We left his siblings to nap (as they were up at 4-f*cking-30) and we went to our local grocery store - which conveniently, has a Subway.
We sat down and every time we go out to eat, I have to prepare mentally for a few things:
- That there will be a line. He hates waiting in lines but refuses to walk around and come back.
- That means meltdowns.
- That he's going to strip at the table. Typically he takes his coat, sweater, shoes and socks off...
- That he's going to make a mess. He actually is the neatest eater out of the three - but keep reading...
- That he'll wipe grease or sauce and crumbs all over his head.
Today we got lucky. No line up.
He sat down nicely, didn't strip (probably helps he's in a 1-piece snowsuit) and used a napkin!
He also lost a tooth - and seemed thrilled - I can't blame him because it's lucky number 7 and he's been popping them out for weeks.
I guess the biggest things I've noticed is that again, he's changed within the last year and a half.
- He doesn't always hold my hand when we are out together. He used to - to the point that I had a hard time letting his hand go because one hand would be pulling the shopping basket on wheels and the other would be tightly gripped by him.
- I don't know if this is a form of imitating his siblings or if he realized our trust has increased and he's 7.
- He also knows we will end up back home at the end of the day.
- He doesn't run away. He seems to know his limits - and ours - and comes back when he knows it's time to.
- He also stays away from the roads.
- He doesn't rip open packages of food at the grocery store...this was embarrassing and for a few months - I refused to take him grocery shopping with me because I don't have the strength to deal with a kid who would run off, fill the basket with 2-5 packages of junk food and begin to rip them open before we got to the cash register.
- He's incredibly helpful. He absolutely loves doing chores - I suppose because he's autism - it's the regular routine of it. Everything has a place and everything has a schedule.
- He's reaching out to his siblings. His idea of playing and theirs differ greatly in comparison but he is trying. They don't get it - they don't understand autism really - but the bigger deal is that he's trying.
- He understands more. He loves to point at things and look us in the eye and we have to say what the item is. It was a tad annoying for awhile because he would point at a water bottle twenty plus times in a row and we were expected to say it out loud repeatedly. BUT! I've noticed I can say longer sentences to him now - and he smiles.
- This makes it so much easier when we have to go a different direction or eat somewhere he's not used to.
- Due to him understanding more - there's less tantrums and meltdowns. Of course if someone doesn't understand you and you couldn't say "in their language" what you needed or how you felt - you'd freak out.
- We trust each other more. Of course it takes time to trust a non-verbal person and to trust a person with a voice - but we're getting there.
I think that's pretty much it for now.
Until next time,