Friday, April 3, 2009

Progress comes in small steps

And sometimes it's one step forward, two steps back, but slowly but surely, progress does come.

Tonight I had an experience with Bearhug that brought home just how far we have come in the 4 1/2 years since he was diagnosed with autism.

Dh decided to redecorate the boys' bathroom. He got a new shower curtain with matching towels, soap dish, little rug, etc. It looks really nice, IMO.

But, if you have children with autism, you know that even the smallest change in their environment can be cause for alarm. There was a time when something so small as hanging up a new picture, moving a chair a few feet over from where it used to be, or painting a wall was grounds for a nuclear-proportion meltdown.

There was a time, before our boys were diagnosed, when we didn't even realize that was one of the possible triggers for their meltdowns. I shudder to think of all the times we inadvertently moved something and could have avoided a meltdown if we had only known, either by not changing anything or by preparing them for the change as best we could.

And yet tonight, there was no meltdown. Bearhug found me after he brushed his teeth and sat down to tell me in a rather serious voice, "hey, Mama, have you seen our bafroom?"

"I have, do you like it?" (getting a little nervous wondering if he's going to be upset about it).

"Well... yeah, but it's freaking me out!!"

I couldn't help but smile, the way he said it was really cute :).

"Do you want to see it, Mama?"

"I saw it"

"Do you want to see it again?"

"Sure" So we walked to his bathroom, where he pointed out to me, each and every item that was different from before. No words, just pointing.

"I think it looks nice, what do you think?"

He gave me a sheepish grin.

"It's freaking you out?"

He nodded.

I led him out of the freaky-outy bathroom and assured him it would just take some time to get used to. He asked me why we changed it and I told him he'd have to talk to Dada about that since he's the one that did it. Yeah, I punted that one :). Hehe.

As I tucked him into bed, I marveled at how well he'd handled that. I could tell that the change caused him some anxiety but he handled it well, communicating that it "freaked him out" without physically "freaking out."


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Tripacerchick on April 4, 2009 at 9:57 AM said...

I'm so proud of the guy! How awesome! I like how you passed it off too :)

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful! I love how he not only handled it, but that he communicated with you about it. I think that's awesome! =)

Anonymous said...

AWESOME! 'Well... yeah, but it's freaking me out.' I love it! So mature, honest and calm.


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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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