Tonight Doodle was overstimulated. She always has trouble winding down to sleep and those of you who have or know a child with Autism probably know what I mean. Yes the experts say, they need a routine, blah blah blah. Well routine shmootine - IT DON'T WORK. Our routine is in place for the rest of the quads but with her, it all depends on so many variables during the day and now that we are Potty training (big Yay!!) it is even more interesting. So she was bouncing off the walls with no thought of drifting off to the Land of Nod. So we went outside, on the deck and turned the lights off. We sat on the steps, her in my lap, counting stars and feeling that wonderful early summer nighttime breeze - light and cool, yet not chilly at all. Star-gazing, watching airplanes and the trees swaying gently. We were just absorbed in all the goodness of God's world.
Finally, I told her we needed to go inside so we did. No sooner had I sat down than she came to me and grabbed my hand, pointing to the window, and pulling on my she says, "Night- Stars"
This is AMAZING to me.
She's six and she's just begun to do things that my 15 month old is about to embark on. The things you take for granted with typical kids, like sharing an enjoyable activity or having them point to something they want you to see with them, bringing you a book they like, these are all things that kids with autism have trouble with. Heartbreakingly absent in the parent-child relationship of a child with moderate to severe autism. So when it does happen out of the blue you immediately ask yourself the following-
*How did this just happen? (Did she really just say that to me?)
*What caused this to happen? (Have I fed her something different, are the supplements working?, etc.)
*Is she "recovering"? (unlikely)
*Will it ever happen again or was it a fluke?
I am cautiously optimistic. These moments are treasures and I store them away incase it does not happen again.
My precious sweet little girl wanted to share something with me that made her happy! This is such a struggle for these kids and in fact a very early indicator of a problem. When your toddler doesn't bring things to you or point at things they want you to see, red flags should pop out. Denial never helped a child with a developmental delay. I remember the exact moment I realized she wasn't doing these things. Probably around the age of one. I think my husband and I both came to our own similar conclusions about Doodle long before we actually discussed it out loud.
But back to our evening, so I decided we would go back outside, but we went out to the front porch with the incentive being avoidance of big hairy Golden who likes to knock me down each time I open the back door. Well, boy, we were rewarded.
A bright, clear half-moon looked down on us like it had been hung, perfectly centered in front of our house. I nearly gasped. It was so lovely. I looked around. The night air was soft and the view from the gentle hill our house sits atop was like a storybook page.
She sat in my lap and started jabbering again. I mentioned some frogs singing nearby. Many times she seems to make up words or at least I can't understand them. This time, however, I did. Clear as day, I heard my little girl saying,
"Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful world."
Absolutely Doodle -
You got that right. . .