Thursday, December 2, 2010

Things We Obsess About

And by "we" I mean moms of spectrum kids.  Every once in awhile I find myself caught in the inevitable vicious cycle of questions: How did he get this?  Was he always like this?  Could I have prevented it?  Will it get easier?  What can I do to help him function better?  What key am I missing?  The only answer to the first three questions is that it is what it is and we can only look forward.  I do a lot of looking forward these days.  I admit I have literally spent hours researching theories, books to buy, therapies, and diets some nights.  It's usually after a night like tonight.  A night where it is SO blatantly obvious that some things just don't add up.  Like how some moments he seems so clear and focused and, well...typical.  And other moments I just want to yell, "IS ANYBODY IN THERE?!?! Hello!  I've asked you 10 times if you are hungry and by the look on your face I can't tell if you even realize that I am asking you a question."  Fast forward to reading books before bed tonight.  He is animated, alert.  He follows along and names objects in the pictures.  After we read the book he summarizes what happened in the story using decent short sentences.  There is a disconnect here.  A puzzle that I can't quite figure out.  In school they use picture schedules to help with transitions.  A couple weeks ago Isaac didn't like the picture schedule his teacher put up, so he searched in his folder of pictures and brought her his own picture schedule of what he'd rather be doing.  Needless to say Miss Minda and I had a good laugh over this. 

Books and movies seem to really speak to Isaac- open him up.  I've even started making him picture books on Snapfish to help him learn simple concepts like saying, "My name is Isaac.  Her name is mommy.  His name is Cory.", etc.  I can't tell you how much I long for the day when someone asks my son what his name is and how old he is and for Isaac to be able to understand and answer.  I OBSESS over how I can help him learn this.  It keeps me up at night.  I've often thought that maybe books are going to be how I communicate with him.  I'd script out conversations between our two characters.  Mommy and Isaac would be driving home from school.  Mommy would ask Isaac how school was and what he did.  Isaac would answer-even with just one word.  I can count on one hand how many times this scenario has happened in real life.  Three.  Usually he just stares out the window and sips his beloved sippy cup.  So here I am.  Looking forward.  Looking for pieces to the puzzle of what works and what doesn't.  How can I not?  One year after realizing we had a quirky kid, I can honestly say and praise God that he has come a long way.  Being able to say that took a lot of prayer and, yes, a lot of obsessing.  I look forward to being able to say the same thing one year from now.

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