Saturday, September 10, 2011

Small Victories

Jonathan's speech has been increasing by leaps and bounds.  And while it has mostly been the scripting of Caillou episodes ("I like apple pie!  I like apple jelly, on toast!" - his fav of the week), I feel like this week we've had some small victories in back and forth communication.  I'm not going to get overly excited, just pretty satisifed for a moment, which really, I can't ask for much more.

Here are some examples:
We were going to school, and the car was outside of the garage.  I opened the door to the garage and Jonathan peeked in.  He looked at me and said:
"Where is blue car? Blue Car!  Where are youuuuu?"

At school, his teacher reported they have been working with the kids on serving their own food and passing it to their friends at lunch.  She said she heard Jonathan say:
"Here, Landon.  Have some fruit."  "Here Mya, have some vegetables."
I WAS FLOORED!  Did he really acknowledge another child by name?!

His special ed teacher said she saw Jonathan go up to a kid who was visiably upset, look at him in the face to double-check his facial expression, and then touched him on the arm.  She felt it was a sign of Jonathan showing empathy.  Empathy?!?!  I have literally sat in front of Jonathan, crying my eyes out, and he would just look at me and laugh, or not react at all.  I will take empathy!

Jonathan also was really interested in a book that has pictures of other kids doing various facial expressions, each matching a letter of the Alphabet.  He carried the book around for 2 days, and contantly wanted me to label the faces the kids were making.  I brought it up to the therapists, and hope they jump on that interest.  Reading facial and social cues is something a lot of Autism kids have a hard time doing. 

Oh, and when I said good night to him last night, after I put up his baby gate (otherwise we would be running back and forth out of the room all night), Jonathan was upset I was leaving.  He then said, "I do not like this."  I did a double take on that one.  Oh, and he just ran into the room 2 seconds ago and knocked his hand on the wall.  He said "I am hurting."  This coming from the kid who had an in-grown toe nail and never made a peep.  (He is ok by the way.  I did stop writing and gave him kisses.)

Last but not least, we had some OK drop-off at school this week.  He would dawdle a bit, and would whine if I picked him up to get moving, but no real tantrum. Then on Friday....ahh, blessed Friday...he ran right into the room and started playing.  I even had to park in a different spot, and he was fine with that!!  No tantrums, no dawdle, no whining. Relief.  His teachers sent some cute pictures, and I have to share. 
 Looking at books.  My little book-worm
 Stamping my name
 Playing playdoh next to friends!
 When did he get so big?!
In the meantime, I'm going to keep celebrating the small victories, because I know the next challenge is around the corner.  It is like when you have a newborn, and you think you have a good sleep routine down, inevitably something changes, and you're back to square one.  I don't dread the return of square one.  I'm being realistic in knowing it will be back. But now, we're good.  We really are.

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