It has been a long 2 wks since I posted last. So much going on in this house hold.
Several weekends ago we had a couple over to our home that also has a son with autism and an almost 2 year old son. We had a great time. It was nice to be around others that understand emotionally what you are going through. Although our boys are on different ends of the spectrum – it doesn’t mean our feelings are not the same. If you have a child with autism – I strongly advise you to find your own support group of friends/peers that know what you are going through. It has helped us tremendously talking with others that know and being able to relax and have a good time – knowing your children are not going to be judged.
We have seen some great changes in Carter. He is now trying to look you in the eye – mainly he looks at your face… but at least we know he is listening and it is big step for him. He is also becoming more and more social – HIGH FIVE on that one. He is understanding feelings better. He came to me the other day and said “Mom, the next time I get you upset – I am going to tell you I am sorry.” He has been taking fault for things that normally he would never – things he would not understand that he did wrong. He is maturing in his vocabulary. He is still stuck on “Skylanders” but he has gotten better. When he starts talking about them – we tell him that we do not want to hear about them. He has been responding with “Okay, I will tell you later” or if we tell him that we will listen one time but he can’t talk about them the rest of the day to us – he is okay with that – WHICH IS HUGE!!!! I have so much hope for my little guy. He is working hard, we are working hard… it is all paying off.
We have noticed some sensory issues that are becoming more prominent. Noises are really bothering him now. When people clap, laugh loud, talk loud, etc… he covers his ears and exclaims “Too Loud!”…. This story is kinda funny – last Friday night I was stepping off a step stool and then there was this loud snap/pop that came from my knee and the most horrible pain. I screamed very loud and started crying. After I had calmed down – Carter came to me and put his hands on my face and said “Mommy, next time you hurt your knee – please don’t scream and cry so loud… you hurt my ears a lot!” Bless him! (Oh and I found out today that I have a dislocated knee cap and will not need surgery and will just need physical therapy – so relieved!!)
The weekend before July 4th – I took the kids to see “Monster University”. This is the first movie that Carter has been so excited to see. He was so cute during the movie. He was using the most precious expressions and outburst when something funny/sad/bad would happen during the movie. He would exclaim “Yay for Mike” or “Poor Mike” or “Sully is being mean!” He would clap at the parts that made him excited. It was so fun to watch him. I also took them last week during 4th of July break (before my knee blew out) to see “Despicable Me 2” – I took my niece, Sophie, and our friend’s daughter, Addison, too. Todd said I was a brave woman taking 4 kids but they were wonderful. Carter loved this movie as well – and is now wanting all the “Minion” characters from McDonald’s and wants me to order them off the computer. This is stuck in his head.
Carter has all the McDonald’s “Skylander” toys. No, we did not eat at McDonald’s to get them – I ordered them off of EBAY. He drove us crazy wanting them. So, I ordered them (which I am not sure that was very smart). These cheap toys are his prized possessions. He kept asking me to build him a shelf to hang on the wall. He wanted 3 shelves. He had a particular order in his mind of how he wanted these toys to be lined up and what row of the shelf he wanted them to be on. I told him I was not going to build him a shelf. I had a shelf that my grandfather had made (2 shelves together) and I hung it on the wall and tried to surprise him with it. He told me that it would do for now but I needed to get him 3 shelves. So, my mom had watched the kids for me last week while I went in to work. When I picked them up I told her about the shelf situation. She ended up having a 4 shelf cabinet thingy… that had little cubby’s. It is perfect. He couldn’t wait to put them in it. I was worried that it was 4 shelves not 3 but he didn’t mind. He has all of his McDonald’s “Skylanders” where he wants them in this shelf cabinet. Oh – and the shelf that my grandfather had made – now has all of his “Monster University” character toys on it… lined up just the way he wants them.
With all of this being said – I often wonder if I am harming Carter – rather than helping him. We, as a society, judge people because they are not what we consider as “normal”. Carter is different – a beautiful different. We are molding him and getting him the help that WE think he needs so he can “fit in”. But – who is to say that we are not destroying our little square peg – we want him to be a round peg – but he is square. What we want – is it right? OR should we let him be the square peg – let him be “out of the norm”? We are all different… whose to say our different is better than his? Carter’s quirks are what make him – HIM! Is that not good enough? Is normal really that great?
“Autists are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It’s that you’re destroying the peg.” ~ Paul Collins