Have you celebrated today the little achievements your child has made or did you let a day pass without realizing that even the tiniest of achievements in the world of autism is like a super duper giant dinosaur step that moves forward? Well, let me tell you about my boys.
Our oldest has been very interested in the news. He is taking a special interest in what is happening in Syria and I do not need to turn on the TV to know what is happening in the Middle East because he tells me all about it with full details.
One of the things I have been teaching him for a long time is to ensure that when he is having a conversation, the other person is also interested in the topic that he is interested in. I noticed for a while now that when he realizes that he is talking a lot about a particular interest, he stops and says: "Am I boring you?" or "Are you interested? We can change topics". It took a long time for him to learn this so I am ecstatic that he is putting into practice.
Also, I do not even need to check how the weather will be tomorrow because my teen- meteorologist knows all about it and gives me a crush-geography course on the rainy season and how storms and thundershowers are formed as well.
Now, if anyone have met him when he was 4 or 5 years old, nobody would have guessed that this little and VERY hyperactive pre-schooler who couldn't talk properly and who struggled tremendously with the simplest of tasks could one day became a handsome teenager, reading perfectly, using a computer better than most people and having conversations with me about NASA robotic rover in Mars.
My not-so-baby (He is the youngest so he will always be my baby) has been having small conversations with me, I am amazed at how much he understands when I talk with him and he has been responding correctly and on topic in those little conversations, he is also a great actor and loves to get our oldest in trouble, loves to pretend that he cries and then when I am not looking, he laughs while looking at him.
Just the other day, I was in my room and I saw him approaching the kitchen before lunch, opened the fridge and then closed it. I called him and he came to me with a serious face and with both hands behind his waist. I thought it was a little odd. So I asked him: "What do you have in your hands?" And he kept looking at me with smirk on his face"¦you know, that smirk of mischievousness. I asked him to show me his hands and after a little reluctance he did to discover that he was hiding three chocolate chip cookies! Naughty boy! For an autistic child, all this requires a lot of careful thought and planning.
Last but not least we have Mr. Middle one. So I was doing the dishes today and my husband was bathing the kids. He called me to show me something so I left the dirty dishes and went to the bathroom. He was there waiting and my husband was showing him the different products we have in our shower area.
He took the shampoo and asked: "What is this?", and he looked at the label and said: "Shampoo!", then he showed him the conditioner and asked: "What is this one?" and he said: "Conditioner!", then he showed him the moisturizer and Jonah looked at it"¦read it and in perfect English said: "Moisturizer!" Now that word for a kid like him who struggles so much with speech is very hard. I said great job son!
While I was doing the dishes, all I could think of with a big smile on my face was:
Moisturizer! My boy said moisturizer! Nothing else matters today.