So, how is DJ doing through all this?
He is a very happy and easy going 2 yr old. I am very thankful for that and remind myself of this often. DJ does not have fits or episodes as many autistic kids do. He does go into his own world and still have very limited eye contact; but that has improved greatly over the last 4 mths. DJ rather play by himself than with other kids, but he knows they are there and has often laughed at others playing. DJ does not talk. He makes sounds and babbles but no words. He will not point. DJ has improved in some areas on our own efforts but then new things will come up and not all good.
For example, in May; our daughter had her gym/dance show. Of course the parents clapped and cheered for the kids. DJ flipped out! First time and I didn’t expect it. He was crying, almost screaming and fighting to get down out of the stroller. So I picked him up to calm him and he still was scared and fought to get down on the ground. Ok, so I put him down only to have him scream louder and reach for me. I picked him back up and although I was more upset with him (for I thought he had no sensory issues) I stayed calm myself and basically restrained him against me and kept telling him it’s ok and mommy is right here. He calmed down within a few minutes and was fine.
The very next day was baby girl’s Kindergarten graduation. Same thing happened. Worse this time for there where 5 classes and about 20 kids per class. DJ calmed enough to stop crying but stayed very tightly wrapped around my neck. At this point I’m ready to cry for I don’t want to torture my son, but I need to be there for my daughter too. All these what if’s started running through my mind. But I try to focus on the fact he did calm down. So maybe he can adjust?
Testing My Theory
Well that Saturday I won tickets to take the kids to the Imagination Movers Concert. They are a kids band that has their own show on Disney. DJ loves the show and laughs at it so I thought this could work or be a disaster. He’ll love it or hate it. I told my daughter we will try but we may have to leave. I could tell by her face she didn’t like that but she seemed to understand. In my mind I picturing a lifetime of putting one kid before the other and it breaks my heart for her.
So, we go. DJ didn’t want to sit in his seat. He was wrapped around my neck as soon as we got in and would not let go. The opening act was Choo-Choo Soul who also in on Disney and the kids know the songs. DJ hated it. He cried when they started, and would start up again with the audience cheered. After about 10 minutes of this I tell baby girl I think we have to go. Then the Movers come on. The crowd goes crazy and DJ cries. Then they start their song….he stops! Even when the crowd cheered he kept listening. About 15 minutes into the show, he was watching them on stage! He started smiling and laughed. He was comfortable enough to get in his seat and was dancing along! – One of those incredible high moments.
This month we have also seen fireworks, and he was clung to me but no tears and would watch every so often. We won advance screening tickets to preview Mr. Poppers Penguins. Not a cartoon so was a little nervous. He again was clung to my neck and wouldn’t even drink or eat his popcorn. Then the movie started. He grabbed me tighter at first and within minutes DJ turned around and watched. He sat perfectly on my lap eating popcorn and watched the entire movie – with smiles!
I am hoping this is a sign of good things to come. That he will continue to learn and adjust. For now, I will continue to learn all I can and be there for him no matter what.
(orginally written 6/13/11)