(originally written & published on October 16, 2012)
Sometimes we are so focused and wrapped up with this month's autism crisis (Seizures, Aggression at school, biting, etc) that we don't even notice the progress that's happening.
No, to all my parents of high functioning kids, this will not be the progress that you all are used to. And even for my low functioning friends, this really couldn't be considered progress to many of you.
No, my 9 year old son Kyle didn't start tying his shoe laces. No, he didn't start communicating with his Ipad. His point is still too crappy for that. Forget about speech, we haven't made any real progress in that arena in years. I kinda put the speech hopes in my back pocket for now.
No, the kinda progress that I'm talking about is probably pretty unique to Kyle's situation. In fact you probably can't even call it progress. Maybe you can call it maturity? Or maybe he just isn't as destructive and compulsive as he once was.
This all dawned on me a few days ago when I was in our downstairs bathroom. And I noticed that a bottle of hand-soap was out on the sink. And my first reaction was to put it away and to scold the wife ("Someone left the hand-soap out...") in an accusatory tone.
But then I realized that its been out for a couple of days now...maybe even a week.
And that is huge because Kyle didn't eat any. Kyle used to eat/drink the bottles of hand-soap if we left them out. So our bathrooms, our downstairs bathroom especially cuz that one he has independent access to, had become barren of all soaps, and stuff in the medicine cabinets, etc.
Then when I thought about the hand-soap, all the other signs of progress came to me.
Look, we have toilet paper out in the bathroom, where it's supposed to be! Kyle used to unroll it and rip it into little pieces obsessively.
And look we still have 2 cordless phones lying around in the living room! And they still work! The batteries are still in and the backs are still on and not all duct taped into place!
And all our remote controls are still intact! They still have batteries in them and are not duct taped either!
The phones & remotes used to look like this...
And now that I think about it... he doesn't really spit, or play with his saliva anymore. That was the grossest "stim" that my son used to have. Taking some saliva from his mouth and gently placing it with his thumb and index finger onto different surfaces around the house. There used to be little disgusting puddles everywhere!
And he doesn't do something else gross that he used to do. He doesn't backwash into his bottle of water anymore. You could always tell which one was the king's cuz it was cloudy with bits of food in it. That is gone!
So can all that be called "progress"? Or is it a sign of "maturity"? Or is "Klonopin" just a miracle drug and it should get all the credit, and if we ever take him off of it (god forbid) all this progress will regress?
Who the F knows?
All I know is, this is the type of progress that happens in our house. The kind that creeps up on you while you are dealing with some other crisis, and then it jumps out at you and you're like, "hey my kid isn't as destructive or as gross or as obsessive as he used to be!"
That's not the type of progress that I signed up for... but it's the type of progress that we've got right now. So I guess it's worth noting and somewhat celebrating.
If you're gonna shop Amazon anyway, can I ask that you enter Amazon by using the link above? This way I can make a little money. This blogging thing has been awesome & life changing for me... but I must admit that it's taking up a lot more time than I ever thought... so if I can make a few bucks it'll make it easier for me to justify....Love you all! Thanks!!