Yesterday I experienced one of those truly precious, total connection Leelo moments. Though rare, these interludes seem to be on the increase.
Leelo was siting at the kitchen counter, looking like he needed something to do. I handed him a toy and said, "Leelo, this is Dewy."
Leelo grabbed Dewy, gave Dewy a huge smile, gave me another huge smile, looked me right in the eye, and said -- totally naturalistically and like any other happy little boy -- "I *like* Dewy!"
(Does this mean it was a good thing for Mali to ransack the local gaming store so quickly and thoroughly that the owner gave her Dewy in a desperate attempt to distract her?)
Leelo is starting to do a lot of pretend play. I keep seeing him making his Catbus *be* a Catbus, and keep catching him pushing Mali's stroller around the back yard. Maybe we should get him one of those pretend shopping carts? His seventh birthday is exactly one month away, and we already have a pretend store full of pretend food...
Seymour and I are both so pleased and amazed by Leelo's potty training progress, especially since I never let myself believe that a potty trained boy was a guarantee. When Leelo started to poop in the toilet, I thought we would be sitting in the bathroom with him, reading books and trawling YouTube, indefinitely; he hasn't needed that kind of encouragement for weeks. (Supervisor M is really proud of our boy, too; she said this phase of potty training often takes a lot longer with ASD kids.)
Now we tell Leelo when it's time to go to the potty, and he goes. Sometimes I have to sing and skip across the living room and down the hall with him, sometimes he gets mad and hits me first, but sometimes he runs up the stairs on his own and does the deed from start to finish -- including wiping -- himself. Amazing.
Since we still spend a lot of time in the bathroom with him, I must write that it's both amusing and convenient to watch him bend double and crane his neck to watch the poo come out.
Our next goal is to get him to stop with the compulsive flushing. (This is a really bad habit for a boy who lives in dry, dry California.) He has abused the flush handle so thoroughly that the flapper is all tweaked and doesn't always seal the tank, and then we keep losing even more water. (I try not to think of Dune at times like this.) But I think the flush-o-rama will be manageable, eventually.
I am in a good mood. Even though Leelo got excited and peed on a freshly-made bed this afternoon (he was playing "Leelo's hiding" with Therapist L and got over excited), even though one of the kids managed to clog the downstairs toilet and completely flood the bathroom while I was the only adult in a house containing five children, even though my handy-dandy pee-finder light revealed not only the current source of living room stench but an entire spiral galaxy of cat pee spots, even though I am having a really hard time trying to figure out how to get enough sleep, my boy is doing well. That makes me happy.
Before I sign off, two things:
1) Check out this boy who is not Leelo! In looks, they are separated at birth! TRIP!
2) Notes from Leelo's daily record; check out especially the observations on his language emailed to me by friends.
Said "No cleaning, no cleaning" when we were in the car. We asked him what he wanted to clean, he said, "your bottom." Turned out he needed to poop and wasn't happy about having to hold it--but he did! He made it! Two poops in his pants at school, but I think they misunderstood how his BMs go. Lots of wiping his own bottom, too--not perfectly, but very ably.
(From Ep) During party tapped Seymour on the shoulder and said, "Dad! I want juice!"
When I was singing a good night song to him, he got mad and hit me; but then he said, "I want you to sing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!" (out of NOWHERE; we haven't sung that song since Xmas '06). Then he was happy. Also was asking me about another song; if I could have understood what song he was trying to sing it would have been a real conversation. His usual nonsense call-and-response words were real words tonight, all perhaps things he heard on the playground?: "Whoa" "Watch out" "Look out, AH!" "It's okay"
(From Signora Blog) I heard him make appropriate requests about juice, straws and whatever he wanted. He went to Black Dog and asked for more straws ("please") looking him right in the eyes, and then he asked for juice, Black Dog was unsure if it was ok to give him juice (Seymour had mentioned that Leelo already had 4) so he told Leelo that they needed to go and ask "dad." Leelo patiently complied, no hitting, no frustration and went with Black Dog to talk to Seymour).