Ups That Downs Can't Beat

Leelo is on another loopy behavior bender. Humming and vocalizing, needing prompting to answer questions he was answering readily last week.

And I don't really mind.

Because even with these behavioral quirks, he continues to demonstrate not just increased language, but increased comprehension of his environment.

This morning he finally made the leap out of dealing purely with the concrete immediate present. A short leap, but one that will be the basis for further extrapolation.

I asked him to put on his pants, then walked into the next room to make Mali's breakfast. A moment later a pantsless Leelo came running into the kitchen. Frustrated, I sternly said, "Leelo, go get your pants!" thinking that maybe, maybe, he might be able to grasp relocating a non-present object. And he did! He went and got them and handed them to me. I neither reminded him what to do, nor did I follow him into the other room. He did it all on his own.

Then, after he kept bothering me about a toy he'd misplaced, I told him to go look for it downstairs in my room. He not only understood, but went down to look for it--and when he didn't find it there, he came up and asked for it again. I told him that I was sorry, that I really did think it was in my room--perhaps it was in his room? Then he ran down the stairs straight to his lair (which was bare). But--cha! He gets it!

Later, while we were doing our usual breakfast cafe thing, he spied a wrapped present on another table. He walked up to the person next to the gift and said, "Open your present!" He not only has never said this before, he's never before demonstrated any comprehension of the wrapped gift concept. His therapists spent a good deal of time with this concept, months ago, but I was under the impression that they'd dropped it for more productive play scenarios. Certainly it's not something we've been talking about.

That light, that tunnel. I can see them both. Of course I might not be dumped out at the exit I was expecting five years ago, but I am okay with that. I like where Leelo's headed.

As for the behavioral crap, Leelo had yogurt and sugar-coated cranberries on Monday, part of a t00tsie pop on Thursday (no other item motivates him for a hair cut), and then for the first time in four months requested dried raspberries yesterday. His physical output (think stench) has degraded in a manner consistent with his behavioral output. Time for me to be a bitch about dietary, and specifically sugar, exceptions.

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