Autism. The hard times are extremely hard, but even the smallest of accomplishments are cause for such great joy and excitement. These accomplishments are usually things that most people would take for granted, but when you have a child with Autism, you learn very quickly to take nothing for granted.
Today I would like to celebrate a few of Ezra’s latest accomplishments. These are just a few of Ezra’s Itsy Bitsy Triumphs in the last month or so.
- Bottoms Up! Ezra has started to lift his little hiney up when I am changing his diaper. This may seem like a very small thing but it is not. This is one more small step towards gaining independence and shows a developing awareness in Ezra that he has not shown before!
- Lead the Way! It is more and more that Ezra will grab our hand and take us to something that he wants or needs. Being able to communicate wants and needs is a huge step. We continue to pair words with these items and pray that he will make those connections and eventually use words to express his desires.
- Walk with Me! “Flopping” is a term often used in the Autism community. Maybe you have seen “flopping” before and you just didn't know what it was. Ezra struggles with “flopping” quite a bit. He is not able to tell us when he does/does not want to go somewhere, when he is overwhelmed, or is experiencing sensory overload. Children with Autism often times struggle with transitions too. Without the words to express his distress, he will “flop” to the ground and will usually start to whine, cry, or scream. Yes, this is a real term. No, not every child that you see laying on the ground in public is a spoiled brat in need of a spanking… It was not until this year that Ezra was even able to walk holding hands. We had to carry him everywhere or have him strapped in a stroller if we were out of the house. Ezra has come very very far. Yes, he still “flops” occasionally, but more often than not, we can grab his hand and say “Walk with me”…and he does!
- Music to My Ears! Ezra loves music. He has some pretty groovy dance moves too! Ezra has learned several more songs and he loves to dance around the house singing them. And of course, the sound of my precious boy singing just fills this momma’s heart until its overflowing! His new favorite “playlist” is the following: Everlasting God, You are Holy, the Thomas Train theme song, and the Itsy Bitsy Spider (yes, quite the variety)!
It’s good to celebrate these things! I do want to make this one point…Ezra may not make eye contact very often, he may rarely respond if you call his name, he may seem in his own world for a majority of the time, but he has not made these little “baby steps of progress” by chance. He is developing an awareness because we talk to him about EVERYTHING. He is learning to communicate because we push him. He has begun to walk properly because we are showing him how. He knows songs by heart because we have sung them to him.
Do you know a child with Autism? Interrupt their world. Talk to them. Don’t ignore. Teach them. They may seem to be in their own world, but they are listening, they are taking it all in, and they truly are learning…they are learning from you!
Let me tell you, the hard times are extremely hard, but the victories are so very sweet!
Now, I would love to share a video of one of this weeks triumphs. We jam to a lot of different tunes in our house. However, The Itsy Bitsy Spider is not one of the songs that we have been singing. So, to Ezra’s school teacher…this one’s on you! Thank you for interrupting his world. You gave him a new song this week!
Autism Awareness Alert: Notice how Ezra keeps the beat with his legs and by clicking his tongue (his own “beat boxing”)!