Starting last Sunday, Daniel has done some pretty great things showing his independence and ability to control himself. It has been really great to watch him gain self-confidence and be proud of himself. Last Sunday we went to church and they had changed the rooms, I had a moment of panic myself because I was in the 2-3 yr old class so I had my own issue with change but that was quickly trumped by Daniels’ face, when he started to take me into the room and I told him that they had changed rooms. In the past this would have turned into a not good situation and David would have had to take him outside for the remainder of church. Not that day! I bent down looked him in the eyes and said “Daniel, they changed the class rooms today and it is ok. Instead of this room you are going to be in that room.” He said “No” and pointed to the room that they had been in since we started going to this church, over a year ago.
I said “How about we just go check it out and see what it is like?”
It worked, he agreed to go with me and he saw that it was exactly the same except in the opposite direction. Thankfully one of his teachers that day has a child with Asperger’s who is 12 yrs old now and she brought a peace to the situation. We were all at peace, actually and we all did very well with the surprise of all of the sudden change. Daniel did well the rest of the day too and he spoke about how we went to church and then to Grammy’s, which he usually doesn’t talk about what we have done during the day. The people at church were all concerned too about Daniel, they didn’t know they were going to have to change rooms until they got there at 8 am that morning so everyone was pretty frazzled. However, they didn’t really understand why it could have been a major issue. It is the sudden change, out of the blue for no apparent reason. Why move rooms? Especially when it had been the same since the beginning.
It made no sense and if there is a heads up then we can all adjust and prepare ourselves for the change.
Although, no one had control over the situation and after I found out why I explained it to Daniel, he may have comprehended or may not have but he had something to process. They didn’t do it to mess with him. These situations are actually very good, we all need them. Life is not predictable and things pop up and change all of the sudden and sometimes we do not get any reason for it. Situations like these help us to not have major meltdowns when things change. I told Daniel how proud I was of him for trying the new class and for doing so well in class. He was singing and dancing during our worship time and he seemed very happy.
We then have this week.
I had told the kids that we would go to the park after we finished our schooling for the day, Daniel started to get fixated on the park and I told him that he had to do school work first. He stood there for a moment and said out loud “No get angry, we do school first and then go to the park”. I was elated! I told him that was very good and he handled the situation very well. He had a few moments of not wanting to finish up school and I told him that he would not go to the park if he didn’t finish. He hesitated a little bit but then came and finished up and we all had a great time at the park.
He looks so happy too after he accomplishes these things and then sees the end results.
He is getting a much happier outcome when he responds in these ways instead of being aggressive and he is taking notice of it. This week I also told him to dress himself. He didn’t want to and I told him “Yes, you do it. You are big enough and I know you can do it”. On Monday, he did it and he was so proud of himself. The next day I gave him his clothes and told him to get dressed, he was having a little trouble staying balanced to get his shorts on so I asked him “Do you need some help?”. He responded with “No, Mom I do it!” and he did it and has been ever since. He thinks that it is great that he is dressing himself.
He has been controlling his temper very well this week.
He has also made efforts to ask for a squeeze when he is angry to help him not lose it. He has gotten upset a few times because of sensory issues, the full moon has made us all out of whack and we have all had problems sleeping, eating and feeling irritable, but whenever he has felt it he has come up to me and put his head into me and said “squeeze um, mom”. He has also been going to the computer when he has had too much of everyone but not too long. I haven’t had to enforce a time limit or anything he has been getting on for a little bit and then has come back to play with Ariel and Joshua or just to hang out with us or read books. It is really incredible to see him do these things and mostly to see him so independent.
He even tried our dinner the other night.
He ate our food! Granted he hasn’t since but at least he ate a whole bowl of the same dinner we had for the first time ever. I didn’t have to make something different, I didn’t have to try to figure what to make him, he sat next to me and at moments he had a gag reaction and I just rubbed his leg and told him that it was ok, just chew it slow and he did. When he was finished I said “You did it Daniel, you ate what we ate for dinner, you did it!” and he said “Yeah, Mom I did it!”. David and I just looked at each other and both of us were a bit teary eyed. There are just no words that can express what it feels like to have these moments. For most people these are everyday things, no big deal, they have never even had to think about how their child will respond to the change of a room, the sounds in a store, the textures of food, the ingredients that could send them into a meltdown or just learning to put on their clothes when they are five years old. In the past it has been one step forward and two steps back, that has not happened in a long time, not that it can’t happen again, it is just so great that he is achieving so much and the progress is continuing.
Daniel is talking more and more everyday and his words didn’t start coming until a year and half ago.
He can tell us some things that upset him, if he is happy, if he wants something, these used to all be a dream and at times felt like it would never happen. It is hard to comprehend that this child who can count to 100, knows over 20 different colors and a zillion different shapes, can spell, read several words, play computer games, repeat the tune of Mozart and any music for that matter, can do kindergarten to 1st grade worksheets and on and on, was just able to put on his clothes himself, finally plays and asks to play with Ariel and Joshua or me or David, is starting to be responsive to others and tries to talk to them. It’s the social things that he is getting into, he wants to, he likes people and wants to be apart of what every body is doing.
He is not nonsocial, either are we but it is just much easier to understand things or learn information than it is people and it is a lot less stressful.
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