Our Guy Is Back. Sort of.

(Originally started 3/13)

That's what Supervisor M said after Leelo's fantastic aftenoon shift yesterday, during which he was not only compliant and didn't hit anyone once, but also took to three new curriculum items so well that Supervisor M decided to start phonics, too. Wow.

"Well, it is March. We usually get him back in March," I said when Therapist L told me what Superisor M had said. In this case I am happy for predictable behavioral cycles. Now we need to see what we can do to avoid Behavioral Hell Season next year (Dec. - Feb.).

In general he has been fairly pleasant to hang out with lately. Enough so that when Therapist C turned out to be a flake* and we lost Thursday afternoon coverage, I decided that for now we can just keep Thursday afternoons free. Thursday will be Excursion Day. Though, like many autistic kids, he still doesn't know what to do with himself when not directed.

He has started to spontaneously make observations about his environment, or items in drawings or photos. Things like "I see train," "I see trucks," "I see the waves," And..."I hear the Nutcracker" (current favorite CD and DVD).

Other good language lately:
"I want a kiss, Daddy"
"Manny is eating. Manny is eating beans. NO BEANS."

He is also back on cod liver oil. He really hadn't been taking it for over a year. But as he doesn't get much vitamin A or D from any other source, or essential fatty acids, I started a campaign to reintegrate it with his routine. If I get him to take the oil between bites of his whole wheat croissants, he is generally okay with it. Which is great, because there are few things more unpleasant than getting sprayed with a mixture of fish oil and French pastry.

With regards to toileting, we are still having some roadblocks at home. Last Tuesday when Therapist Y took a 1/2 hour afternoon break, he left Leelo in underwear and forgot to tell me. Leelo both wet and soiled himself while sitting on the couch (I was in the dining area folding laundry, with the boy in view) and showed no signs of discomfort. I discovered his situation only because I walked over to check in on him and almost fainted because of the smell. Sigh.

Yesterday Leelo woke up dry for the first time in over a week. I think it's because he went right to bed, and I had to wake him up in the morning. (During the previous week he'd fought going to bed almost every night and so most likely wet his pullups then--not while he was asleep.) This to me demonstrates that his involuntary bladder control is good and mature, and that voluntary control is the real issue--he does not yet care and may never care when he is wet or soiled.

He is currently having problems generalizing his little sister's and big sisters' labels/names. He keeps answering "Mali" for each. I am working with him on this.

I am in a bit of a slump, optimism-wise, with regards to Leelo. He is having a great time at his new preschool, but has been placed in the lower functioning of the two preschool classrooms. I truly do want him in whatever environment makes him happy and supports his skills, but am disappointed that our "high functioning" son has been on a plateau for a while now, and hasn't seen major progress--social progress, language progress--in a really long time. I realize that I shouldn't expect him to be anything other than what he is, but he did so incredibly well at the beginning of his program. We really did think he was going to continue to make notable, if not remarkable, progress. So for right now I am sad about not being able to reach my son like I'd imagined I might be able to at this point.

*Note to bright young things intending to enter the job market in any field, but particularly in the special needs kids therapeutic sector: Do Not Fucking Flake. Your word should be worth something. If you say that you're not sure about a job with my kid because another, conflicting but more lucrative job might be coming down the pipe in a few weeks, then please just cut and run as I advised in the first place. Do not tell me that you will commit to this job, start working, and then leave a few weeks later when that other job materializes after all.

I will probably go to hell for being so angry and resentful about the way you treated my son, but I suspect your thoughtlessness will land you on a pile of brimstone, too. While you burn, consider that the really enthusiastic demon with the extra-sharp pitchfork is probably me.

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