Monday morning Roger started a “preschool” – Our Time Together that the parent also attends. This is probably the first time in a long time that I have seen Roger in a structured space with “typically” developing children with an age range of roughly 1-2 years old. I had told the teacher that Roger is in intervention through PIP (where the teacher previously worked) for autism, but did not share his diagnosis with the other mothers. However, they must have concluded something because his interventionist attended (and will be attending with us). I have to say I am thrilled Mariko will be there because there is no way in hell I could expend all that energy trying to keep Roger semi-focused and less than semi-attending.
I think that day set my mood for the week — which was a depressive, reflective mood. Children much younger than Roger speak so much better than he does, attend so much better than he does, listen far better than he does. It saddens me. Having him normally around other autistic children and seeing his progress in therapy, I sometimes forget that he has these issues and that he is delayed and that is he is visibly “different”.
Yesterday, we went to the gym and when I picked him up, he was doing some peculiar behaviors — firstly, walking towards other kids lifting his shirt up to show off his belly (which is adorable and really not that terrible). However, I then saw him kneel in front of a textured wall. It had a picture made from stones which created bumps. He was rubbing his face against the wall, back and forth. I had to distract him to stop him. That truly saddened me. It was such an odd, sensory-seeking behavior.
This week Roger has been quite the sensory seeker and attending much less, especially during his intervention. He has to stop and jump. He has to stop and bang his head against our laps. He has to stop and shake his head back and forth across my torso. He has to put everything in his mouth (except for teethers and food). My 28 month old is still chewing on books and any toy that can kind of fit in his mouth.
On the bright side, my son loves to laugh. He loves to hop around the house. He loves to repeat the last word of every line of a song or dialogue on tv. He loves the abc’s and counting. He loves his mommy, daddy, grandma, grandpa, Ashley and various intervention specialists who spend time with him each week. He loves to wash his hands. He loves watching videos, listening to songs, dancing around the room, screaming lyrics. He has such a HUGE personality. Everyone remembers Roger wherever we go! I love my atypical son!!!