The Wheels on the Bus

The Wheels on the bus go round and round.

Round and round.

Round and round.

This is Austin’s favorite song right now, and I sing it to him constantly. Sometimes he joins in doing the motions. A few times he has actually started singing  with me. So far I’ve heard him sing “all the through the town”, “move on back”, “wa wa wa” & “beep beep beep”.

Of course we got so excited the times that he joined in singing with me. And like other times before, he’s gotten quieter and quieter over the past couple weeks and isn’t singing or saying anything right now.

I always say I won’t get my hopes up anymore, but I do. And then when he doesn’t just start engaging me in conversation, the fear returns. Ridiculous, yes, but that’s part of the roller coaster called autism.

Recently Austin’s ABA therapist was looking back at the notes from her initial evaluation of him last June. During that session he banged his head 28 times in an hour, and did not know how to point at all. Since then the head banging has over all become much less frequent. He doesn’t do it 28 times a day much less an hour.

He has also learned to point to show us things he wants or needs. Sometimes I have to remind him to, but for the most part he’s become quite accomplished at sticking out his pudgy little finger to show us what he wants.

My favorite is when he isn’t just asking for food or a drink or another show. He pulled me outside yesterday and pointed to a chair on the patio as if to say “you sit here, mommy”. Then he made his way on out to the swing set with a few backward glances to make sure I was following directions 🙂

Normally I hate leaving things undone or messy, but in this case, I was more than happy to leave the dishes in the sink and the half made banana bread batter sitting on the counter so I could just sit and watch my little boy.

These days Austin is very much a copy cat. We never know what he’s storing away in that mind of his, and then things come out unexpectedly. He has begun playing appropriately by making his toy people “walk walk walk” thanks to watching his speech therapist, and he still loves to push around his Hot Wheels cars and big ol tonka truck.

When Austin sees his sisters working on their cartwheels or handstands, he comes running!! He does somersaults on the rug and loves when they clap for him 🙂

Austin is watching everything we do whether we realize it or not. He pushed play to start his trucks video the other day, and I had no idea he knew how to do that! 🙂

While both girls are wonderful with Austin, my oldest spends a good amount of time playing with him. She shows him how to play with toys and she repeats simple words while she’s playing to try to get him to talk. It melts my heart seeing her love & devotion for her little brother.

As with most things, Austin has been up & down with school lately. It just seems to depend on the day. Some days he seems fine going, other days he gets mad as soon as I put his shoes on him. I do know from his teachers that mac n cheese day is his favorite and they always order him a double portion 🙂

I’m learning that autism is like repairing one leak, only to have another spring up somewhere else. We fix one thing, but another behavior starts. Or an old behavior returns for a visit.

This week Austin has been explosive. His fits are much more frequent and much more intense. He has been banging his head pretty badly on the wall and floor. If I happen to be too close to him I can count on losing a chunk of hair (that I can’t afford to lose since it’s all falling out anyway!!) or being hit or scratched. Of course I tell him no, hitting and scratching are not nice. I put him down if he’s hitting me when I’m holding him.

Once he’s calmed down enough to stop being physical, I usually pull him close to me. I hold his warm, squishy little body tightly in my arms and wish that I could take away his frustration; wish that life hadn’t given him all the challenges it has.

He needs the squeezes to help calm him down. I need them to help my aching heart.

The wheels on the bus go round & round, round and round, round and round.

The people on the bus go up & down

up and down,

up and down.

What a perfect song to describe the crazy, messy, awful, beautiful life that we are living.

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