Sunday, May 06, 2007

another week...

We made it through another week! We had a small family party on Tuesday to celebrate Michael's birthday. Nothing spectacular, just a small cake and some presents. Nick thoroughly enjoyed smearing the cake and smushing it through his fingers. The only time he has actually EATEN cake was on his first birthday. We are happy to report that his interest in Ritz crackers and pop tarts has not dwindled--so that is at least some solid food that is getting into him. This weekend was a busy one. Yesterday I schlepped the boys all over town to get the cake, and other supplies like chips,sodas, and Michael spent his gift card from my dad. Nick handled it all with ease-not too many "Nick moments". I actually think he rather enjoyed the little party in his own way. He stayed in the room with all three boys, even if he was just on the sidelines; it was apparent he wanted to be near them. When it was time for cake, I sat Nick in his chair so that he could at least still be part of the action. The whole time the boys were eating Nick just sat and watched them. He was trying to figure this whole social scene out and he watched intently everything they did.

Today, we went out to the grocery store and Nick started something new. He shouted "Aya!!" along with a few other vocalizations rather loudly. He has never shouted before in public, so most of his vocal oddities went unnoticed. Not today. He was sharing with everyone his own "silly talk". He does follow us rather well and does not tend to run off; you would almost say he is extremely well behaved. You might think he was completely normal. Until he runs by you waving his hands in the air, or walks on his tip toes when the patterns on the sidewalk change. Autism colors every part of his development. In some ways it is devastating-in others it is a complete gift. Nick cannot stand the sound of the vacuum cleaner, but he will put his ear right next to the speaker on his keyboard and play the notes. He plays his keyboard every single day. He is a whiz at shapes. It is like he understands the geometric patterns and he is completely at ease. Music is another thing that is very predictable-each key plays a specific note. That does not change. The shapes have a beginning and an end-it is always the same. People change constantly-and this is what is upsetting. While he is a whiz at putting together geometric puzzles, daily tasks have to be taught. We are slowly working on getting him to dress himself. Through repetition, and lots of hand over hand help, he is learning to pull up his pants. Today, he was able to follow a command-"get me your pants". He turned, saw his pants on the bed, picked them up and gave them to me. I was ecstatic. We are hopeful. He IS learning, and he is showing us that he catches on to things very quickly.

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