I sometimes wonder about the process of autism. Is the progress I see from sheer age, or is it correlated with what I am doing and what others are doing to help Chandler? Some days I feel smarter than his teachers, and I feel like I am leaving my child, my blank canvas, to some blundering novice painters. (Don't take offense if you are a teacher, past or present) This doesn't mean I don't appreciate all of the effort they put in, but because autism is (in large part) guess work, I wonder. I'm a blundering novice some days too. Why can't I just feel the right thing to do? Son-rise, ABA, Rapid Prompting, Floor Time, Play Therapy, Video Modeling....all of these choices and I have researched each one. I have read and reread, decided and redecided. I have given him vitamins, B supplements, homeopathic supplements, tried Gluten free diets, I have tried Horse Therapy, Water therapy, Assistive Communication, and the fear that I am going down the wrong path, or traveling too slowly, or not discovering some new therapy or treatment keeps me awake every night. Communication is key, and I will never stop searching. However, pathways in autism elude me. Why did he suddenly play ball with me for 20 minutes after years of only playing for 2 minutes at the most? Why, when telling him to get off the back of the chair, did he reach out and hug me and say "love you" spontaneously after months and years of me begging him to repeat it? Is it stubbornness? Is it simply his inner struggle to get these messages out?
Chandler chose..CHOSE..a truck at the store instead of a stim toy (sensory toy like a stress ball, pin cushion toy, stretchy dinosaur, etc.) and I put it back on the shelf to see what would happen, and he picked it up again. He wanted a truck. A regular, age appropriate toy. A ten dollar item that was more priceless to me than any blu-ray player, ipod, 60inch flatscreen...anything you could every give me.Time stopped. All I could do was stare at him. I don't have all the answers, his teachers don't, his doctors don't...just God. I was never a very spiritual person until I got to watch miracles unfold. Until I got to feel the powerful hold that comes along with watching this child break down so many things I thought to be true about life, about happiness, about love.