Monday, May 16, 2011

Week in the Life

I am at the end of my 9 day vacation from work. I wasted it, pretty much. But I feel pretty de-stressed and I’m thankful.

Wylie and I have been having a lot of fun together, actually. I’m really impressed with him. He has been pretty clear about what he has wanted and using his words. He’s starting to identify family members here and there.

I took him to the park a couple times. Usually we go and it is deserted, but I was able to take him on a weekend afternoon and there were some kids there. Some older girls. Wylie really had a fun time following them around. I may have acted a little bit nervous, and a couple times the mother of two of these girls had to reassure me that he was fine and not bothering them. He imitated them and I was very pleased. He went on the “big kid’s” swing (he actually insisted on trying every single one!) and watched one girl pump her legs to go higher, and he tried that. One little girl showed him how to climb up a slide and he thought that was hilarious. Then he tried to steal her scooter. “Sharing” is something we can probably start working on. But I think that is awesome. I’m really proud of him.

He’s showing some signs of potty training readiness, and he really doesn’t like being in a wet/dirty diaper, and will ask to be changed now.

I have to say, I am just in awe over how far we have come in less than a year. He really is such a shining star. I don’t mean to gush, but what the heck. I mean, not only does he communicate, he negotiates. He wheels and deals. His language is coming along slowly, but surely.

He’s a pretty happy go lucky kid. He obviously has sensory issues, but really, so far, he seems to cope fairly well. I hope we get to a point where I could talk to him about it—he does not seem overly bothered by anything, but I catch him calmly covering his ears or squinting or blinking at things. He’s obviously hyperactive. Not only can he never stay still (he runs in place, bunny hops, and climbs over everything- furniture, people, dogs, you name it…) he can never stay… upright. He leans against things, rolls over the ground, asks to be picked up just to turn into deadweight so that he swings upside down… Several people have talked to me about this sense of uh, body position, kinda, called the proprioceptive sense, where a child who has issues having a sense of their own body might always lean or bump into people. Even before Wylie was diagnosed, even before his regression, I found his “leaning” behavior odd. That being said, he sorta turns into Neo from The Matrix when it comes to quickly averting collisions and dodging other objects- he has an incredible sense of his surroundings and great balance, and he’s quick on his feet, extraordinarily so.

He’s comes off pretty laid back and does not seem anxious at all… I have been really interested in the anxiety problems associated with ASD. I have not really seen definite manifestations of anxiety in Wylie, but he DOES stim a lot. I mean, I wonder if he is coping very well with existing issues or if he has only mild issues with anxiety or if there is actual biological differences between Wylie’s ASD and others’ that would cause significant differences in the role anxiety plays… I dunno, been on vacation, thinking a lot. Haha. My racing thoughts seem to clear my head, actually. Vacation Meditation. Maybe I’m just not perceiving all of his issues.

Reading Temple Grandin’s Animals in Translation. Great book, by the way, if you haven’t read it. Probably why I started thinking about Anxiety. She describes it as a core problem for those on the spectrum. She describes a lot of cool stuff, actually. This is the coolest book I’ve read by her, so far, I’ve also read Thinking in Pictures and The Way I See It. This book uses information about animal behavior to reveal points about human nature, and differences between the typical and atypical human mind. I’ve really just started it and it’s just some interesting stuff. Already a lot of straightforward information about genetics, neurologic functions, brain development, and behaviorism.

I know that was sort of a hodge podge of information, mostly communicated in the form of sentence fragments, so thank you for reading it if you made it all the way through! This was a week in the life. Pretty good one, at that.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations to both of you for making such progress!

    With regards to leaning, I read somewhere that this is common on the spectrum and might have something to do with low muscle tone (but not in the sense of "being toned"). It can lead to quicker fatigue during physical activity despite otherwise being hyperactive. It's very difficult for me to sit up straight - I'm either very hunched forward or slouched down. It physically hurts to sit or stand straight for longer than a minute or two. This isn't because I'm out of shape - I love to exercise - it's just always been that way for me.

    But I've also read that low muscle tone is associated with high flexibility, which seems to make sense. I don't know if it always is, or just sometimes is. I'm not naturally all...but it wouldn't surprise me if this was due to anxiety-induced muscle tension. I may or may not have low muscle tone - I really don't know. I just know that sitting and standing are both more difficult than they seem to be for others. Maybe your son is experiencing something similar?