Saturday, October 01, 2005

October 2005

I can't even begin to express how happy it makes me to be writing this. I've been going nuts not being able to write. The reasons that I haven't been able to write require long explanantions that get really complicated so I won't even go into it, ok?

Well...I have to go into one thing...too much time wasted on mindless activities that I had no choice but to take care of...it couldn't be avoided...that's all I'm gonna say...

For the record...shopping and decorating ARE NOT considered mindless activities...

Ok, now I'm done.

Jakob is doing awesome. I'm honestly losing track of all of the new things he's doing...squeezing a sponge full of water over his head, trying to ride a bike (sometimes even liking it!), snuggling all the time, he's picking up on more sounds and we're working on vocalizations, he's imitating like crazy, he's "singing" and dancing and his overall interaction has been so wonderful. He's awesome...I can't say it enough...he's perfect.

Jakob and I have taken our realtionship to the next level...it's very exciting. I've really been paying a lot of attention to his needs. SInce he doesn't talk and only knows a few signs, finding another way to communicate is a constant challenge. I've spent most of my alone time with him just letting him have his space. We pretty much do whatever he wants...if he shows me in any way that he has an interest in something, by God, I give it to him. And after he gets his way, I let him show me why he wanted it so bad. It may take me two seconds to figure out why he wanted it...it may take 45 minutes...I never know going in but I take the time to watch and see. I have to say that this entire process is fascinating and fun for me. It's so much fun because he's so much fun. He's so happy...laughing and giggling all the time. Even when he starts to get a little cranky, it's easy to turn him around. (He was NOT like this 1 year ago. It's easy to forget how rough it was...sometimes I really have to think to remember some of the incidents we had. It could get real ugly, real fast. Some of Jakob's newer therapists are amazed at some of the stories. They just can't imagine Jakob being that way...the tantrums, the sensory issues, the lack of eye contact, the stimming, the jumping, the squealing, the crying, the meltdowns...he's a totally different kid. We're very lucky... ) And the end result of all my observing is a lot of ah-ha moments...I find myself saying "so that's why you do that" a lot to him. I love that I'm continuing to figure out my kid and he's learning to trust me more and more. I can tell he's really diggin' his mommy...mommy gets a lot hugs and kisses without having to ask for them...it doesn't get any better than that.

Obviously, I feel that all the activities that we have Jakob involved in are working...pre-school, ABA, occupational therapy, physical therapy, casein-free gluten-free diet, supplements from the DAN! doctor, the sensory learning program...what am I forgetting?? We need to add more ABA hours, music therapy (in-home) and any other therapy that may help him that I haven't heard of yet...definitely need to learn more about the horse-riding.

I have quite a bit of reading to catch up on...gotta get back to the research...always gotta stay on top of it. I'm probably gonna just have to go to every convention I can find...crash courses...2 or 3 days of non-stop autism info every 6-8 weeks and I should be able to keep up. I don't know...just rolling around some ideas in my head.

I got a huge compliment recently and it meant a lot. Every day, I get up and think "what can I do today to make Jakob's world better?'...Lately, I really feel good about what I've been doing...the quality time I spend with him and what I've done to the house to accomidate his comfort level. One of his therapists told me that if she were going to set up a house for a child with autism, she'd set it up just like mine. It's so nice to feel validated.

Have I mentioned that Jakob has figured out how to wipe his nose on his sleeve? That's a big deal...and I am so proud. Just like I remember the first time he figured out his finger fit perfectly in his nostril. I'm tellin' ya, the kid is funny.

It feels so good to write...I should do this more often.

Jakob and I really have taken our relationship to a new level (I just love the over-used reality show phrase and it does perfectly describe what's been going on). It's kinda tough to explain without sounding cliche...he and I have come to a new understanding...a new level of trust...we've gotten closer and we are getting much better at communicating. I can't remember the last time he had a meltdown. There's no need for it...if there's something he doesn't want or doesn't like, we work through it...without tears or yelling. Tears and yelling get us nowhere. Jakob's fit-throwing is a result of frustration from not being able to communicate. He's really an easy-going kid...if he understands what's going on around him. It's basically a matter of staying on the same page and thinking out of the box (had to get in 2 more cliches before I was done).

After all of this time, I'm finally starting to feel comfortable in my role as a mom with a special needs child. For a couple of years now, I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of moms in therapy waiting rooms and I felt that they had a deeper understanding of their children than I had of mine. I kept hoping that I could get to the point that they were at with their kids...comfortable and calm. I still feel like I have so much to learn but I've kinda taken the pressure off myself. Jakob is doing great and as far as being a mom to Jakob, I've got it handled. I can relax...a little.

-Jenn

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