I think that's how the saying goes right? The calm AFTER the storm. Maybe it's the calm before the storm... I think maybe it can go either way though right? In my life right now though, we've got this blissful calm after the storm.
I mentioned a week or so ago about Evan and his outrageous behavior. I don't think that words could really express how awful our child was being. It seemed that everyday we would wake up with the hopes that today would be a better day, only to find out that in fact today was just going to be a WORSE day. There really is no worse feeling. I scratched my head so many times wondering if this was ever going to end, and if I could possibly have been wrong. If maybe this wasn't just a temporary adjustment period, but more of a long term behavioral issue that we were going to have to deal with. I chatted with his wonderful teachers about ways that we could attempt to combat these negative behaviors, and possibly redirect him... Alas it felt that every time we approached him with a tactic that "should" work, we were met head on with Evan's strong will and determination to do something on HIS agenda. Needless to say, Evan was quickly becoming the epitome of my "strong willed" child.
For the past 3 and half years I have relied on help from others to raise our kids. Whether this was our parents, or some kind of live-in help, we've always had people to depend on. This scenario ended up being a double edged sword. While I was always so thankful for the help in the here and now, there was really something to be said for figuring it out and doing it on my own. I don't feel that this was as much of an option when the children were infants, or when Noelle was in the hospital. I think that those times in our lives, were simply fight or flight... There was no "better situation", what we had, was what we had... It was simply the best for that time in our life. Now however, I look back on the past 2 years and scratch my head. I don't have any regrets, I'm very proud of who my children are and who they've become. I do however wonder if I could've known them better. If I could've taken more time to figure out the issues. If there was more to the problems than met the eye, and if I could've gotten it resolved more quickly had I been the one taking care of them 24/7.
This brings us to this most recent development in Evan's life. As most of you know, Evan was completely non-verbal until the age of 3.5. At that time we started hearing mild babbling and random piecings together of things that reminded us of words. Now at the ripe old age of 4.5, Evan is clearly speaking. He has the verbal skills of about a 2 year old. He understands things far better than that of a 2 year old, but still his communication skills are low. So you can imagine that everyday things change, he's constantly evolving. It's actually a totally amazing thing... Instead of being able to rejoice in the first few words that Evan has said, we have been literally rejoicing over every word that he says. That, I think, is one of the big differences between typical kids, and kids with autism. Celebrating the little things... So with Evan, his recent frustrations were stemming from his need to speak... Knowing what it was that he wanted to say, and being completely unable to articulate it in the manner that he needed to. Now after being patient and waiting for him, he's able to say things like "Mommy! I've missed you!", "More water please!", and "No, not yet!"... All of these things are such huge steps in the right direction... Needless to say, the patience that I had this time around totally paid off. Evan is so so enjoyable now... He's joyful, he's patient, and best of all he listens!
Now Jack? He's a WHOLE other story... ;)