So This is New

When I first started entering the word Autism into Dr. Google it would typically come back with a few key signs….lack of eye contact, repetitive behavior, lack of imagination, etc. I was always tricked by the responses. My son has the eye contact, no repetitive behavior and zero imagination. I used to think it was ALL OR NOTHING. Nope. It’s a spectrum.

Super Cooper has NEVER had a repetitive behavior. He’s too busy. Honestly, I’ve only seen him sit a few times and usually he is strapped into a booster seat. The kid never stops moving.

I used to actually pray that he would start having a repetitive behavior because then I would actually be able to sit down with him and join in. I know that sounds sad but I just wanted to play with my kid. Now, at age 4, we have puzzles, flash cards, trains, books. It’s getting better. A few years ago I had nothing.  I would think if he had a repetitive behavior I could join in with him and play. The sad, sad wishes of a special needs mom.

Well, game on. Cooper has started lining things up. Notice in the first picture we have a book, milk, puzzle, plate of food, pacifier, blanket and another pacifier. Quite creative if you ask me.

And in the picture below he is putting blocks together. I still wouldn’t call it an obsessive behavior…which is good. He wouldn’t care if I messed this up or moved it. He could also transition right out of it. These are good things. And dare I say he is playing blocks? And you can be certain this mama sat right now and joined in.

And notice that the picture is NOT a blurry mess. He is sitting. Sitting still.

It’s the little things I tell ya.

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11 thoughts on “So This is New

  1. Yeah! That’s fantastic! BTW I hear re lining things up and repetitive behaviour is at least doing something. My son now tells me it makes him feel good inside to line things up. He will make a super long train or do that with a whole bunch of cars. He calls it a traffic jam. He also likes going grocery shopping to certain aisles as well….toothpaste boxes perfectly line up….cereal aisle….again all line up and neat. My son’s OT told me it’s not a bad thing to line up because he’s organizing his brain this way VISUALLY and it’s the behaviourists that get stuck on this and say “he’s not saying choo choo”. As for repetitive, she said many kids especially on spectrum learn by repeating so why not turn it around and use this instinct to teach them. Glad to hear good news about Cooper!

    • Cyn, I think that is a fantastic perspective. Thanks for sharing it. Autistic kids learn and develop in autistic ways. But they *are* always developing and learning. We may be too limited in our own understanding and theory of mind to get it, but it doesn’t mean that it is not happening.

      • Thank you Dina:) One of my sons first teachers used to tell me that he was fascinated with doorknobs and was always staring at them. She said he was fascinated with how shining they were . A year passed and he met a wonderful SLP Who noticed the same thing. She took a different perspective and told me to take a look at where he was looking on the doorknob. I took a good look and lo and behold he could see his reflection or the reflection of other things in a concave fashion. That was my first big lesson to try to get down onto his level and see exactly what it was that was distracting him or mesmerizing him:)

  2. I stumbled upon your blog today after entering, “strong willed child with apraxia” into the search bar. After reading through most of your posts, my heart is in my throat and I have tears in my eyes. I feel like your Cooper is just like my Banks and Davis. Yes, I have twin boys who are non verbal and have diagnosed developmental delays. The therapists keep telling me that they are not on the spectrum, but therapy is not helping as far as I can see. I lost it this afternoon after one of the boys got away from me at preschool and ran into the parking lot, totally oblivious to my frantic yells and the cars pulling in. I can’t handle it today. I am so tired of being that mom who is totally frazzled every time we are in public. No discipline seems to work on them, and it makes me sad that I can’t communicate with them. My daughter is 8, and “normal”, and rarely plays with her brothers because they don’t communicate with her. I am starting to see kids notice that they are different, and it breaks my heart. I have a call in to the state’s Autism program and I will have them evaluated in the coming weeks. The diagnosis scares me. I so want them to have a “normal” life, and the hyper vigilance is taking such a toll on me. I will add too that my husband is in denial and really not involved in their therapy and daily care, so it is tough to not have his support. I don’t know if you will ever see this, but I guess I just wanted to vent a little. Hang in there and know you’re not alone!

    • Oh mama. I felt like I was reading something I wrote a few years ago. Do you ever just step back and look at yourself and think….’how did I get here? Who am I?’ Here is what I will tell you. I was so freaking scared of a diagnosis that I ran from it. I tricked doctors and therapists. I was like a crazy person trying to be one step ahead. And then I got to the point where I couldn’t handle it anymore. I couldn’t run or hide from Cooper’s autism. And sure as hell…it’s here every day. So whether your boys have autism or not they are still the same kiddos. Nothing changed after the diagnosis. I was already broken. My advice is go easy on yourself. Allow yourself to feel what you feel. Don’t fight it. I used to get so mad at Cooper and then mad at the world, mad at my husband and then really mad at myself for being mad. Looking back…it had to happen. It was my path. I love Cooper so much that it hurts. I would give my life in an instant for him to have a happy, normal, healthy life. But it doesn’t work like that. Hugs mama. I am here anytime you need me!

      • Thank you SO much for your reply! I had a good cry and salted caramel chocolate cake for dinner (with a wine appetizer that I drank through a straw…) I am very glad that I found your blog and am now a loyal follower! I will keep you updated on my boys 🙂 Thank you for sharing your life!

      • Ha ha! Yay for your pedicure!! I am now following you on Instagram too – not that I’m a stalker or anything… 😉 Have a great Friday!

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