Something has clicked. A light has clicked on. In my son. I don't know if it is the B Complex vitamins and the amino acid blend we have been giving him for the last two weeks. I don't know if it is that therapy is finally starting to pay off. I don't know if it is partly that he is getting a little bit older. I don't know what it is, but something is WORKING!!!
After two weeks of toddler turmoil, this past week has been a whirlwind of happy emotions in our house that haven't been around for a long time.
For the past week, Max has been almost like a balanced child. He is still himself, playful and FULL of energy, but he is more focused, more controlled, less aggressive, less impulsive, and his speech has improved. All of a sudden last week, at 7:30 am, he told me he wanted to eat. He never does that. I asked him what he wanted and he said a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He has never asked for that. So, I said, "Are you sure? For breakfast?" And he said, "Yes, sure." Then, he went and sat down in his dining room chair without me having to beg him or force him to get in.
I felt like someone was playing a joke on me. I thought, "Is Max tricking me?" But no, I made the sandwich and at 7:45 am, he ate all of it. Then, that afternoon, he ate pizza rolls.
These are both multi-textured foods. He has never been willing or ABLE to eat multi-textured foods.
From that day on, he has been changing like crazy. He has been less distressed. He has been eating!! Everyday!! Real food! Saturday, he ate 2 1/2 pieces of pizza at Chuck E. Cheese. He has never eaten a piece of pizza in his life no matter how hard we have tried. And he sat still at Chuck E. Cheese long enough to eat! Yesterday, he ate a bowl of blueberries and THREE waffles - then asked me for a fourth one!
He hasn't lashed out at his brother at all for a week. Not even one little smack on the head. And as a matter of fact, he has been watching out for Harry, making sure we are all careful around him when he is on the floor.
He has been asking to go to his room and play with his toys. And he will play with them for hours. He has never actually played with his toys - he has just carried them around with him. And today, for the first time ever, I heard him actually playing pretend with his Star Wars characters and making up conversations between them! I just sat and listened to him in disbelief.
And today, when I picked him up from preschool, his teacher said that for the first time in a long time, he didn't try to hit any other kids and he didn't have to go in time-out at all! She said he was extremely good and balanced all day.
This past Saturday, we took him to a swimming birthday party. It was at a pool, so of course, he loved it!
The thing that shocked us was that he actually SAT DOWN and was STILL and ate food with the rest of the kids! Look at him in the picture below! That is him in front of the window - the only boy at a table full of little girls! He is so small compared to the girls.
He, again, has never sat still at a birthday party and eaten with the rest of the kids. He is the only child who is still up running around and quickly becoming overstimulated. This time, when it was time to eat, he got out of the pool, picked his chair, and went to town on his snacks and cupcake.
And it is amazing how much his speech has improved this week. It is like he had all these words trapped inside his mouth and now he is finally able to get his brain to tell his mouth to spit them out. He has been saying complete sentences and telling us stories about his day. He was never able to tell us stories before because he just didn't have the capabilities.
The mood in our house has been completely different this week. We have all been smiling more, actually laughing!, I have enjoyed being a mother and staying home with my boys. The energy of the house is lighter and I have more energy left at the end of the day because I'm not having to constantly prevent or put out fires and my stress level is lower. I actually had enough energy left last night to mop the floors after the kids went to bed!
I have been crying at completely unexpected times because I am so proud of him and so grateful that he is feeling some peace.
Last Thursday after his OT session, his therapist told me that he is finally starting to understand the emotion of being "sad" and how you should treat someone who is sad. He used to become angry or laugh at someone who was crying. He just didn't understand - he has always had a disconnect with emotions. But now, she said he was asking the "sad people" in therapy if they were okay and patting their hands. I was so happy while she was telling me this that I started crying in the middle of the waiting room! It meant so much to me that somewhere in that precious head of his, a light has switched on.
And, for his sake, I hope it never turns off.
He is an amazing, playful, courageous child and I want everyone to be able to see his light like we do and be able to look past his difficulties.
He is a bright, bright light. And Mommy is oh so proud.