You're Happy and You Know It...

I was hesitant to write this post too early in case it was a fluke, but I think we are seeing some improvement!  I had a phone consultation with the doctor a couple of weeks ago and she suggested that we take our son off of EVERYTHING, do some more testing, and start from square one.  I was, to say the least, scared to death to try this.  At first, I took him off of all except for his multi-vitamin and digestive enzyme.  Boy, did he have a tough few days!  But then one day we noticed a difference.  He was smiling and laughing again!  I eventually stopped the enzyme too (and ironically, trying not to be too graphic, his diapers have been nicer to change.)  His mood has leveled off too, even though he does have the occasional short tantrum still.  Mommy and daddy are smiling more; it had gotten to the point where we were very exhausted by the time our son would go to bed at night.  Now we are all having fun again.  My son will always have his quirks.  It's part of him, and most times those things are very cute.  But if he can be happy, we are all happy.  :)  Oh, about the testing and starting over.  For right now, we are going to hold off and give this a couple of more weeks to see what happens.  It makes us wonder if his body was just overwhelmed with the amount of supplements that it was being supplied.  Or perhaps it was just one single thing that was sending him over the edge.  We love our doctor, and she is doing her best to figure out this puzzle with us.  For now, we will stick with the smiles.  

Friday, January 14, 2011

My Son, the Broken Record

My son has a new stim, and we call it "the broken record."  He will pick a word and repeat it over and over again for, sometimes, hours.  He's always done this to some extent, but we've been able to, in the past, repeat the word to him and he will then change thoughts.  But lately we can't break the pattern as easily.  Usually it's not too big of a deal.  He'll start repeating, for example, "Car, car, car, car, car," and we can get him his car and he'll stop or come up with another word.  The times that we are running into a problem is when he starts repeating a word, say, "Cashew, cashew, cashew, cashew" (actually pronounced "Hashew") and we do not have that particular thing in the house, like when he finished all of the cashews yesterday!  And if I say, "I hear that you want cashews, but we don't have any.  Would you like some peanuts?" it throws him into a major tantrum.  But when the tantrum is over, he picks right back up with, "Cashew, cashew, cashew, cashew."  Maybe mommy needs a "nap, nap, nap" and some "chocolate, chocolate, chocolate."  :)    

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I Love You, Too

I'm thankful for hugs.  Once in a while my son will run up behind me and give me a quick hug.  I know that most parents take this for granted.  I used to.  But now it is those little moments that make me smile.  With his sensory issues he usually won't allow me to hug back, at least for very long.  But when I can steal a hug or a kiss, I always do.  :)  We've learned that when he comes up and touches our arm, or lays his head down on our lap, even for the quickest second, that is his way of saying, "I love you."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thank You Lord, You Knew What I Needed To Hear

We are still going through a very difficult phase with our son.  We are going on 3 months of this phase, even though it got better for a short time at one point.  And I'm only talking about perhaps a week of better.  He has hit a plateau with his speech, his behavior has regressed back many months, and his reasoning skills are still next to nothing.  But last night, we witnessed a small miracle.  We had just returned home from a trip to the mall, which is unusual for us to do these days with all of the kids.  But my husband and I had been talking about just living our life this year as close to the same way as we used to and learning how to include our son as best as we can.  He gets over-stimulated very easily, so we usually try to avoid crowds and loud noises.  This has been stressful on the rest of the family who needs some time outside of the house.  Anyway, we returned home late, already past our son's normal dinner time.  I sat him down in his high chair for dinner and started feeding him.  A couple of minutes later, he said, "Ouch!" and grabbed his tummy.  I asked if his tummy hurt and he said yes.  This really isn't surprising in light that he has always had digestion problems.  Another couple of minutes go by and he says, "All better."  That was it, "All better," and then the "miracle."  For the next probably 20-30 minutes, my son was speaking!  Non-stop speaking!  We were all shocked, and just sat around him listening and asking him questions.  He talked about the dog, and all the different sounds the dog would make if she were different kinds of animals.  He talked about colors.  He was trying to make jokes, and telling us to laugh.  My husband looked and me and said, "What did he eat today?"  I wish it were that easy, but really he didn't eat anything different.  Did the mall have magical powers?  I doubt it.  But I think God knew what I needed to hear.  I need to remember in times of stress that this beautiful little boy is listening, even if he can't speak, and he is absorbing everything like a sponge.  I will keep speaking to him and loving him unconditionally.  And maybe one day he'll be able to explain things to me.    

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christmas Stimming

Christmas morning.  A time of happiness, joy, ... and tears???  My son was not even remotely interested in looking what little gifts he received in his stocking.  No, the excitement made him break down, in tears.  We quickly remedied this by bringing his high chair into the living room.  He climbed in and enjoyed the rest of a wonderful Christmas morning.  We couldn't help but smile at his gift opening style.  He would hold each present for about 20 minutes, flapping his hands and smiling, until he would finally rip it open.  He would then throw the new toy on the floor and ask for more.  This continued until all of the gifts were gone from underneath the tree.  I think we all might learn a lesson from him; slow down and smell the roses (or at least enjoy the wrapping paper!)  :)