Thursday, August 2, 2007

Who is this child?

My son has been playing with 3 of the neighborhood kids for 3-7 hours a day each day this week. But that is what summertime is all about, right? Not scheduled playdates. Spontaneous play. Just 7-10 year olds hanging out in yards. Yup. It is. Except this is the first time my son has WANTED to do this. The kids come knocking to OUR door. They WANT to play with him. Yea, in the morning we do some sensory stuff and social prompting. Yea, in the evenings he needs his 'time'. But - he WANTS to play with them, and they WANT to play with him. This is soooo huge. He's formed friendships in school this past year, and played better with the neighborhood kids after school here and there. But this summer, he has totally come into his own.

I'm taking care of my niece this summer. She's 18 months old. And yea, each kid is different. But somedays I never realized how different my son was at this age. He's our only - no one to compare too. I'm a sped teacher - people told me I was looking into things too much. Watching my niece this past summer, there is no doubt in my mind of the red flags I had when he was this age and no one believed me and thought I was overreacting. She LOOKS at me. She LAUGHS with me. She PLAYS with me and with toys. We completely adored our son. He had quirks. He had a lot of them. We lived with them. We adjusted them into our lives. We picked our battles. It was who he was. Yet, at the same time I just knew. Knew something was off.

Yea, if you haven't guessed my son has Aspergers. It's been a long road with lots of different approaches and ideas and treatments. We've finally reached A Really Good Place. I'll take it for however long it lasts. He's not cured. He never will be. But wow does he function well in small groups. And the fact that he WANTS to, and others WANT him too is the biggest progress.
It's been a good summer so far :)

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