In just 15 more days you will be TWO! I cannot believe that you have been in my world for two years. It just doesn’t seem possible. I can remember every detail of every moment of your short time with me and when I think back to before I knew your diagnosis I remember feeling carefree. I didn’t think about autism or what that entailed. All I knew was I had this beautiful face with these huge curious eyes to look at everyday and I was blissfully unaware that something deeper was going on inside that beautiful mind of yours. Somehow your tiny neurons in your brain were firing in a much different way than expected. Things were beginning to look different to you. Smell different to you. Taste and feel different to you. I started to notice that you were changing from a baby that would say mama, pop, dada, baba, and make eye contact while you played with me as you sat in your highchair, to a baby that was nonverbal and wanted to be left alone to figure the world out. I felt left out almost. I wanted to play with you but you would leave me as soon as I tried to join you in whatever you were into at the moment. You began to rock on top of the recliner and you would do that forever. Mickey Mouse became a required addition to your routine throughout the day. You began to not only spin yourself, but you would spin anything you could find, and let me just say, you are extremely talented at that. You can spin a plate or a lid or even a tub of butter with one flick of your wrist. No problem. WOW. I new. I was positive. This was autism.
Now here we are approaching your second birthday and it is 2014 and we are making positive changes! I took you to the park recently and as you were swinging in one of the swings I thought about your therapist and how she said to look at everyday activities that you really love and find a way to make that into a learning opportunity. I decided that you were going to learn how to tell me you wanted more by signing and I was going to use swinging to teach you. I would push you and play with you and as you swung back and forth you laughed and let your head fall back as you watched the floating clouds pass by you and you loved the way your stomach would drop down to your feet as you lifted your head back up. I slowly let your swing stop and asked you if you wanted more by actually speaking the words and signing them. You got irritated and quite frankly pissed off. BUT you did it! You signed more on the first try! As soon as you did I began pushing you and praising you telling you that I understood you. I did this several times and each time you signed more. I even stopped asking if you wanted more. Instead I asked you what you wanted and you signed MORE!!! My brilliant Oliver. So clever! When it was time to go home you screamed and kicked all the way home but I smiled the entire way because the whole time you were signing for more my love. I let you know I understood you but it was time to go home. Sometimes I catch you going to the door and signing for more asking me to take you to the swing. How can I say no? 🙂 You sign more for food and other things as well. Now that you have mastered that one, we must move on to a different sign. Maybe bath or open. Those are two your therapist recommended we work on. You got this communication thing down! I’m so proud of you.
You are trying desperately to form words now. Things are looking up. For Christmas you got a ball pit. You adore balls of any kind but love the ones that bounce. You like to hide out in your pit and recharge your tiny batteries. This I think is so cute. You also have a desk and we are working on sitting for meals and activities. You are beginning to understand and you are tolerating it for longer periods of time slowly. I am impressed with how quickly you are learning and adapting. It must be incredibly hard for you to accept change. I know you do not like transition as evidenced by moving from the swing to the house. The other day I got a new kitchen table and I moved the computer desk that was in the kitchen to my bedroom to make room for the table. You paced and cried the entire time. You were extremely anxious but as soon as it was done you were fine! So we must work on transition. That is going to be the toughest I think but I know you can do it. It takes time and sometimes I really cannot stand time. I love you Oliver. It’s a new year. A year older. I don’t like for you to get older. I would love for you to stay my baby forever and I know that as you get older this means you get closer to going to actual school and leaving me. Don’t worry about me though Oliver. You need to go out in the world and show everyone who you are and how amazing you are. I will be there Oliver. Maybe not physically, but I will be there baby. Every step of the way. I love you so much I could explode. Thank you for loving me back.