Life on the Spectrum

Now in our second year of life in the AIM school, the differences in my boy, the happiness and expression he’s been able to find, make my heart sing. This is my boy who, before the intense therapy and dedication of his team of OT and PT teachers, could not figure out how to hold a crayon. This is the boy who popping bubbles would make him crazy. This is the child who knocked my teeth lose and cracked my nose because he couldn’t stop himself from violently rocking. Look at that happy face… Look at the accomplishment- Not only can he write his name, but he takes great delight and joy in coloring pictures from his imagination.

He leaves little puzzles all over the house for me. If there is a pattern to be made, or found, he’s all over it. You can tell Abby has messed with these, as they are slightly askew. Recently I introduced Scrabble, and despite him not reading yet, he adores it. The squares, the tiles, the neat letters, the gridded board- it all appeals to his sense of pattern and order. His tiles are always perfectly lined up on his stand, and if he gets a combination he likes, he doesn’t like messing it up and placing it on the board. And that’s fine with me, but tends to make my more tyrannical child a little nuts.

He also has discovered photography, and takes great glee in finding my camera and loading up about 100 pictures at a time like this.

And today? Today, after two solid years of work, he wore “flappy” pants to school. And, he did it without my even coaxing- he went to his closet, grabbed a pair of pants, and put them on, all while explaining a Lego project to me in great detail. My eyes teared up as I watched him, careful to keep my interest on his words, but privately celebrating this milestone. Oh, the small things that make a mama’s heart sing…

Flappy Pants are any pants not having elastic/sweatband edges or are not leggings.

28 thoughts on “Life on the Spectrum

  1. (Long time reader, first time commenter.) Hooray for you and your son! I love how having a one-of-a-kind lets us celebrate things others often overlook. It is a great gift.

  2. What great progress! It must be so gratifying to see how far he’s come; to know there are people out there who know exactly what your son needs and can give it to him and show you how to give it to him, too. What wonderful things to celebrate!

  3. This post made me so happy! Amazing all we take for granted and how all of it changes when we have a child whose needs are completely different and yet the same …… hooray for him and hooray for you πŸ™‚

  4. I’ve wondered a couple of times about how he’d respond to compression garments under his clothes, like those that burn survivors wear for a while. I wonder if that’d be a step backwards though?

    • Em, he has a tight lycra swim shirt he wears frequently if he’s having an “itchy” day. It functions the same as underarmour. (Which they now make for kids- yay!)

  5. So excited for you! What a wonderful way to start the day. Good teachers and the right programs make all the difference in the world.


  6. What a sweet boy. There is a game I see on the shelf at target called blokus (sp?) I think I’m remembering the name right. Andy way the game has lots of colors, but it’s a and I think there are quare shaped game pieces too. I wonder if he’d like the shapes & patterns of that game too, just a thought.

  7. Yay beanie!! I will never forget the first day cubby wore socks with out an issue. This is a big deal for your boy. Bless the teams if people that have helped get him here.

    We use our compression suits every day too. Does he like using a weighted blanket? I am trying to figure out how to make one.

  8. Love, love, LOVE to celebrate these milestones with you. I was thrilled to pieces when the Love Magnet brought me pictures (not scribbles, pictures I tell you!) she had drawn. I could identify the people, spiders, sun, and words on them. That was over two years in the making, too. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Moddy, spectrum kids often (and Bean does) like deep pressure. They will try and squish into small spaces, like their clothing tight, wear backpacks filled with canned pineapple around the house (one of my first clues to Bean) in order to give themselves pressure. They are trying to self-soothe.

    A weighted blanket is just that- a heavy blanket. You know how a lead apron feels at the dentist when they’re taking x-rays? It’s like that- only autism kids usually love that feeling and it helps calm them down. We can’t give our kids lead blankets, so you can buy or make blankets weighted with polypropylene pellets. They are machine wash/dryable, and give the kids a sense of heavy weight. Not all kids like them, of course, but a great many do. Mine does.

  10. That is awesome! I love those little miracles that happen after months of therapy, prodding and prayer! My daughter has Cerebral Palsy (2nd of 4 kids) and every incremental improvement is a joyous moment. And a pat on the back. πŸ™‚ I also saw on the MMW about your divorce. (I think it’s you. I stumbled upon the site today) As a child of a Mormon divorced family, I know it’s rough. It stinks. But you will make it and your kids can still end up happy and not in prison. I promise. πŸ™‚ I’ll pray for you!

  11. Great news! I love it when the little things are huge.

    I’m not on the spectrum, but the thought of a weighted blanket makes me feel calm and safe. Maybe I’ll make one for me. Usually I don’t like enclosed spaces or feeling constricted, but the dentist apron thing has always felt, well, nice. Kinda like resting in my rocking chair at the end of a long day. Now I’m wondering if it feels similar to Bean.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. What a long way he has come, after making efforts every day. It makes me wonder if this transformation in your sweet troubled son could be the kind of transformation your life will undergo in the coming years. The amazing changes you’ve seen in Beanie can be your hope for the future.

    I’m so happy for him and you!

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