Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tuesday May 29th? I think...I keep thinking it is Monday...

Supposed to get to 87 degrees today or hotter. AND SO MUGGY. It feels like a sauna when you go outside. I have never minded sweat or sweating (though I don't like wet, sweaty clothes clinging to my body...I would rather be naked)....but I have never much enjoyed a sauna or high humidity. Does anyone? It feels like a tropical forest or jungle outside today. AND we will have to venture out sometime. I have held off on mowing....hopefully the grass will dry out really well today and it will be cooler in the morning and no rain, so maybe I can mow. I am not sure about that as rain is in the forecast I think.

I was reading on some other blogs today...parents of autistic children. Sounds like some really have it rough. I remember many more trying times with Noah in the past....and I thank God that he has improved so tremendously over the last couple of years. With that being said however....I don't believe he was ever quite as severe as some of these other children sound like they might be. I am thankful for that...not because I would be disappointed in my son. I would love him regardless. I am thankful because it gives him a better, perhaps slightly easier, fighting chance at a good, productive life. And I wonder what this means for those other parents and children out there. The ones much worse. More severe. Even little spurts of improvement you grasp onto like your life depends on it.

I am not trying to make Noah sound so much better and superior than anyone else either. There are many more children not even at his level....who far surpass him. My job is to give him the best chance he's got for a future. And it is not like there is a book walking you through each step. Autism books, while helpful, could never possible cover all the variations and degrees of its own characteristics as there are so many. While it has common characteristics among most who have it....what works for one child or adult with autism does not necessarily work for another. It is truly a trial and error, "let's see" sort of thing.

The NIKE commercial always blares over and over in my head. "JUST DO IT!" That is the best way to learn anything. What works and what doesn't. JUST DO IT. Try it and see. If it doesn't...you have to keep looking for something that does work. Something that does make that connection with your child. This provides hope...which leads to encouragement, and drive to try again. And again.

I remember Noah's first week at preschool where all he wanted to do was kneel on the floor and push his head across the floor. I remember him not being able to hold scissors or a pencil let alone a crayon....and not being able to use any of those things. He could not draw a face or trace lines or write. I remember him not being able to talk at all...he only made sounds...till he was almost 4-1/2 years old. I remember him not knowing how to walk down steps one step at a time...or not being able to peddle a tricycle. I remember him not being able to stand one drop of water getting on his shirt without having a screaming fit. I remember him not being able to touch sand let alone play in it. Same for shaving cream or finger paint or play dough or coloring Easter eggs. I remember him not being able to go to church because the crowds bothered him. I remember him not being able to go shopping because he would think everyone was staring at him. I remember him not wanting anything to do with a toilet. He was not potty trained till 5-1/2 years of age and even now....he sometimes has to have help wiping. I remember him not being able to put a coat on properly or zip it up. He still has problems with buttons and tying shoes. I remember him not wanting to go to a public park because other kids might come and also want to play. He would scream if he saw another child or people coming our way. I remember him not knowing how to swing or kick a ball. I remember him being too tired just from playing to walk back up the steps to go home. I remember so much....things I had almost forgotten about...or maybe even took for granted now because he can now DO all those things and so much more.

I list these things to offer some of those other moms out there HOPE. It IS possible for your child to improve and succeed....little steps at a time.

Today I give thanks for each little glimmer of hope.

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