Friday, June 10, 2011

I had directed a friend to my blog yesterday, to show her pictures of my pets.  She ended up reading on and found a 2 year old post on my son, who has Autism.  I re-read it this morning, and realized so much has happened in the last 2 years, and I wanted to share some pin points of happenings and what I learned. 

  • I understand Autism Awareness, and feel there should be therapies to help make these kids cope better....but I struggle with the idea of a "cure". Granted Ethan is High Functioning, but I think I'd rather help him deal with his emotions without taking away the most incredible lines of thought he has. Ethan is brilliant. He only has to see something once, and he remembers it. He wonders how it works, and comes up with theories and ideas...way more out of the box than a typical 9yr old.
  • There are situations to avoid and situations to encourage. Ethan still does not do well in chaotic, not well supervised environments. Lunch lines, buses, gym class, field trips, daycare. So Ethan does not go to daycare...this is why I have LilacAve. I drive him to school...which actually gives us time to chat. I will chaperone field trips. Can't do much about gym or lunch lines....but helping what I can helps both of us.
  • I could care less what anyone thinks in public. I know for many this is a huge struggle. You have a normal looking kid, acting like a 3yr old in a store or a restaurant. You know what, stare all you want, think I am a bad have no idea, and your opinion doesn't matter to me, nearly as much as handling my kid and his triggers.
  • Thanks to a Doctor in Hawaii, for making me realize I am a good mom for Ethan. We went to a luau.  I forgot this is the worst situation for Ethan. Crowded, weird food, loud, out of routine. He started to melt down.  My Dad snapped at him. (this makes him melt down more, because he knows people are disappointed in him).  Comments were made to me about my parenting. Talked about it at Ethan's therapy session.  I explained all the things I should've done differently. I discussed what I thought was the triggers. Dr. Miller commended me for understanding my son so well. This lifted me up, while it was being incinuated at home by my father, that I was not tough enough on him.

  • Speaking of being tough. Hardest lesson learned.....stay calm!!!!!  Nothing pushes him into more of a meltdown than yelling at him.
  • He can't take a joke. True story,  we are cooking dinner, and he says "Is this what we are having for dinner?". Husband says, "Well its what me and mommy are having....not sure about you two." (said in sarcasm, as it is obvious, I was making dinner, and we always all eat it). Ethan starts to cry, that we are not feeding him dinner. This one is hard to break as me and the hubs are fluent in sarcasm.
  • Peer pressure does not work on him. He could care less if he makes a scene in  class, in front of the neighborhood friends, or if "everyone is doing it".  A blessing and a curse. Curious to see if this changes in time.
  • He is getting better in social situations, but still has a hard time not playing one sided (he tells you the game, and your place in it).  He did however, make his very first bestie in Georgia.  And the kid was the Alpha....Ethan would politely play along.  So he is capable. We just have to harness it.
  • We can talk. He is better about trying to think through his feelings. Probably the most common thread in our house is, you have to tell us what's bothering you before we can fix it. He was melting down yesterday when his sister had friends wasn't until later when he was calm, that it was all about the TV being too loud.  But he never voiced that.
  • He has gone to the movies and Sea World and done great...these are places we never could have gone before.
  • Traveling is still a struggle, and moving transitions are still weird. Last move it was pooping in pants....since we moved back to Virginia, its insomnia. Hopefully the stability of not moving again, will iron out these issues.
  • He can empathize for his sister.  When we were in Georgia and he was in therapy, he would get a prize while leaving.  He always asked for one for his sister. He also worries about her if she's hurt.  Not to say they don't have the normal sibling rivalries or competitiveness.

These are just snippets.  But I'd like to say, at 9yrs old, I am no longer worried for Ethan.  There are days he is still a struggle, but we deal. Most days he is an incredible mind, a sweet heart, and just a quirky, loveable kid.

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