Wednesday, 31 July 2013

A Happy Day

I have talked in the past about how very small or common accomplishments can feel extraordinary when your child has autism.  Yesterday was chock full of examples of this.  It was a great day, and any parent would feel that way.  I am very proud of my little boys.

First and foremost, Jack went on a field trip with his camp to a swim center and did a great job- also, he told me all about it, we had a full conversation- as in back and forth.  Then, when I brought him home at 3pm, I put on a movie for him and went upstairs to work- he did not interrupt me for over an hour.  That's the first time he has ever done that.  I still can't believe it.

John had to work late last night, so the boys and I were on our own.  As we often do, we went to Chick Fil-A for dinner last night.  My children were angels- well other than Nathan screaming when we first went in- transitions are always rough.  I was allowing Jack to have one of his favorite dietary "cheats", which is a milkshake- usually he gets so excited about it that he starts shouting and often says pretty inappropriate things to the person bringing out the shake- give that to me or I'll shoot, give it now, etc.  As much as I want to get angry over this misconduct, I know where it's coming from, he's literally in a panic.  I have taught my son manners and he knows better.  His impulse control is not the same as that of most 6 year olds- but last night he proved that it is getting better.  He said thank you :-)  Jack was watching me "torture" Nate by making him ask for more for each fry.  We were working on saying fry, which he said in the past but lost.  Jack was kind of laughing about it, and I suggested to him that it might help Nate to understand if I held his fries too and he asked for "more fry" when he wanted one.  He handed me the fries and proceeded to do this for the rest of the meal.  What a selfless thing to do!  Did we get "fry" out of Nathan?  Nope- but he was watching Jack when he said it, and he did make attempts, just didn't quite get there.  Was so proud of Jack for being a great big brother.

After dinner we headed over to Target to pick up a few things.  Target is often a nightmare with both boys in tow- Nate cries if you stop moving and Jack wants to look at everything- not the best combination!  After we got what we needed I dared to take them to the toy section.  Jack loves this of course and to my surprise last night Nate was looking at everything too.  And he got really excited when we stopped at the Toy Story section.  He reached for a woody doll and held it for several minutes, then dumped it.  But still, I have never seen him do that before.  And Mr. Jack encountered a huge display for the new movie "Planes" (soooo excited to take him to see it).  His eyes just about popped out of his head.  In the past this would have amounted to meltdown city.  Not now- he looked at each individual plane- they all have cutesy names, but of course Jack was like "um, mom, that's a corsair" (duh).  He chose one plane, and although he asked multiple times for more, he was happy with the one and left without a fuss.  We even encountered a non child friendly check out person.  I requested multiple times that after she scanned the plane she hand it back to Jack- she totally ignored me.  This would usually be another trigger, and he did start to get upset, but managed to get the words out- mom please get my plane.  So I did, and he was fine.

Here is the icing on the cake that was my day.  We all hung out upstairs together last night after we got home.  Well more specifically, Nate and I hung out on the potty and Jack played in his room (yet another thing that would never have happened 6 months ago- independent play).  Nate went on the potty- that is our second success this week.  And he really seemed to understand what was happening, helped me dump it into the toilet and flush.  He really seemed proud of himself.  This morning when I went to get him up, he was DRY.  I put him on the potty and he went again!  Now, all the practitioners have cautioned me that he is likely not ready for potty training, that if he has successes it is likely more of a coincidence type thing than anything else.  My response is this- they are probably right- but he is learning the concept of what the potty is- and what do you call a string of coincidences?  I would call it habit formation myself.  So we are going to keep this up, I have this sneaking suspicion that Nate may just surprise us.    

1 comment:

  1. Dear Mom,

    I totally enjoyed your post. It was well written and it kept me eager to find out more about you and your family...that is from a writer's perspective. From a professional's perspective, or even from a person interested in people on the autism spectrum, I would like to congratulate you at what seemed to be an awesome "breakthrough" day for you and your little ones. From this post alone you seem to be handling your stresses very well. May other parents take an example from your book. It can never be easy, but I can tell that you are intent on making it as "normal" as any parent would. Sincerely God bless you.