Saturday, February 28, 2015

A World All His Own

Autism is not always crazy, chaotic, uncontrollable madness. Sometimes autism is quiet, calm, and sadly, reclusive. It's easy to look from the outside in and not see the dysfunction that these kids often live in, and the picture below is a perfect example. This is how Evan spent an hour of his morning...long enough to leave marks on his face that looked like a terrible rash and took another hour to go away. He looks like any other kid just making a home in a tucked away spot, but he stayed like this, staring into space, for an hour; there is a way that he zones out that is hard to understand unless you watch it happen. Though what he does is far from typical behavior, I think he needs this time to rest his brain, and our approach has been to just leave him alone unless we think he is unhappy. I'm sure his little body sensed it was the weekend - after 8 hours of home behavior therapy, 4 speech sessions, 3 OT sessions, 3 social groups, and all day in school...it's no wonder that he spent part of his morning this way.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Back to the Cemetary


After Evan recovered from a fever during our vacation, we took a little snowshoe into the back fields of my parent's farm. As we passed the cemetery (see previous posts for Evan's obsession with my Grandfather), Evan stopped and turned to look at me with concern etched all over his face.

We could rub it off, he said, circling his hands. He meant the snow, of course, as it was all but a few inches from the top of the gravestones. Absolutely, I answered, and broke a trail for he and Shayna to make their way to the stones; they went on to clean for all of our passed family members so that the names on two stones and a bench were visible. After this was done, we were able to continue on our trek :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Question of the Day

When I'm older, whose parents will I be next?

That was the out of the blue, no context provided question from Evan on the way to school this morning. Crap, I thought...here goes the "fun" game of trying to figure out what he wants to know without making him mad. I'll spare you the back and forth 20 question game we played and tell you that what he really wanted to know (or what we finally settled on, maybe he just gave up and told me what was easiest) was who he is going to marry. Funny kid, that one.

For as many times as I shake my head at the fact that the things he says makes no sense, words will come out of his mouth that just floor me. For example, last night he was telling a story to Jayme, and though I had tuned most of it out (it truly exhausts my brain trying to follow and figure out his language sometimes), I was listening enough to hear him finish up by saying, and BEHOLD, there it is. This is a kid who can't completely grasp the use of words like before and in front of, and here he is using the word behold appropriately in a sentence. Okay, brain synapses...please explain yourselves.

The biggest heart warmer of the last few days, though, was the I love you I received from him on Sunday night. Yes, it was a response to me saying it first, but I can count the number of times he has said it...4. Four times he has said I love you - something I say every day, something my girls say every day to me. One day, like pooping, I won't be able to count the times on both hands (we are at 11 with poops in the potty, in case anyone is curious), but for now I treasure each and every one.

One day, Evan's ability to grasp the finer nuances of language will reach it's maximum potential. Likely, this will happen in less than 10 years (around the ages of 12-15, according to available research). No, this doesn't mean that he won't be able to learn, but his ability to form new neural pathways to overcome and adapt to his current limitations will end. So, as much as I marvel at how far he's come, I still can't help but to think about how far he has left to go...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

A Hug

We took a family trip to the book store last night after dinner (the kids all had gift cards). As I was helping Shayna find a project for an upcoming school event, Evan came up to me and said, "thank you for letting me get Minecraft guys", then held his arms open wide.

"Your welcome, buddy", I said in response, thinking in my head how sweet it was for him to say that to me as I continued looking at the shelves in front of me.

Evan remained where he was, arms still open wide. Something in my head was starting to buzz, but it wasn't until Shayna said, "Mamma, he wants to give you a hug", that I realized that Evan was standing in front of me WANTING TO GIVE ME A HUG.

He couldn't have been more obvious with his intentions, yet I missed the message completely. Hugs are rare from Evan, and have never been delivered in such a manner. Usually arms open wide means I'M ABOUT TO BODY SLAM YOU!

So, yes, I gave that boy a big hug, and kissed all over his face too. I'll come back to this post during a bad time and hope this reminds me that when Evan loves me, I feel it deep and to my core. This is Darwinism at it's best...survival of the fittest (cutest)...he never would have made it so far otherwise :)