Heading into the OR for an endoscopy and myringoplasty, charming everyone in his wake.
This kid and his amazing attitude are a constant source of inspiration and perspective. I can’t believe how far he has come since my last blog post over one year ago. He just keeps getting cuter, smarter, funnier, and more awesome by the day. I am unabashedly proud of him.
He loves his hearing and speaking but has also been using more sign language since my last post. He not only answers questions, he answers them with follow-up comments. If I ask him what specials class he had that day, he’ll answer with “Music”, then follow it up by telling me what song they learned and then by showing me the dance that goes along with it. If I ask him whether he saw his SLP that day, he’ll say “No”, then follow it up with “I see her Monday and Friday.” It’s so amazing to be able to converse with him (after 9 years!) and get to know him better. We are always a little blown away by this and I hope we aren’t taking it for granted.
For the first time in his life, Ethan now has neighborhood playmates. They moved in next-door last summer and frequently come over to see if he can come out to play. I’ll never forget his face or excitement the first time the doorbell rang and he saw kids standing there waiting to play with him. It’s fun to see him doing normal kid stuff!
He’s doing really well in school, made the honor roll, and loves his new interpreter. He qualifies once again for services over the summer, which helps keep him in a bit of a school groove. He absolutely loves school and is more than happy to go during the summer. Another thing not to be taken for granted!
Dazzler is the heart of the family. We spoil her and overwhelm her with affection daily. She continues to lie on his bed until he falls asleep each night and he always loves to have her nearby. They’re great playmates and pals.
Waiting for the school bus with Dazzler.
I think the most life-changing thing we’ve seen with Ethan’s development this year has been the expansion of his ability to follow logic and reason.
Before he had any outward reasoning abilities, we were experiencing many more meltdowns and explosive behaviors in general. As parents, we’ve felt near constant anxiety from trying to prevent and manage these explosions. I remember reading an article that discussed MRI findings of the brains of parents with autistic children and the findings mirrored those of veterans with PTSD. I can’t speak for Rich (though I suspect he would agree) that we felt a pervasive sense of failure and tension. Ethan still has a hot temper, but now that he is following logic and is able to communicate his thoughts and feelings, we’re seeing exponential growth and maturity that I wasn’t sure would ever come. We’re really starting to just enjoy him and have fun, in spite of the challenges that we still face.