Yesterday I was reading a recent post by my friend over at Deciphering Morgan, (click the page name to check that out) and she was telling about some firsts for her boys so far this summer. I was so proud of them, and I have never "met" them. But as a parent, a special needs one nonetheless, I was able to channel her joy in her boys' firsts and be happy for them and for her.
Then later in the evening, my son had a breakthrough. It floored me, and my heart soared!!! Yesterday he was very out of whack. A bit moody and nasty due to being over tired, but God forbid he take a rest when I ask him to. (He is my energizer bunny, and if I could bottle that energy and sell it, I would become rich!!!) So later in the evening when we had finally come inside, he and his friend Abs were laying on the floor drawing.
As usual, he was trying to control the situation, and telling her what she had to draw. I intervened, told him that wasn't fair, and compared it to when he gets angry when his art lessons tell him what he has to create. True art is never forced, and besides, who wants to be bossed around all the time??? Well, as usual I must have been speaking in Charlie Brown teacher language, and none of it sunk in. Before I knew it I heard a small thud and then quiet crying. I look to find Abs on the couch and Liam on the floor with a look of nasty on his face.
I asked what happened, she didn't answer and he just scowled at me. I waited for a minute. I wanted to hear from her why she was crying. (she was over tired too, and quick to work up some tears, though I knew it was something Liam had done to set her off) She finally mustered in her cute, squeaky voice that he hit her with her my little pony. I let it sit for a minute, giving Liam a chance to think about what he had done. Before I even got the chance to open my mouth and start the lecture, Liam comes up to me, tears filling his eyes, and he says, "mama, I need your help. I need something to make me not so angry!"
What??? This is awesome! Not awesome that he hurt his friend, but awesome that he acknowledged he was at a boiling point and needed to simmer down. He crawled into my lap, and I asked him what he thought might help. He finally decided that 5 minutes in his body sock, would help to calm him down.
For those that aren't familiar with a body sock, here is a pic of Liam in his Skweezr.
He got up, told Abs he was sorry, (even gave her a quick hug) got his sock, went into the kitchen, crawled in, and started his 5 minutes. He rocked while he quietly counted, and he used a piece of paper to keep track of his counting. When he finished, he came back out and was as happy as can be. No issues the rest of the night. Well except for some ruminating, and agitation from not being able to clear his mind.
I was and still am in utter shock that he recognized his need to calm down. I am normally the one who tells him this, and he gets more angry, and it often will escalate a situation. And so, as with any milestone that parents of typical kids may take for granted, us parents of special needs kids, or autistic kids, we take great pride in these milestones, these firsts. They are not only a big deal, they are a HUGE deal!!!
Here's to the firsts, and many more to come!!!!
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥