Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Lord knew what I needed today; he must have. See, right now, I am away from my little guys on a long work related trip, so I cannot see them everyday. I went to work this morning and I happen to have a TV in my office. I turned it on, and went about my daily business. A few minutes later, I hear a very familiar song coming from the TV. The song "Iko Iko". 'It couldn't be' I thought. I turned around in time to see the title "RAINMAN" come on the screen. I nearly jumped for joy, and I also gave an appreciative glance upward towards the sky. Someone knew I needed this. I needed to see a piece of my 'bubby' on TV. I watched the movie through laughter and tears. A few things stood out that I had forgotten about. Like near the end when Tom Cruise is in the room with the lawyer and Dr. trying to get custody of Raymond. The Dr. goes on to describe Raymond in the familiar clinical language that I have come to despise. I cheered when Tom Cruise was yelling "He's so much more than that". My thoughts exactly. I find it very hard to tolerate when Dr's describe Nick as just a bunch of "symptoms" and put all their efforts in reporting the things he CAN'T do, or see everything he does as just a bunch of "Self Stimulatory Behavior" Grrr! Hey, don't NORMAL kids jump on couches too??! Nick is a PERSON. So are all the other Autistics, Little People, Paraplegics, people with Cerebral Palsy, and other differently abled people. Treat them like the human beings they are. Don't treat them as a bunch of "symptoms". Ok, I am getting off the soapbox now.

Anyway, my fave part of the movie came at the end of the custody hearing. When Charlie and Raymond put their forheads together and connect as brothers. I got a little misty eyed thinking about my two boys. No matter what, they are brothers. And a big "HA" to all the doctors who say that autistics are not capable of developing relationships. That is a big misconception. I know it. For a fact. I live it. Nick knows love. He knows he likes to feel loved. When I come home from work, he follows me around. He may not run up and give me a big hug and kiss-that's not his style exactly. But he will follow me into every room and is quite happy enough to be in the same room as I am. I notice him playing in the corners, and do my best to acknowledge him with either a HI Nicholas, a tickle, or rubbing his hair as he stands next to me. That's his way. And it is perfectly fine. He loves his older brother too. He does not like to see Michael upset-and has a unmistakeable look of concern on his face. Don't tell me he is not capable of these things. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted. People just have to pay attention to the subtle cues. If you look, they are there. I promise you.

I got a wonderful e-mail from Nick's teacher today as well! Apparently he is doing excellent in class! She was saying that he is now the 'Calendar helper' and is saying everything she asks him to. She told me that he was eating his applesauce with a spoon with no help!! This is a kid who would not even eat at school in Sept. Much less, sitting with other kids while doing it! Mike has taken him off all of his supplements and even the Rice Milk. So far, he said he has had nothing bad to report. He has told me that he does not want to do the supplements anymore, because he "Likes Nick the way he is right now". Which, is still very much autistic but doing wonderfully. I don't feel like I wasted anything...we had to at least try some stuff, and he did have some real issues. He may well have them again in the future, and we will work with them. But, for right now, he is doing great! I will have great happiness in knowing that.

Monday, March 23, 2009

He's IN!!

Got some wonderful news yesterday!! Nicholas got into the Autism Demonstration Project! He is officially "Done" with the University of Washington as of the 31st of March, and we will now be able to begin therapy at home with him. The autism demo. project is going to evaluate him of course, in April, and they will see how much he will qualify for. But, this now gives us the leeway to hire people to come into our house and do things with him. Plus, it is going to up his hours every month. We also got him enrolled for respite care. Basically, it will be there to give us a break, and we now have someone qualified to watch him if we need it. That way, Mike can go to appointments without having to drag Nick around(i.e. the dentist and other not so friendly places) or he can take Michael to a movie or something. It gives him a little more freedom.

As for me, I have finally gotten off my butt again and registered for school. I am taking a psychology class, and a german class. Slowly inching my way towards my degree.