It’s been exactly a year since this journey began. A year since I realized in a sudden moment of clarity that there was something wrong with my beautiful boy.
I didn’t know last August what the next year would hold. There were the difficult, days of trying to get others to see what I was seeing in Austin. The days of being put off again and again by the doctor who thought he knew my child better than I did after seeing him for 20 minutes.
There were also the wonderful days of seeing progress, and there has been so much of that!
Eye contact has probably been the most drastic change. His awareness has improved, as well as his play skills. He has gone from completely silent to having lots (of babbling) to say. He frequently says “ah ba” it’s the only sound he’s ever made so consistently!
I found myself so often over this past year looking forward to the future, to the days when I wouldn’t be constantly setting up evaluations and appointments and trying to figure out what is best for Austin.
I’m slowly realizing after a year of this life, that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, maybe not ever. I will always be pushing for more help for Austin, trying different things, trying to make sure we’re doing all we can for him. I never dreamed when Austin started speech therapy almost a year ago that he would still be nonverbal at this point.
I knew it would be a long process; I didn’t believe the pediatrician when he said that speech would “explode” between 2 and 2 1/2, but I also never thought we would still be waiting for words. It scares me in spite of all the improvements we’ve seen that speech is still missing.
It’s the main thing that I lose sleep over, that I panic over. I know that most children with autism speak much later that typically developing children, but that’s not comforting. I will always have that fear (until he starts talking) that he will remain nonverbal, or be minimally verbal.
We’re in what I call a “lull” this week. These are weeks when he’s eating and sleeping decently and isn’t being aggressive or doing any new crazy behaviors lol. It’s nice and I know from experience to enjoy it while it lasts! 😉
One new fun thing Austin is doing is sorting things. One day we looked up to see that he had organized his veggie straws into piles of orange, green and yellow. He seems attracted to the color yellow, at speech this week he has been taking all the yellow items out of the sensory bin.
During ABA he is sorting the plastic animals. Sometimes he will get all the pigs, this week he had his hands full of chickens. Austin also started blowing kisses. It’s so sweet and I love how he claps for himself after he does it! 🙂
We have been doing the b-12 shots for 3 weeks now and thankfully this time around Austin is tolerating them much better. He sometimes bangs his head still, but overall he is doing it less than he probably ever has. I hesitate to type that because he has been so up and down with this! Haha. He’s still eating really well though he got a bit off track the week we were on vacation. I think being out of his routine threw him off, but he’s doing great now.
We had a wonderful break last week. The kids went with their grandparents for 5 days (thanks mom & dad!) and we got to pretend we were newlyweds again.
We splurged and ate out way too much…but neither of us feel the least bit guilty 😉 We had so much time just to talk and reconnect; it was wonderful and very much needed. I was also able to get caught up on chores and cleaned out some closets and the garage. I don’t think our house has ever been this organized and I’m loving it!
I think all parents need a break every now then, even more so parents of special needs children. I’m thankful for our families and all of their help and support!