Its a lovely Fall evening, a couple of months ago
I am outside with R on the swings.
His therapist comes a little early and I need to go inside to get her some flashcards
"Just push him on the swing.. count to 100 ... oh and count backwards .. that is what he likes"
For R loves counting backwards
I suppose its the security of knowing exactly what is coming next.
Exactly 100 numbers from 100 to 0.
I suppose R will be very saddened when he finds out about negative integers
Where as if you count forward there is literally no end to how far you can go!
His therapist looks nonplussed
"I dont know how to count backwards" she says"nobody counts backwards "
And now I am taken aback
For counting backwards has been a favorite of R for quite a long time and now I am adroit at it .
Its just one of the many ways in which Autism has become an underlying but largely ordinary factor of our life.
There was a time when I would think about Autism all the time - what it was, why it happened, how to cure it and other questions like this. All the time.
I would read every book and research every method.
Desperately racing against time - trying to cram in all the knowledge of psychologists, therapists, doctors, mothers and fathers who had walked this road ahead of me.
So I could take advantage of the "plastic " brain ( that would irrevocably harden at age 5, when all hope for progress would end! This is one of the cruellest myths that parents are told at diagnosis.
Then slowly over the last year Autism has become somewhat implicit in our life
We just make sure that R has his written schedule, gluten free food , supplements, floortime and sensory therapy and other therapies - just in the way parents of typical kids think of and cater to the needs of their children
And then over the past 2 months - I have become - well to be honest -plain lazy !
From an implicit factor, Autism sort of has become invisible
The long vacation in India - catching up from it and preparing for it have been a tremendous distraction( along with the incessant dreary rain and the heavy load in the office ).
And I have lost my good habits of parent therapy.
Instead, I have just been content to fritter away time, chatting with DH and watching TV and nibbling on Peanut Brittle and endless cups of tea.
Surely there is a wise balance.
A good point on the line-somewhere between the desperation of those early days and the inertia of today
Today his speechie submitted her report.
I am so grateful for this reality check.
Her crisp cool welcome words, have woken me from the inertia that has wrapped around me like gauze
He has come so far. ( The child who did not know his own name, now has receptive language of a 2.5 year old )
But he has so much more to go. ( My 5 year old child has the receptive language of a child half his age)
No more excuses.
We are getting back in gear
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- Robert Frost, Stopping by woods on a snowy evening