Thursday, April 28, 2011
"it's gotta be a good life" with my caden
my new favorite song is by One Republic titled "Good Life". yesterday was our big triannual IEP meeting with Caden's 'team' so i've been evaluating him leading up to it and then was filled to capacity with more Caden-isms. while driving around i play and replay the song just appreciate the blessing caden is in our lives. how could you not just love this adorable gentle little boy??!! in the meeting with all the professionals that work with our autistic child, jared and i found ourselves grinning, giggling and cracking up at some of the stories they shared. he definitely beats his own drum in his own unique band. my favorite was hearing about when he starts to get frustrated in class he takes off his shoes and hangs them on his ears saying, "i cant hear you, what are you saying?". he's the master joke teller and keeps everybody smiling and laughing all day long. as a toddler he found his fair share of mischief. he developed very typically and did everything a 2, 3 year old should do. looking back now, knowing what we do, there was an excess of jumping, going to his own little world, and running off that could've clued us in. but we have no regrets on any of the assessment process and feel grateful how much intervention and help we have received post-diagnosis. our smart mister man is testing about grade level in most areas. which we are THRILLED with. his academics have come so far, it was interesting to measure his success from his past goals. this is the boy who couldn't answer the questions, "how are you, what did you do today?'" in the past you would get some scene of a spongebob episode recited to you. now he always answers, "it was great, i did everything!!" i can get more details if i probe him at the right time. we used to have to tag-team all our errands and outings, but with a lot of preparing and coaching we are able to do many more family fun adventures. daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, going to siblings' sporting events etc have all become much more bearable. he doesnt sit and watch and he always got some gummy worms to keep him happy but we can at least attend them now as a family. society in general is still tricky for him. this past winter, following the rules while sledding down a hill caused a big meltdown. we are always prepared to exit early or split up if situations are too tough for him to handle. his brother and sisters are accomodating. but lately brady keeps huffing, "why does he...., how come caden...???". kendra understands and sweetly explains it to her friends as well. we can only hope that the other two handle it as gracefully. as his parents we have so much to learn. the nbc show 'Parenthood' is a good portrayal, i cry at every episode. it has become distinctly clear that he is a dominantly visual learner. he doesnt want to listen to us go on and on about anything. one or two questions is all you get at a time. but he could sit with daddy on his tab (like an ipad) and stay engrossed in just about anything. his current obsessions are the smurfs, scooby doo, and his love of animals could never go away. there's a health insurance commercial on tv right now with a dad stating that his son has autism and he is ok with that, he loves him just the way he is. i was so happy to see that. theres so much science and speculation about theories and cures and its easy to get wrapped up in that. but at the end of the day i just wrap caden up in my arms and love and accept all that he is and isnt. do i get sad sometimes? for sure. do i wonder if he is going to do this or that? of course. this picture of him and i at the aquarium makes me sad and happy at the same time. i asked a stranger to take the shot for me, (it was a nice looking lady) and she was trying desperately to get caden to look at her for the picture. he didn't, of course. after a couple of attempts i told her its ok, it'll be fine. she frustratingly commented that she just couldn't get him to look at her. i reiterated that it was OK!!! she didnt know. but i do. and the people around him do. and that's gonna have to be ok. at the end of the day, meltdown or not, running off by himself not always needing or wanting us, socially successful or not as much, it's gonna be alright. when i squeeze him at nite in his bed, i tell him, "i love you, you are my heart and my soul". we love him so undescribably much, we will make everything ok. it's gotta be a good life.