It wasn't my intention to take the entire summer off from blogging. I've been a very busy mama. And, I think you'll excuse my absence when you see what I've been up to.
At the end of kindergarten, my little guy was still wearing diapers and drinking from sippy cups. He only ate almond butter sandwiches, waffles, french fries and chips. He also could not tolerate having the television on at home. Most of the time, he was unable to tell me if something was upsetting him. Instead, he would have a meltdown and I would have to guess the source of his distress.
My priority at the beginning of summer was to get both of my reluctant potty trainers out of diapers. I was truly desperate at this point. We had worked for so long on this one issue to no avail, I could no longer envision a life without diapers. I'm beyond thrilled to say WE DID IT! The diaper days are over!
Honestly, if that was the only accomplishment this summer, I'd be happy. But wait...there's more!
Another issue high on my list was to get my little guy to break free from the sippy cup. He had some success drinking from an open cup at school, but he refused to do it at home. Once I was finally able to get him to try it at home, he managed just fine with it. He was comfortable using straws with a valve, but regular straws without any flow control were very difficult for him and water bottles were just impossible. With a lot of work, he got the hang of it all. We autism moms always talk about how the 'little things' are so important to us. Perhaps I'm not the first mom to tear up while watching her child drink a juice box?
My son's limited diet has been the bane of my existence since he regressed into autism. It has been great to see him make progress on this front. He's not exactly noshing on spinach every day, but he is trying lots of new things. He has also added coconut ice cream and chicken nuggets to his selection of favorites. Even if he hates it, trying something new is huge progress. It is a big relief to see him expand his food choices.
When he was hospitalized last fall, he developed an intolerance for television. It wasn't just the sound either, it had to be completely off. Oddly enough, watching TV at school didn't bother him. In fact, he had a favorite show that he often watched in the classroom. So, I bought a copy of that show and surprised him with it at home. From there, I was able to start turning on the TV in the house again. I know a lot of parents would be happy to have a child that doesn't watch TV. But, it became problematic when I took him other places that had a TV on such as the childcare room at the gym or other peoples' houses. We went about 8 months without watching TV while he was awake. Thank goodness for DVR!
Another cool development this summer is his improved ability to tell me when something is bothering him. He will let me know if we are in a place that is too loud or too crowded. He can now tell me if he is feeling sick or if something hurts. And he's quick to let me know when his sister is bugging him. I love that I don't have to guess about everything anymore.
My little guy made huge strides this summer. I'd love to say that I developed some wonderful new tactics to help him with these issues, but the truth is we've been working on all of these issues with him for years. He just recently hit a point in his development where he was ready to tackle them. It's wonderful to see him building confidence with each new success. I'm also grateful for the reminder to keep hope alive. He is no longer a very young child with autism and I am painfully aware of the limitations that come with each passing year. But to see this much progress in such a short period of time reminds me once again that anything is possible.