Is this time of the year so busy for everyone? I've got a million lists all over the place and even though I'm crossing things off like crazy I probably won't finish everything when I need to. Ah well! There's nothing to do but sigh and carry on.
So, in keeping with my holiday list-making mania, I am going to throw a bunch of things into one here and call it a post!
1. I did ALL of my shopping this year on-line and I may never go back to shopping in an actual store again. First of all, think of the emotional energy I saved!! Also, I probably saved a bundle on those incidental items that I DIDN'T buy. Plus, it's been like Christmas all month for me as the packages arrive at my doorstep and I open the box to discover what is inside.
2. My children still aren't sleeping. I say children because on the few nights over the last two weeks when Oliver has actually made it through the night, Sammy has woken and demanded "Milk!" over and over again until I think I'm going to scream. I'm trying to night wean him (he's almost two for pete's sake!) but sometimes I'm weak because I just so desparately want to go back to sleep and now it has evolved into a battle of wills. We have stopped giving Oliver both the Melatonin and the Benedryl altogether. Neither one seemed to have any effect so why bother?
3. We are making the LONG drive to NJ tomorrow for our appointment with the HANDLE Institute on Friday. I am looking forward to the appointment -- not the drive -- and the two nights we will spend in the hotel. I know that sounds funny but we REALLY don't get out that much.
4. Last night I was giving the kids a bath and RT was helping. At one point he turned to me and said: "Do autistic kids have trouble making eye contact?" I replied that it was definately a characteristic of many people with autism. Then he said: "Well, Oliver doesn't seem to have that problem." And it is true that Oliver is doing really well in that department since we started RDI. I try not to draw too many of those conclusions because a lot of times I think I see what I WANT to see. But I haven't talked about RDI with RT or with Oliver's regular therapists and everyday lately when I check their daily notes I am thrilled to read comments like: "Great eye contact today!"
5. One thing about the Christmas season that I love and hate is Frosty the Snowman. The video, I mean. You see, Oliver LOVES to watch Frosty. A couple of years ago, before I knew what echolalia was, I thought it was so cute that he went around the house repeating lines from the video. And watching him act out certain scenes over and over again. Well, Oliver still gets so much joy out of watching the video that I don't mind letting him watch it -- sometimes even twice a day! But now - twelve days into December -- we're all developing a bit of echolalia. Two nights ago when Sam fell out of bed I rushed to help him saying: "Oh Sammy, did you fall down?" and he said: "No money! No Ticket!" And Nik, whose first language is NOT English, has developed his own peculiar brand of echolalia and has turned "Look at Frosty Go!" into "Let That Frosty Go!" Of course this is the same guy that went around the house the other night singing: "I shot the Frosty! But I did not shoot the Santa Claus!" There's no telling where this will all lead with another two and a half weeks to go in December.