Monthly Archives: February 2014

One Step at a Time

How do you explain in simple terms to a 3-year-old why your kid does not talk to them? I was faced with that yesterday. I was picking up Silas from daycare and one of the other little boys asked why Silas does not talk. He said, “All of the other kids talk but not Silas.” I thought about it for a moment and responded, “Maybe he just doesn’t have anything to say. He knows how to talk but I think he just chooses not to.”  At that moment Silas spoke up and said he was ready to go bye-bye. I smiled at the little boy, “See?”

Moments like this remind me I will be faced with difficult questions more and more often as Silas gets older. It is not always easy to find the positive in all situations but that is what must be done. I do not look at my child as being disabled in any sort of way. On the contrary, he is exceptionally gifted. His intelligence is actually quite amazing. Silas is focused, driven, gentle, loving, and so much more.

Some of his quirks may make him difficult to handle at times but those are the times when I actually learn the most from him. Silas helps me see life in a different way and I am eternally grateful for that. He has greatly enhanced the quality of my life in every way possible. I now enjoy more of the small moments rather than focusing on the big picture. I am now more determined and focused on getting the best for him, my husband, and myself because I have battled against Silas’ determination and will power. I am more creative at finding solutions and alternate ways of approaching situations. Being a family on the spectrum has not diminished the quality of our lives. Instead, we are advancing each and every day one step at a time. 

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Leaps and Bounds

Silas has been doing some absolutely amazing things lately. Once he got over being sick things have changed dramatically. Not sure what has caused the change but he has done a 180 from where he was a week ago. He has been eating loads of food, sleeping all night long, talking up a storm, and just excelling at everything. I’m loving every minute of it.

During the past few therapy sessions he has done fantastic work.

  • Identifies mommy, daddy, and mawmaw (Julia) both receptively and expressively (We still have a lot more people to go but it’s great that he knows these already)
  • Identifies apple, bed, bike, crayons, and dog both receptively and expressively(With the sayings from the therapists)
  • Stacks wood blocks 15 high (He wasn’t doing that at all then out of nowhere he was building towers)
  • Playing with megablocks (He wasn’t doing that at all and is now putting together 8 blocks)
  • Matching similar objects (matching pictures)
  • Matching 3D objects to correct toy (shape sorter and cash register)
  • Throwing the ball in his basketball hoop (and making it!)
  • Clapping and stomping when asked to
  • Asking for help appropriately
  • Asking for a break when he needs it
  • Started coloring on his white board (Couldn’t even get him to hold a crayon before)
  • Saying stop and all done appropriately
  • Sitting at his table for activities and not getting up
  • Pushing cars and playing with trucks

Needless to say I am quite impressed. Silas has been in such a wonderful mood and is ready to work as soon as his therapists get here. He is making leaps and bounds daily and I am so proud of him and all he has accomplished.

Tonight I was showing daddy how he was making marks on the board. I drew a circle and Silas copied me! Then I drew a square and he copied that too!!! What?! My baby is excelling at an amazing rate. Here is him with one of his therapists and the pictures I took of him copying what I drew.

 

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Doing work!

Today was such a good day for my sweet man. He had a pizza party and cookies at daycare with his friends for Valentine’s Day. Then at therapy he did absolutely amazing!

success

I went today and got him a few new things to see if I could find something that he is interested in, which is quite a hard task. I got him a hotwheels race loop that shoots cars and two monster trucks that go by themselves. Silas loved all of them. I also got him some duplos with a story book for jungle animals. He didn’t quite know what to think of that yet.

The therapist and I introduced the hotwheels stuff when we started our session. Silas was immediately drawn in which was super exciting. He was pushing the cars and making them crash. This is one of the items he is currently on – to push cars. Today, he mastered it. He not only played with the cars but he was playing with the monster trucks I got him as well. He was making them ramp off of the couch and giggled like a fool when they hit the floor. I am super giddy about this because I used to love playing cars with both of my nephews and now I can do it with Silas too. Imaginative play here we come!

Another item Silas is working on is identifying pictures of mommy and daddy. The therapist decided to try to get him to do this task a different way today. She held up my picture to Silas and said, “Who is this?” Silas excitedly shouted “Mommy!”. We were jumping up and down and cheering like we had just won the lottery. Next she held up daddy’s picture and said the same thing. Silas responded “Daddy!” We were so excited. This is the first time that he has done this in therapy without being prompted first. He got 5/5 for expressive on the first try which is super amazing.

The therapist also introduced a new picture today into the random rotation of pictures – crayons. “You color with…crayons!” All Silas has to do for the beginning is receptive; just touch the picture. I have been working on this with Silas at night and he knew the answer…”Crayons!” His therapist fell out her seat with shock. That’s right. J She was very impressed. Silas got 5/5 for both receptive and expressive today.

Feeling optimistic, the therapist tried one more picture – dog. “What says woof woof?…dog!” Silas wasn’t as into this picture since it was the first time he had seen it. He got 5/5 for receptive on this one. Overall, he was very successful today. I even got him to stack two blocks 3x with me. He was on a roll!

Oh and towards the end of therapy he was pretending! I got him one of those blow up bop things that you hit and it pops back up. Well, he was pretending that it was getting him and would fall over and the therapist would say, “Ohhh nooo! Are you okay?” It was super cute and he thought it was hilarious.

Everyday Silas makes progress and just leaves me in awe. I find it amazing how many little things he picks up/decides to finally do daily. It may not seem like big accomplishments to others but to me and Robert, these are huge! What a wonderful Valentine’s Day ❤

Walking in Public!

Silas holding mommy’s hand and walking in the mall. Recorded by daddy 🙂

We had a “moment”

For many on the spectrum, displaying and understanding emotion may oftentimes be difficult. As an example, he or she may not pick up on body language but if told of the emotions directly be more empathetic than others. With Silas, it seems more like he does not know how to express his emotions appropriately. He is clearly able to understand them as he knows if I am happy, mad, or upset.

The other night, Silas did something that truly touched my heart and actually made me cry tears of joy. I was laying down with him as I do every night before he goes to sleep. Tonight he did something that he has never done before. Silas laid down and faced me then grabbed my hand and held it tightly. With his other hand he held my face gently. He just laid there and looked deeply into my eyes. We had “a moment” I guess you could say.

To me it seemed like he was really trying to connect with me. He saw me smile and gave me the sweetest half smile in the world. I told him that I loved him and he said me more! It was in that moment that I truly realized how blessed I am to have such an amazing little boy in my life. No matter how much of a pain he can sometimes be, he will always have my heart. I have always known how special he was to me but this moment reaffirmed how great and wonderful he is.

I am not sure exactly why I cried. Perhaps it was because I was so proud of him for making such an emotional connection with me. I have become accustomed to his ways and this was so out-of-the-ordinary that I was not expecting it at all.

Since that night he has held my hand on multiple other occasions and touched my face the way he did that night. I am so overwhelmingly proud of Silas and the advances he has made so far. I cannot wait for what he will do next. He truly is my everything and more.

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Ebulliophobia or Just a Stage?

During ABA therapy Silas was playing with one of the therapists. The other one grabbed some bubbles knowing how much Silas loves them and blew them at him without him noticing. Once a bubble came into his peripherals, he absolutely freaked out. He started almost having a panic attack and ran away from the bubbles screaming. We were all baffled. This is a kid who stands in front of his hurricane bubble maker and lets the bubbles pop all over him.

I have begun to wonder if something has happened that made him scared of bubbles or if this is just a phase. Now anytime there are bubbles blown he backs up and won’t let them touch him. He will not even pop the bubbles with his red plastic bat. I am going to keep blowing bubbles at him and reassuring him that they won’t hurt him. Hopefully this won’t last too long. As you can see below, he loves bubbles.

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You mad bro??

It is very common for individuals on the spectrum to have issues dealing with anger, stress and anxiety. This is due to many different reasons but the more common ones are not being able to understand something, feeling like he or she is being attacked, and not being able to determine how to analyze a solution to a problem.

Over the past two weeks, Silas has become very angry for what seems like some of the smallest reasons and has begun to yell and hit. This is not like the Silas we know, who is very gentle and soft spoken. As an example, the other night it was time for him to get off his IPad so we could eat dinner. I gave him his few minute transition warning as I always do and made sure he heard me. I went back a few minutes later and again made sure he knew he had a few more moments. When it came time for him to get off of the IPad, he got very mad. He ended up kicking me in the face after I turned it off. He was flopping all over the couch and the ground screaming and continuously trying to kick me. I grabbed his legs and held him down so he couldn’t hit me and he actually tried to bite me.

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I brought him to his room and closed his door for him to settle down. I stood in the hallway trying to figure out what exactly had just happened. What demon has possessed my child? I cleared my mind as to try to be as understanding as possible and went in. I sat down with Silas on his bed and he crawled into my lap. His put his arms around my neck and buried his face in my chest. I guess that was his way of apologizing to me.

We spent a good 10 minutes in his room sitting there as I explained to him that behavior is not okay and will not be tolerated. I gave him examples of the proper behavior and I am positive that we will venture into this situation again in the future. I can understand how frustrating it must be for him to not know how to communicate back-and-forth with us. That would throw me into an anger fit for sure. I am also not sure if he quite understands the emotions he is feeing.  I always try to make it a point to give how he feels a name so that he may refer to that at some point. For example, when he cries because he is hurt I tell him that. Or when he gets mad I tell him to say, “That makes me mad!” and to stomp his feet.

I have begun to find videos for children that explain feelings with pictures, colors, and such. He loves these videos and hopefully it is going to sink in. I truly believe that he is smarter than we realize because of some of the things he does. It seems like he just doesn’t talk because he feels like he doesn’t need to. I hope with the social situations I have shown him and with constant guidance he will adapt and overcome this anger issue before it becomes a major issue. Only time will tell…

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