I keep an online journal (a facebook page!) chronicling the journey of my 14 year old son who just happens to be autistic. I am so proud of him and really enjoy sharing his progress. Mind you, we do have days that are not so great and in order to remain real, I also share those moments. The following are facebook updates that have made me smile this year.
It's late; I sneak into Nick's room to tuck him in. He stirs, although snuggles back down. 5 minutes later I am hunting high and low for my glasses. I go back to Nick's room and quietly shuffle around looking for those damn glasses! Next minute, a hand pops out from under the bedclothes and clutched in that hand are my glasses. All is right with the world.
Nick: Gave the dog an over enthusiastic pat (with his foot!). The dog yelped in pain.
Nick: Looked to me and made the sign for "sore".
Me: "Ouch, poor dog. You need to be gentle".
Nick: Went to the dog and gave him a gentle pat on the head.
We got seriously lost trying to find our friends house. I was muttering at the husband as we were over an hour late. Nick gets our attention.... he holds up his fists and makes the 'sign' for "cross". He then said... "Sh..it". Very appropriate!
Me: I popped some red capsicum into my mouth and said "yuk, this tastes horrible" and I made a funny face.
Nick: Picked up piece of capsicum and put it in my mouth.
Me: Made another funny face and shook my head... "Yuk, I don't like it".
Nick: Thinks this is a great joke and goes to do it again.
Me: "Yuk, I don't want any more!"
Nick: Looks around and spies the dog... he then proceeds to try and open the dog's mouth to feed him the piece I didn't want!
Yesterday we went to the Hypermarket to buy a few groceries. Just a regular mum and her regular kid doing a weekly shop. Cruising the aisles, finding the items we needed, checking out the toy section. Hanging out together, stopping, starting, looking, sharing, smiling and relaxed. Go Nick!
I threw Nick so many curveballs this evening and he just took it all in his stride! Unexpected trip to other side of town then home again. Stop off for takeout supper. NO bath!!! Brushed teeth BEFORE pajamas's ! NO bath!! Gone is his need for rigid routines... gone!
I am standing at the bench peeling a carrot. I pause and look over at Nick, who is sitting at the table. He senses that I would like him to join me! He stands up, makes the sign for sleep, lies on the couch and pulls a cushion over his head. Love a little rebellion!
I called out to Nick.... "Dad is going to the airport!". Nick came running through, iPad in hand.... He had the Proloquo2go app open and was pushing the button for "goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye......"
Sometime last year I decided that I wanted to get my boy onto a plane! Well.... come June I am going to follow through with my plan! With the help of my mother ~ although she doesn't know this yet!!!!
Nick's communication is really coming along.
We were revisiting Old MacDonald and Nick was making the sign for bird, although it wasn't the bird sign that I know. I show my confusion by screwing up my face ~ he then starts saying "uck".. and I still don't get it!! I call for Thomas to bring the Lightwriter. Nick then types the word "duck".
Nick dumped his lunch bowls etc into the sink and then snuck off with the iPad. I stood next to the dishwasher with a bowl in my hand... AND PAUSED. Hehehe... he came running with a huge smile on his face and we then stacked the dishes!
So, we went out for supper. To a restaurant. It was dark. It was raining. WE TOOK NICK! He missed his bath and his TV time. He did GREAT!
Nick is making me smile this evening.... he is trying so hard to speak and is at the stage of sounding out letters to spell a word. He asked for a ... t...i..ss..oo and I understood what he was saying. Never thought it would happen!
I parked outside school.
Nick went to open the car door.
Me: "oooh, hang on, here comes a car!"
Nick: stops what he is doing and looks out the window.
Nick: "car, car"
It's going to be a good day.
Nick has just been to his *first ever* movie! It was LOUD and there were lots of scary moments throughout the movie. Nick held my hand tight and at times he hid behind his sweatshirt. He laughed and he danced and at times he said "car". He LOVED it. #roaringsuccess
It is very hard to know what Nick understands. He has just pointed to the cupboard in which our Mbona bag is stored. I said to him... We are not going to Mbona BUT we are going to go on a plane to CT. He very quickly went to another cupboard, opened the door and pointed to the suitcase!!!
Well, Nick has now experienced his first plane ride in over ten years! He was an absolute star. No stress whatsoever!
I am loving Nick's new word.... "Go".
There is nothing more heart warming than watching your kid walk into school, bag on his back.... and then he turns to look at me and wave goodbye! Sweet boy.
Driving home from school... Nick made the sounds "s...t...o" and then tapped me on the arm. I gave him a questioning look. He then pointed to the road sign that said STOP!!
We were making juice and Nick went to the cupboard to collect a glass..... I mentioned that I also needed a glass. He took the glasses off my head and put them on my face!!
Yesterday we had the BEST haircut experience ever! For the first time in 14 years I was able to sit back and relax and watch the proceedings! Although Nick had the iPad he continually checked out to see where I was!
Told Nick that his bedroom was being painted, therefore he would have to sleep in the spare room. Hmm, nope.. no way did he want to do that and he hotfooted off to his room. On went the light and in he went... he gazed around the room and checked out the mess. He quickly turned, made the sign for sleep and put himself to bed in the spare room!! Well, that was easy!
Nick: Placed 3 glasses next to me!
Me: "You would like some juice?"
Nick: Nods his head for "yes"
Me: "We going to need some oranges!"
Nick: Rushes off to the fridge.
Woo hoo..... he is loving his juice!
Note: He wasn't even bothered with the change of colour!
Nick was rummaging through the fridge looking for the jam (I stopped buying jam months ago). Anyhow, I offered him marmite or peanut butter.... Instead of saying "no", which is fairly standard practice... he chose the peanut butter and actually tried some on his toast. He wasn't keen BUT he tried it! HUGE!
Nick has just had his bath.... as he leaves the bathroom I think I see him makes the sign for "eat". As he goes out of sight, I comment, "huh, Nick wants to eat!". The very next second he pops his head around the door and shakes his head for "no"!!
I loved putting this post together for Hopeful Parents. Spotlighting positive, interesting and lovely progress works for me. It keeps me hopeful.
You can find Di and Nick over The Bright Side of Life and facebook!