Monday, January 25, 2010

Getting back in gear

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 


Mr. Daddy said...

So good to have you back.
I have missed your blogging and the refreshing way you look at life.

I love Robert Frost poems. I think my all time favorite is The Road not taken.

TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Lyndsey said...

She can't count backwards?? I mean, I get that typically people don't do that for unnecessary reasons, but seriously?? It isn't that big of a deal. Sorry, my eyes are too busy rolling in my head to finish typing this. said...

sometimes all we need is a break to see how much we progress we have made and how much more there is to make. Have a great week.

Trish said...

So good to hear of his progress. I think it's good to dust yourself off and push forward again, but don't beat yourself up for coasting a little while. Children do need time to absorb and master what they've been learning, too.

And a grown adult should definitely be able to count backwards from 100!!!

BTW, my son things negative numbers are the funniest thing ever. He loves to ask me math questions that have a negative number as the answer.

Anonymous said...

((HUGS)) How I relate to so much of this- as always. We don't do numbers here...but Daniel used to like to say the alphabet backwards. Good thing I used to work in a library and I taught myself how to do it quickly so I wouldn't have to do the ABC song in my head each time I had to put a book away! lol! Those reality checks are great...we need them. But sometimes we need to relax and chat and drink those cups of tea, etc. We're just human, after all and if Mom burns out, then what? Don't let yourself feel guilty!! =)

Renegade Scholar said...

I'm with Lindsey. lol

I know that "getting in gear" feeling. It feels a little "angsty" to me.

- Ingrid

Anonymous said...

"Surely there is a wise balance."
No doubt you will find it. You are a wonderful, insightful mother.

This is my favorite: "I suppose R will be very saddened when he finds out about negative integers"
It's funny. But also, it's a perfect example of your insight.

All About the Bailey's said...

Glad you are back...missed your blogging!

robin said...

You're right, he has come so far...and also has so far to go. I can't believe the therapist couldn't say her numbers backwards (and/or admit that!) Like Julie, I can recite the alphabet (quickly) but that took a lot of practice many years ago to learn. Robert Frost is my favorite poet and that particular poem was the one my mother would recite when I was a little makes me think of her. :)

Anonymous said...

I love how autism has become ordinary in your world. I often feel that my typical child is the one with "issues" because the supposed oddities of our life are the ones that make the most sense. I still find it strange how different the syndromes our children have can be, yet so similar at the same time. Fabulous work on the receptive language, by the way. R has come so very far. And so have you. :) I've loved following along on your journey.


Lisa said...

Hugs have a remarkable little boy!
and K you are a remarkable woman!

I posted a video that makes me so proud!

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