Friday, August 12, 2011

Patience Pays

I was once told by a teacher's aide that J would never be potty trained so give up on trying and get some adult size diapers. She also talked bad about the teacher trying to actually teach the kids in the class because they would never learn. We pulled J out of public school after that. 
  Fast forward 6 years. J is not completely potty trained, but he's getting better at it little by little. We still work with him. He still can't write by himself, but he knows the letters to his name and can write with a little hand over hand guidance. He does the work himself. And up to now, food or drink has been asked for with a generic "eat" sign or "more" sign, or speaking the words 'food' or 'eat'. Today, he wanted a glass of tea. At first he said food. I pointed at the plate he already had and said eat. He tried again. Finally, he picked up the glass, pointed it at me, and said boldly, "TEA!" I poured him some tea. I was elated! 
  We went back and forth saying tea and otherwise "conversing" in his own language. I want him to understand that conversations are give and take. I'm happy to say he said tea a few more times, and each time he was rewarded. 
As old as he is, he is still trying new skills . (Boy does that make him sound ancient, or what? he's 18!) 
  I don't like when anyone tries to put limits on a child's learning capabilities. Sometimes it takes a little longer or a lot longer than others, but that's okay. Never give up on them. Keep working at it. Pray hard. Let them show you what they can do. 
  To all the moms, dad's grandparents, and therapists and teachers who love and work tirelessly for and with our children and young adults with autism, thank you. Big hugs!

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