Bracing for the decline
Bracing for the decline
Since Jude started therapy, I have been told he has wonderful eye contact, is so social, and is overall not what people expect when they work with a child with autism. They seem to question why he has this diagnosis despite being non-verbal and spinning everything he gets his hands on. I guess they just don't know what can happen as clearly as I do and they don't see it happening the way I do. Once upon a time I had a little, blonde boy named Gabriel. He was social. He loved everyone. He looked in everyone's eyes, and he loved his little yellow bus with the opening and closing door. He would play in a corner with that but for hours just opening and closing the door. It wasn't until he was three years old that we noticed how far he had drifted. He was no longer a social little boy. He didn't look at me anymore and I had to bribe him for a hug if I could get one at all. Jude is barely two. He is a social little boy. He loves to laugh just to laugh. He loves hugs, and he loves to spin plastic plates . As a baby, he never wanted to be put down or sleep in his own bed. As a toddler, he wants to do it all on his own. He still hugs me, but he doesn't always look at me. A lot of times, he looks at my mouth or nose and not my eyes. I don't have many recent pictures of him looking at me, he always looks past me or away from me. All of the pictures of Gabriel are the same. I can feel Jude pulling away from me and I am trying to convince myself that he is just growing up, becoming more independent, discovering who he is, but deep down I feel him pulling into himself. He doesn't always hear me when I say his name, he has somewhat violent outbursts when we don't know exactly what he wants, and he doesn't always adapt to change. I can feel the clock ticking down to the next developmental burst, the one that took Gabriel away from me. All I can do is wait and hold him while he will still let me.
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