By Christine Denise
Autism Mom and Contributing Writer for As You Are, a virtual clinic dramatically increasing access to early autism diagnostic services through the use of exclusively telehealth appointments
Today, we had a victory.
A few, actually.
My son came home from school, got off of his school bus, and walked to the bathroom – without his babysitter leading him there.
He pulled down his pants – without someone prompting him to do so, or doing it for him.
Sat down on the toilet – without waiting for someone to put him on it.
And went to the bathroom.
His pull-up was dry.
That’s five wins all in the span of about five minutes.
And I’ve learned to hold onto them with both hands, so they can help get me through dark times that can so easily overshadow the beautiful moments along this journey.
In this life, it is easy to fall into the negative.
My child will never be able to do this or that.
Or, we aren’t even going to try to do this or that.
Try it. Maybe it will work, and maybe it won’t. Maybe it will work one time, and not the next.
Consistency and predictability are definitely not among the adjectives I would ever use to describe this life.
And yet, those are the adjectives that the children who have autism that I know desperately need and want to feel.
So, we try our best to create it for them and hope for the best.
Today, it paid off.
My son’s babysitter has been taking him to the bathroom when he gets home from school for years.
And today, his independent trip to the bathroom also showed me my son can do something we feared he may never be able to do.
It’s one of the best, brightest moments along a journey that can so easily be overtaken by hopelessness and darkness.
And, although it was such a small part of today, I made sure the feeling I had when I read the text message from his babysitter telling me about it lasted.
So when I read the behavior chart from school stating he had tried to elope from the classroom 10 times, I reminded myself, “Yes, but he went to the bathroom by himself today.”
When he bit me like he often does looking for a sensory response, I reminded myself, “Yes, but he went to the bathroom by himself today.”
And when he refused to open his mouth so we could brush his teeth, well, you get the picture.
Later, when I took him to the bathroom, he needed more prompting and direction.
So, he didn’t execute it with the same independent action that he had before.
And that was ok, because the important part of today was learning that he actually can do it. He is capable of doing it – even though he wasn’t when I took him to the bathroom.
That’s also part of this journey.
No two days are alike.
No two hours are alike.
Sometimes, no two minutes are alike.
And no two moments are alike.
That’s why it’s so important to hold on to the wins with both hands.
Don’t let them slip through your fingers and get lost in the darkness.
Do you have questions about your child’s development? The team at As You Are provides useful autism screening and diagnostic evaluations for kids 16 months to 10 years old via telehealth appointments.
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This is a sponsored blog post, but all opinions are my own.