Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dear Noah...

As each day passes and I sit back and watch you, I am always amazed to realize what progress you have made over time. It is October and Halloween, a time for tricks or treats! I remember in years past where you would have nothing to do with any of it. You did not want to dress up in any costume let alone think about going out trick-or-treating. The thought of putting on any clothing that did not, in your mind, resemble actual clothing, was not an option for you. Clothing had to be just right, and snaps had to be just so, and if they were not you would have a meltdown! Back then you rarely wanted to venture from home, preferring instead to stay inside, usually inside your room, surrounded by familiar things. Your daily rituals were very routine then and any variance in the rhythm would set you reeling. You did not handle change or trying new things well at all.

Flash forward to today. I hardly recognize the little man you are becoming. You have made such incredible progress. Whenever I read over former medical documents about you from even two years ago, it hardly seems I am reading about the same little boy I see standing before me now. It has definitely been a process and a very trying one at times, but I am very proud of you for the way you are learning and growing. You are much more mature than you have ever been in your life.

Moving back two years ago to be closer to our extended family was a good move for us. One of the best for you in your lifetime. You have been exposed to many more social outings and I have exposed you to as many social playtimes with other children and even adults as I can. You have come alive during this time. Many times it is like I see you slowly waking up, shaking the sleep from your eyes, sometimes things still being seen a little fuzzy; yet at other times with a light going off and you "getting it!"

Yesterday we celebrated your grandparents' birthdays. You got to see the family and play with your cousin Audrey whom you adore:

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The week prior we went to her Halloween party:

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You really got into the games and wanted to try them all. Your writing is improving so much and I am amazed to see how well you can hold a pen or pencil let alone actually use one now, something I wondered if you would ever master.

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You went to the Halloween parade this year and the store-to-store trick-or-treating earlier this week...and really enjoyed that.

Today you went trick-or-treating in town, then we stopped by grandma C.'s house so she could see your costume. While there you got to see your cousins who were also out trick-or-treating so you were all in costume. I have to say you were all adorable and will all break many hearts one day soon! You all played very well together....though you thought the youngest little guy played a bit too rough. You all had a great time and we will have to arrange a play date again soon!

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In all these photos I notice your face. You look the happiest I have ever seen you look! It is striking. You are so excited to be around all these other kids too. Tonight we went to an alternative trick-or-treating event at a local church. While there you saw two other children you go to school with so you hung around real close to them.

I stood back on the sidelines in my usual "monitoring-just-in-case" position, when I suddenly realize I am not there anymore to be ready to cart you off should you lose it and breakdown. I am only there to perhaps redirect you if necessary. But I have noticed in most cases you can now redirect yourself or I can help, simply by a look your way. Tonight you looked back my way often, your eyes seeking approval or direction from me. Assurance you were doing the right thing. A nod of the head, a look of my eyes was all it took to steer you in the right direction. You watched the other kids. You were very careful with your arms and legs and body. You did try to keep your distance. You just wanted to be a part of the rest of the group. And do you know what? You were. Oftentimes you fit in so well now most do not realize anything is different about you in any way at all, unless they are around you for a long period of time and one of your quirky ways pops up.

I have had a couple of people ask me recently if this meant you were "getting better." I tell them it is not so much you are getting better like your autism is going away, as it is you are learning ways to cope in order to live in our world. I know that it is not easy for you, but you are doing great.

And I love you so much Noah. And I am so very proud of you.

Mommy
xoxoxox

Boys will be boys......and these boys are dolls!

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3 comments:

Melissa said...

Great entry Melinda! He does look happy all the time now, I have noticed that. He's always smiling, though he always used to smile, but he just seems happy all the time now. Great photos of all the boys, they are adorable! So are the ones with him and Audrey!

Mom/Grandma said...

Great photos, so happy he enjoyed himself with Wesley and Elliott. He's right, little Elliott is a rough house kind of kid. Even Wesley thinks Elliott sometimes plays too rough. He also loves to pick up all kinds of things like snakes, frogs and etc. Wesley on the other hand is a little more gentle in his ways.

Those are all good photos. Not sure what Wesley was dressed as, I know Noah was a race car driver and Elliott looks like he was dressed as a muscle man, but not sure about Wesley, some space age person?

Yes Noah is handling things so much better then he use to be able to handle them, like a melt down. He's been doing just great, and mostly because of you Dear Mom. I think the way you've been teaching him, and the fact he gets to play with other children and see people like Audrey and Wesley, this all helps him understand how to cope by also seeing how they cope with things. And at his age, that's when their little minds absorbs so much and they learn so much.

You've been doing a fantastic job. It's a shame his Father isn't able to share in some of Noah's learning and able to see how he's maturing.

Love you both

PAH said...

Noah - Can't believe how big you have grown!! Are you going to be driving soon? Glad you are having a fun Halloween. Do you believe in ghosts? Give your mom big hugs - because she is special to me :) Trick or treat!!