Wednesday, March 11, 2009

YaYa The Weird and more autism stuff

(Note: I realized I haven't posted pictures in a while. So I'm going to post some probably-not-so-related pictures for this one.)

Before we moved to Nebraska Mr. Man had speech and behavioral therapy once every other week in Iowa. Since eligibility was based on your school district, obviously he no longer qualified. Last Tuesday the woman with the Nebraska early start program came out and asked some questions about his behavior and all that. I hate having to answer questions about his behavior. I mean, yes, I see it all the time, but they always start out with these kind of vague questions. There were concerns about autism in Iowa. The lady Tuesday said, “Tell me what makes you concerned he might have autism.” I drew a total blank. That's a huge question, and back when we first started the therapy in Iowa I would have been able to rattle off a dozen symptoms of autism that fit him. Since then I have studiously avoided any sort of autism reading online other than a few mommy blogs. Autism message boards make me want to hit people, and I try to live my life free of anger.

(Mr. Man riding a cable spool like a horse.)

I was fine once she started asking more specific questions. I always feel like I'm being tested, though—a lot of autism diagnosis at this age, or so I have been led to believe, is based on parental interview. They ask me what his symptoms are, I tell them, they say yay or nay. (And yes, I know that's not how it really goes, but that's how it feels to me.) I have this fear—what if I give the wrong answer? What if I phrase something wrong, or what if something's true when I say it, but it's only true because I don't know any better?

I know I've shared this anecdote on here before, but I don't have many stories so I'm going to tell this one again. My friend L has three sons. The oldest is now six and in the talented and gifted class at school. When he was two, he didn't talk much, if at all. No matter what L did, he could not be persuaded to say more than two or three words at a time. One night, while her son was in his room playing, L came up the stairs and he didn't hear her. He was in his room making up a story and telling it to himself. He was perfectly capable of talking, of using pretty complicated sentences, he just didn't feel like it when she asked him to do it. Up until that moment if you had asked her if he could form a sentence of more than two or three words, she would have said no because that was her experience. She was a stay at home mom at the time, so it wasn't like she just wasn't around him enough to notice these things.

Anyway, the first thing Mr. Man did was go over and hold his arms out to the service coordinator to be picked up. He sat in the chair with her and brought her toys. He said bye when she left. I was very proud of him. YaYa, however, was weird. (What's new?)

(YaYa waves to everyone out this window, and I do mean everyone. I think he's waving to a cat here.)

He came out of the bedroom after she came and stopped short, then he didn't want to go to the bathroom by himself. I guess he thought she was going to follow him or something. He got over that real quick and told her how much he loved Tom and Jerry and Super Y. I have no idea what Super Y is. I actually just found out Friday it was Super Why, but my first impression was with the letter Y so I'm leaving it in. He told her he liked her socks and her shoes. He asked her what color her shoes were, she asked him what color he thought they were and he answered correctly. (Brown, for those of you who are interested.) When she went to leave he asked for kisses and hugs. (Not unusual—he asks ANYONE who comes over for kisses and hugs when they leave. I hope we never have to have any repairmen in here.) She gave him a hug but no kisses because she had a cold. He also told her he loved her. She tried to get out of saying it back (I would have, too), but it became clear that he wasn't giving up, so she said it back. As she was walking out the door he said, “Be sure and come back to my house to ask some more questions!”

I realized today that I have to send him to school in the fall. Somehow I don't think he'll have any problems adjusting.

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