Originally, I was going to write several blog posts of our experiences for Autism Awareness month, but, I’ve been a busy mama (and not all of that time was spent playing Farmville 2).
So here’s our young man
He used to look like this, a little boy………
and now he’s this tall, young man with a more mature voice.
A young man who still likes to play with tub toys, and bring them to the beach.
(Beware, the “fierce” rubber shark!)
When he was little, he liked to bring sticks into the house and carry them around as “whips”. One day, my husband became really tired of seeing sticks collecting in the house, so he helped our son find a new form of “whip”. He bought Kylin a bag of zip-ties, which were the perfect replacement (and good for us if we ever needed to fasten anything to something else!) Eventually, Kylin discovered that the “whip” could reach a longer distance, if something was taped to it, like a silly straw (he’s a big fan of tape too, so we buy him a roll of painter’s tape for those “gift-giving” occasions. To him, it’s gold!).
Before he became a teenager, Kevin found this book for me on Amazon. “Mixed Blessings” was written by William and Barbara Christopher, about their experience raising their autistic son (those who are fans of the show “M*A*S*H” will know William as “Father Mulcahy”). I’m glad that I read it before my son hit puberty, as they described how their son became more agitated and aggressive once it hit. So I had some idea of what to expect. Fortunately, with Kylin, the hard work that we’ve all put in to help him control his emotions at times when things don’t go his way, seem to have helped, so far.
This book is out of print, however it may still be found on Amazon.
Turning 15 for Kylin will be a bit different than it was for Heather. He isn’t ready to learn to drive, and time will tell if he ever will be. The plan is to take him to the DMV and get him an ID card, and then help him open up a bank account, so he can learn more about saving money and gaining interest.
He’s also wishing that he had someone to play with his cars “nicely” (meaning, “play how I want to play, and don’t take the cars out of my room unless I say it’s ok”). This is kind of a big deal, because, in the past, he didn’t want any outside “involvement” when he played.
We’ve also noticed more clarity in his thinking when he writes down his thoughts than when he speaks them. He’s posting more on Facebook and has been making more of an effort to talk about “real” and appropriate things. “inappropriate” would be pictures of him being a dictator wanting to go to war. We did tell him what usually happens to dictators and we didn’t feel that was a worthy career choice for him! When the “dictator” talk or pictures start happening, that’s his way of saying that he’s in a situation that he has no control over and he doesn’t like that.
We have finally started letting him watch movies with some action in them. In the past, he couldn’t even watch “Finding Nemo” without getting overly charged and aggressive. Now he just sits through an action movie rather calmly, and then makes a comment afterwards. When we watched “Jurassic Park”, he was fairly quiet. Then at the end, when the cast is bloody, exhausted and limping to the helicopter, Kylin’s matter-of-fact comment was, “They’re going to need to take a shower when they get home”. Ummm, yeah, I’m sure they are. 🙂
It should be interesting to see what changes and what stays the same over the next year.
Changes that don’t necessarily include gaining more inches in height over his big sister!