Gregory has stunned me recently with some long-awaited leaps -- it feels like we've come across an unexpected water fountain after 40 years in the desert.
It may not seem like much on the surface, but Gregory & I had our first conversation. Keeping in mind that he started out non-verbal, then had just a few single echolalic words, then a very long phase of saying "I want ___", and not much else, the "conversation" we had was so completely different because for the first time it was a true exchange.
* I wanted G to go upstairs for his bubble bath but he refused multiple times, saying "No." Somehow I got him to walk upstairs but he still refused to go into the bath tub. After a while, and all of a sudden, instead of repeating "No" over & over, he suddenly said, "Bubble bath, ...Lollipop?" It floored me when I realized he was saying, If I take a bath will you give me a lollipop? As soon as I said YES, he ran to the bath tub, and as soon as he was done, I immediately handed him a lollipop. Oh, happy day! (Play Etta James' "At Last" here).
* The improved communication goes on with other incidents. Even though his sentences are not complex, they show a seismic leap in the quality of his relating. Before, he was content to be "in his own little world" and speaking with just "echos" of what you said, or going to you just for help in obtaining a desired item w/o truly communicating in the full sense of backs & forths.
* Last night when seated around the dinner table, I had started doing high-fives with two of my other kids when Gregory all of a sudden lifted his hands in the air, looking at me to do high-fives with him. It was beautiful. He was a part of the group & wanting to do what we were doing. Another sign of Gregory making a leap forward.
* This morning as he got on the schoolbus, the new bus driver said "Good Morning". Gregory broke his usual tradition of being silent and shouted out, "Hellooooooooo!" & then "Hi !!!" to both ladies in the bus.
When you have a kid that's developing typically, as my other three children are, you really take for granted these little things. Gregory has been working very hard for the past 2+ years with much help & support, so it's breathtaking to witness the baby steps & leaps above, and to contemplate his full potential.
Like all kids, those on the spectrum can & will surprise you. :-)