Leelo Rules Too, Just Like His Friends Do

Leelo Rules Too, Just Like His Friends Do

Leelo's been a busy man this week. Busy barfing (eating too fast; hasn't done that in months), hitting at school (fuck!) and having two potty accidents (still none at school, though. Whew.). He is occasionally hitting/pushing his four family members as well. He usually targets Mali since she is easy pickings, but he also slugged Seymour in the face--knuckles first, which is good form but really hurt.

Normally all this would have me freaking right off of my seat. But Leelo has had such a great week otherwise that everything is balancing towards the positive.

He has learned to independently buckle himself into his five-point harness car seat. THIS IS HUGE. Seymour and I have been working with him on buckling for months, and all of the sudden Leelo Got It. In fact I didn't even realize he'd made the leap until I trundled over to his side of the minivan after securing Mali, and found him all buckled up and ready to go. Again, this is huge; this means four or five fewer circuits around the car each day and even though it is not an enormous time investment, I am grateful for anything that simplifies my life.

He is also doing so well with getting dressed: shirt, underwear/pullup, pants, socks, shoes (slip-ons only, but hey) all go on without assistance, and quite quickly, too. He is so good at it and so proud of himself. I should take a video.

These self-care milestones fill me with the kind of joy that is usually reserved for a baby's first steps, because it was not clear to me that Leelo would ever reach them. Sure, I hoped and wished and suspected that he could, but--unlike typical kids--there is no standard trajectory for autistic children. You simply cannot predict what they will and will not be capable of.

What I really appreciate about Leelo's progress is the how it reminds me that we can only be hopeful and optimistic about our boy's future abilities. When we had our YouCSF consult with Dr. G. E., he mentioned that kids who don't potty train by age 6 usually don't ever really get it. But Leelo has been working on potty training for more than two years now, and his biggest leaps have come in the past few months. He has been working on self-dressing for even longer. I think Leelo's going to figure it out, I really do.

And despite his misbehavior--which I attribute to his being allowed to eat all the forbidden dairy and sugar he wanted over his birthday weekend--he has really been seeking us out for attention and hugs and kisses. He is with us, he is participating, he is taking care of himself, he is kicking ass. Once again, our battle cry: Go Leelo go!

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