I am a very proud mommy tonight. Zeeky is going to be 6 on Monday. He will have been home 3 years in November. He has come so very far that I can't help myself as I watch in astonishment. We still have some hurdles to cross (potty training is the main one and boys with autism are notoriously hard to train). I am just so excited at what I've seen God do and what He's let me be a part of doing.
Zeeky is able to tell you the phonetical sound of every letter! This is a huge thing here and I have had him do it so that several loved ones could hear it by phone late this evening. I've always known that he was a smart kid, despite the fact that he was diagnosed as 'severely mentally retarded' and 'nonverbal autism' when he came to us at age 3.
I knew that there was a lot in there and that we had to find a way to get it out. Autism is funny like that. Their little brains have lots of information in there that is unable to show through to the rest of the world. They are often mislabeled as 'mentally retarded' because of lack of speech and inability to interact with the world around them. I have always known it. I could just see it in there. I've always felt like God chose me to be the parents of 5 children on the autism spectrum because He knew that He made me very stubborn too. I just can't accept that there isn't more that we can do.
What I've found is that there is always a way to get it out. There isn't a formula. I don't even care what caused it. I don't care what any doctor or scientist says. I just KNOW that they can accomplish a lot. (I actually think this is true of a lot of people with special needs that are overlooked or outcast because of preconceived notions of people who know nothing.)
Each child is different and learns different. The same goes for children with autism. You just have to find out what 'makes them tick' and go with it. For Zeeky the answer is MUSIC and ELECTRONIC SOURCES. He learns things best from DVDs, musical toys, and electronic toys. There are some specific ones that I have found to be best. I will try to write about them specifically another day, but today is just to celebrate his accomplishment. I have bought every learning DVD and learning toy known to mankind. I have watched his interaction with each. I have watched for signs that he was getting the information into his brain and then worked on ways for him to demonstrate that knowledge to me.
Today was another huge "tear jerking moment". Zeeky can name the phonetical sound to every single letter. Some letters he even volunteers a word that starts with that letter just to make sure you know how much he knows! He is proud of himself and I am very proud of him. I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be his Mom!