The school stuff has continued to throw us challenges that we never expected. We decided after one hour at the mainstream school that we just couldn’t do it. Watching my son remain stressed and anxious all day after just ONE hour was enough, but on top of that we thought of these things: flip-flopping school to school every day with different teachers, routines, and expectations…we had made such great strides at school 1…he looked forward to going to school 1…the staff at school 1 was professionally educated to work with kids with special needs…..need I go on?
So, after a sit-down with the autism specialist at school 1 (who confirmed all of the things we’d already been thinking) and a very awkward conversation with the teacher, we were officially withdrawn and set to send him 5 days to the developmental preschool. Whew. I felt instant relief, which was joined by happiness as I watched my little boy bound from the car into his teacher’s arms the next day. Absolutely the right decision.
Since he started the full-time program, we’ve noticed some nice changes. 90% of the time, he’s thrilled to get in the car and go to school. He has started saying more. A lot of it is still echolalia, but we’ve noticed him changing up dialogue from shows or books to be slightly different or use one of our names (i.e. Mr. Grover from Another Monster at the End of This Book sometimes becomes Mr. Momma….I gladly will be a boy in this scenario to hear him being even remotely creative!). He still likes ordering things, and is back “into” cars, but it’s not always the same straight lines. He will make a circle, square, heart shape, or even (gasp!) wiggly lines of cars. He’s seeking out family members to play. He used to be entirely content to play alone, but now wants to be playing with others part of the time. He’s always been affectionate with me, but he’s gotten even more so. Even some extended family members have gotten kisses and “I love you’s.”
I can only hope that as the year continues, that we will keep seeing more of what our baby can do. We are SO happy with how things are going right now and where we are. It’s so easy to get impatient with therapies/programs and wish that things would just magically be better right NOW, but for right now, we are just enjoying the baby steps.