J-Bear and Me

learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

Tag: milestones

Conversations

I keep going to start a post with the phrase “So I was having a conversation with my son…” when I stopped and realized that, hello, that phrase deserves a post in and of itself.

One year ago, words here and there accompanied by sign was where we were at. This wasn’t a terrible place, but it was a challenging place. His world was so closed off that letting people who did not doggedly spend hours with him get more than a fleeting glimpse the wonder that is J was difficult to impossible.

Then, six months ago, we had words. Words were coming with regularity. There weren’t a lot, but some days he was repeating and trying them out and other he was using this small handful of words purposefully. The progress was great. He was working hard, trying to do his best with what he was given.

Now? The path my son has travelled in this past year is tremendous. I cannot even try to measure the distance because that is just how far it has been. The world laid down the mightiest of challenges to J and rather than inch along slowly – a pace that is perfectly acceptable, mind you – he blew along like a charging bull! We have spontaneous words now, sometimes coming in two and even three word combinations. We have some great listening and simple direction following emerging. He is playing games with easy instructions, he is singing songs with that can be clearly deciphered by people who don’t see him every day, he even makes attempts to communicate with strangers.

I know at least a couple of the wonderful people who helped him to get to this point read this and wow. J is showing off the fruits of your labor and his own so beautifully. I have conversations with my son is something that I thought was in our distant future, not in our today and now. Between you all – his Early Intervention team, his beloved Building Blocks ladies, his Kioko therapists and his team at school – you’re all making him just blossom and I know I shouldn’t be but I am so in awe and so in love with the beautiful little boy who is getting more beautiful by the day.

So I had a conversation with my son, and it was glorious.

Halloween

My son trick or treated.

This is so damned awesome to say.

My son trick or treated!

He marched down Main Street and around the town square and joined other children collecting candy from various local businesses. He struggled a little bit with approaching some of the locations or participating in some of the merchant’s activities but overall, he did amazing. Said thank you, even at one point tried to trade his candy for a new piece at a business.

Now, he has a cowboy costume for this year. Like most children on the spectrum the idea of putting this costume on was abhorrent to him, even if it is just a coat and vest. So at the immediate last second I put a too large Red Sox Kid Nation player style jersey on him, plunked his Sox hat on his head and out he marched.

And he was a hit thanks to Game 3 being due to be played tonight.

Now he has a plastic pumpkin laden with candy and goodies that he is just fascinated with and continually asks for chocolate.

To think, he might get to go again this week! What a lucky kid!

———————

PS: Auctions are still going on til 10/30! Go to https://www.jbearandme.com/Team-Jacobly-for-4-Paws-for-Ability and check out the links from there! An autographed picture of John Lackey is being auctioned as well as a large gift basket from Thesaurus Tea! Crazy awesome stuff!

Milestones

A typical child says their first words somewhere around what, a year?

J did that. A couple here and there things. He never had true, strong language, but he had a few words. His primary care doctor swore  up and down he was firmly telling her “no” at his 15 month well baby appointment even though I wasn’t quite so certain.

Language delays are what led us to early intervention and what put us on the road to learning he had autism. They’re just part of life. Like I have said many a time before, J isn’t traditionally verbal but they boy sure expresses himself. Language is emerging, so he is on level with children a year or more younger, but he’s trying so hard. We are labelling things regularly, from objects to emotions, and his echolalia actually gives so much hope because what he repeats he stands the chance of forming into purposeful, independent speech.

Today was a little breakthrough. I am hoping it is, at least.

People rarely have names in J’s world, or names/labels that he actually uses. If I ask him to do something with or bring something to a familiar person of late he has responded and done as asked, which is a huge leap in and of itself, but more often than not he’ll only say a moniker when he is repeating. He’s repeated “mama” a few times but never said it truly as a method of indicating me or getting my attention. Some of you may remember the fluke “mama” of last December that I had not heard again til… well, today really.

I was sitting down with J on the floor, talking about his Thomas the Tank Engine case that he wanted open. I asked who he wanted it opened for, which he happily answered “Jacob!” to. Then I asked him, who should open it? I honestly thought he would say “Jacob!” because that’s how lines of questioning like this go, and it’s fun. He threw me for a loop though and looked up at me, big smile in place as he said “Mama!”.

And I was gobsmacked.

Now, I was ready to write it off. This is not because I doubt his capabilities. I far from do that. I understand his capabilities, and I know that for something to be a real and gelled fact in J’s life it has to be repeated on several occasions before it is true. Twice more through the day, he answered or use “mama” purposefully and without repeating another person saying it. He doesn’t always use it as another child would, namely to get my attention, but he still uses it, and that blows me away.

My son is 3 years and 4 months old and today, my son called me Mama.

No one can ever take that away from me.

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