Thursday, March 08, 2012

step aboard the autism dragon boat ride.

Lately, when I'm asked "How are things going", I'm really not sure where to start. Me? Well, I'm still fighting the good fight, whatever that means and for whatever it's worth. Max? He is experiencing incredible progress in a lot of areas, but also regressing back into some behaviours that are both physically and emotionally exhausting to deal with. The typical two steps forward, one step back of autism. I was telling one of Max's  therapists that it felt like we were living on one of those big theme park dragon boat rides that swings from one side to the other, so high that it looks like the occupants might fall out when it reaches the summit but they are thrown back into their seats as the boat swings back down. The only thing I can figure is that with all of the new skills settling into Max's brain, it's causing him to need to balance things out by bringing back some of his tried and true (and irritating) coping mechanisms. So, let's start with the progress.

The good stuff is awesome. Max is surprising us almost daily. This past weekend, he found that train puzzle, which we haven't played with since November. He brought it upstairs from the basement and put it on the kitchen table. I told him the puzzle was too big to do on the table and he should do it in the hallway. He remember that the last time he did the puzzle, he did it upstairs, so that's where he went. I came up to check on him a few minutes later and he had completed it entirely on his own. Then he took it apart and put it back in the box. Also, he loves wearing hats now. We haven't been able to keep a hat on his head since the day he was born.
He and Cameron are continuing to develop a strong (and typical) sibling relationship. Last weekend they were playing tag, chasing each other through the house and giggling up a storm. If one is colouring the other wants to join in, and best of all, when I don't understand what Max wants, Cameron usually does. Last week when she was taking a bath, she asked for her "special soap from Grandma" (a heart shape soap). I had no idea that Max even knew what she was referring to, let alone what it looked like. He picked it up off the counter and tossed it in the bath for her.

Other progress? When asked what colour something is, Max is now responding with more than one colour (the dominant colour and secondary colour). He is being more specific when he wants something (like telling me "My turn, DVD all done" when he wanted me to turn a movie off so he could watch Elmo). He is also greeting more and more people unprompted and making killer eye contact. Also, he lost his first baby tooth (right on schedule!). We don't hit a lot of milestones on time, so we'll take 'em where we can get 'em.

These wins are what I cling to on nights where he screams every time Cameron coughs, slams the fridge door after every time someone opens it, whines non-stop and shouts out his favourite stim, "Mommy! What Max? Mommy! What Max?". Toileting is still hit and miss, and lately, he has been staying up until all hours of the night. So, how are things going? Depends which side of the boat you're on. I think the positive developments win out, but I wouldn't mind a break from the extreme swings. I'm more of a ferris wheel kind of girl.


  1. You are such an amazing mother. I'm very proud of Max as well...and Cammie too. It is a testiment to the time, dedication and pure love you have for your family. xoxo

  2. Karen K11:36 p.m.

    The setbacks are only temporary, and he's made so much more awesome progress!! Nice job Max and Mama!! Also, noticed you have my favourite kettle corn in the cart! :)