Saturday, September 30, 2006

Reflections on our first year with ASD

Princess Reece (aka Little Peanut)

Well, it's been a full year since Reece's diagnosis. The roller coaster seems like it's starting to go a little smoother now. What used to feel like jolts and steep inclines and fast speeding descents seem now to be mostly average ups and downs, with only an occasional big pit here and there.

Goodness, I'm not going to be eloquent here. I feel like I should be able to write some wonderful, deeply moving tribute to this last year. I should be able to say that the worst is over and we're all doing really great! I guess that is true to some extent! Some days I'm very confident and believing that God has a plan for Reece. Other days I feel like I'm in over my head and there's nothing that I can do, and I worry that she will never fall in love, get married, hold down a job, etc. Most days are somewhere in between.

Reece graduated from Speech Therapy at the end of April, and from Occupational Therapy at the end of June. Her tantrums are few and far between, and I'm much better at handling them when they do occur. She is completely potty trained, including night times. She is sleeping through the night 95% of the time. She's doing pretty well at preschool, with her facilitator, and she loves to go! She is in ballet class, and that's a bigger challenge, but she has a very patient teacher! She is learning how to read (she can blend sounds into 3 letter words, but she doesn't get the point and purpose of it! I've tried to introduce Bob Books and she isn't interested!), and she prints (all capitals, thank you HWT) better than Austin or Riley did at this same age. She loves to color and draw!

The things she still struggles with are the need to keep everything the same all the time. And now that she's talking well, she does alot of repetitive talking (same conversations over and over, same questions over and over). She doesn't really understand how to interact with other children her own age, and this seems to be a bigger problem earlier than it was with Austin. I guess that's a girl thing... little girls are so incredibly social, and they notice that she's not! She still runs off when we're in public and I'm not holding her hand (though this is getting better!). She loves babies, and touches them even though we've talked about not touching babies without asking the mom first (this is a repetitive thing too as she will run for and touch the same baby 10-20 times, even though we've gone through the whole 'lesson'). And she still has no sense of stranger awareness (sits on the laps of strangers, hugs them, asks to go home with them). Some of these things get harder to deal with as she gets older and older, they become more obviously out of place.

I guess there's not much else to say! I'm here, we're all here, we made it through! I've learned so much this year, and I know I still have so much to learn! We just continue to plug away, for Reece's sake! :)

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