Thursday, March 4, 2010

March 4th: Small Breakthroughs for Marco (It is important to celebrate the things that seem small...)

One of Marco's big challenges is not talking directly to/at people. He talks up a blue streak, but not at us. In the past 3 months he has really begun to talk, talk, talk but it is all repetitive stuff, he repeats things after us but does not ask us for anything. (So at least we know there is language in there. I consider this a baseline, a place to work from. Not a negative thing :) )
The other day we were in the car, the 4 of us, and from the back seat comes a little voice: water...(the spelling is the same in English and Dutch, but he used the Dutch pronounciation). I looked at him and he repeated what seemed like a request. Of course we were in the car. Damn! Here Marco asks for something and we can not grant his request. 10 minutes later at my Mom's house, Aaron remembered his request, we gave him a little bottle of water (he loves having his own container, that is a typical small kid thing though) and he drank like he was dried out. The next day, the same thing happend, this time he asked for juice. We were in the car once again, but I had juice with me this time.
This morning we got to school, and I had a breakfast bar for Marco (stellar mommy that I am, sometimes I feed my kids prepared food.) I gave it to his tutor to give to him and she bent down to his level and asked him: Marco, do you want this? And he said "Yes". WOW. Sometimes it is interesting (I have no other words) to see what our SP's (Service Providor- anyone who works with our kids) can get out of our kids. If I let it, it can actually make me feel a little bit bad as in "why did I not think of this". But I have to remind myself that these people are here to HELP us, and we can learn from them if we actually allow ourselves. It is the best thing for the kid.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010: Overwhelmed & Letting Go (or Re-directing?) Dreams.

I think it is normal as a parent to sometimes get overwhelmed. I really seem to have reached something like it lately. There are times I feel I might not be exposing my kids to the opportunities out there for them. There are so many things I am not taking advantage of. Yes, it was my choice to work (I actually never really gave myself the choice, it was kind of an unspoken that I would continue to work.) Typically this is not that big a deal, I think, if you are a parent. We have a lot of extra-curricular activities for the kids though, just because of the nature of their dx-es. I hate when I can not take advantage of an opportunity for them. It stresses me out.
A the same time, I like riding horses. I have one horse I bought 6 years ago, for whom I had dreams. He is a nice horse, with talent. I got him for a good price. WHen I saw the ad, I remember the tingle in the back of my neck. This was my horse. I had a good time starting him. Took lessons, enjoyed that, looked forward to going to shows. Never did take him to a show though. That's OK, because the kids came instead. I always thought that I would get back to riding regularly and getting the horse ready for shows. "Maybe this year" I thought last year. Then Marco's Dx came. It really hit me for a loop, and even though I functioned pretty decently, I really had a hard time. Not only with the dx but most certainly the 6 months leading up to it. I was in denial but I knew something was up.
Now I am kind of dealing with Marco's dx, but I must honestly say it is harder than Annelies's. Why? I do not know. Is it because it is a second one, and it just is a little too much to deal with (well, of course we have to deal and we will. There is no question there.) Marco is doing better, he is making progress. But autism is such an unknown to me, such a black hole. What if he gets worse. Or God forbid, what if Annelies has it? Sometimes I drive myself up the wall worrying.
I have not been riding regularly. That stresses me out a lot too. Here is a nice horse who is not getting the attention he so deserves. (Luckily, all the horses are out in pasture, so they are not stuck in a stall, they get movement at least). Today I kind of hit rock-bottom and the thought came up that I might give up my horse. It will take some of the worry away of not spending time with him, and I can focus better on the kids and my work. It sucks to give up a dream, it really does. But maybe it is the best thing to do for now.
Maybe I will sleep on it.