Friday, 13 April 2012

Brotherly love

So many parents that I talk to complain about all of the bickering that goes on between their children.  Constant fighting for toys, attention, tv shows, etc.  I long for this everyday.  Don't get me wrong, I am sure that after awhile it would be annoying, but right now I can't see that far.  Right now I am grateful for every moment that the boys notice each other's presence.

Before Nathan regressed, the boys were starting to play together, but in the past 8-9 months that has pretty much stopped altogether.  They both have social deficits and there have been days where I truly don't think they have interacted at all.  As I have mentioned before, Jack has been making great strides socially.  He is playing with other kids with much more frequency and realizing that he can have conversations with them as well.  A few weeks ago, Jack saw one of his cousins, who is about 6 months younger than Nathan.  He came home and told me all about how his cousin said this, and his cousin said that, including "Jack".  He then looked at us and asked us why Nathan doesn't talk to him.  We explained that he's having a hard time learning, but that he goes to a school to help him everyday and that Jack can help him too by talking to him.  He has asked me this question multiple times since then, and even bent down in Nathan's face on various occasions and said "Nathan, talk!".  Amen, Jack.  If only it were that simple. Nathan's language continues to stagnate despite all of his therapies.  I recently started looking for other specialists to help us and in doing so spoke with one of the leaders of the support group I attend.  She recommended one doctor who is nearby, who....wait for it.....takes insurance!  My friend and I often joke about the foibles of practitioners who take insurance....seems like all the good practitioners these days don't need to (other than PCP's).  So while I was thankful, I will admit I was suspicious.  So I called the office to request an appointment and the receptionist told me that the doctor prefers to do phone consults regarding the children before he will see them, to see if they will be a "good fit".  Ummm, ok.  So when will this "consult" take place?  I am told the doctor does phone consults on Mon, Tues, and Thurs between 7-8 am (when there is a full moon, haha).  OK, so this guy takes insurance when he doesn't have to and then consults with new patients in the early morning on his own dime?  I am told that he will be at home, and may be going about his "daily tasks", but that he will listen and hopefully be willing to take the boys on.  So yesterday I locked myself in the bathroom (for what parent is able to speak sanely at this time of day with breakfast/school shenanigans going on?) and called.  The first thing I heard????  Swish.....spit.  Awesome.  Then good morning, how can I help you?  So is he flossing while I tell him the boys' story?  Guess what?  Don't care!  Floss away buddy, as long as you help my kids!  The actual conversation involved very little information exchange, as when I tell anyone that I have two children on the spectrum, they immediately want to see us.  There was talk of amino acid and heavy metal testing, changes in supplements, etc.  So I am excited!  Let's get going!  And we only have to wait.....6 weeks.  Sigh.  OK, I can do this.  6 weeks is nothing in the autism world right?  Doesn't matter.....mommy is impatient!

So back to the boys....Jack seems determined to make Nathan interact with him.  This is so amazing!  While it is heartbreaking to hear him say "talk!" over and over to him, he is getting through, slowly but surely.  They are starting to "play" at times.  Jack has figured out that Nathan loves to play chase, so he will go up to him, start laughing in his face and bumping him until Nathan starts running.  Then they are off!  All over the place they run, BOTH of them laughing like little crazies.  Mommy Bliss.  Of course Jack quite often breaks out "the pinchers" and after that things have a tendency to go downhill.  But it's fun while it lasts.

This morning for the first time, Jack went into Nathan's room to say good morning while Nate was still in his crib.  My mom has always told me stories of how my older sister used to get me out of my crib in the morning to go watch cartoons.  Until now, I had really no hope of anything like this ever happening.  We sat and listened to Jack "talk at" Nathan for a good 30 minutes.  Poor Nate :)  At one point we heard a shrieked "say hermit crab", then "your face looks funny", and "you must be a genius! say something".  The second two are undoubtedly movie quotes, in case you are wondering.  But Nathan babbled back some of the time, and laughed some as well.  I got the boys dressed and brought them downstairs for breakfast.  Jack sat in his booster seat and then asked to be scooted closer to Nathan.  Yes, I got teary, and yes I took a picture.  Good, good morning over here!

Quick side note, I went to a Stella and Dot Jewelry party last night and discovered that they have a bracelet line that benefits Autism Speaks.  20% of the proceeds from the sale of these bracelets are donated to the organization.  They have 4 different styles, and they are very cute.  I will post the link...check it out, it's for a great cause!

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