Saturday, January 1, 2011

Dante's Doin's

We are past due on updates, so I have decided to start with Dante. I really cannot say if he is doing well, because I honestly have no idea how he ought to be doing.

It recently occured to me that sometimes I think of him not as my son who has down syndrome and autism, but rather as my autistic son. It bothers me that this happened;no one should be defined by his label. I am still trying to figure out just what I should be doing to help my son; some days I honestly have no idea what exactly I should be doing with him. When Dante gets home from school he likes to lay on the floor in a sunbeam, setting his toy drum to continuous music and swaying his head back and forth. He is happy in his little world doing this, but should I be dragging him into our world? Sometimes I am so torn about it. In the end I know it is in his best interest to be drawn as much as possible into our "world".

Dante has discovered television! He stands right up next to it and watches. His particular favorite is hockey games. He will crawl away during commercials, but races back when he hears the game back on. It is amusing to watch him watching TV. Unfortunately he will sometimes hit the screen with whatever toy he is currently holding for stimming.

Dante has become quite the expert with his walker, zooming about the house now. I have had to pick him up early from school a few times, and he fairly races down the hallway when we are leaving.

Dante absolutely loves going to school. I am very happy he goes, but I really need to start stepping up my advocacy for him when it comes to his IEP and services. I have been given written recommendations by a few specialists and doctors, and passing them along to his teacher and therapists does not mean they get implemented, much to may dismay. I was a bit naive I suppose.

One of Dante's biggest hurdles is communication. He has very few words, very few signs, and much that he needs to say. We know he is hungry when he climbs up on the table and throws everything off it. He recently discovered the bench at the end of our table is up against the counter. So now he also clears the counter until he finds food. Often when he done eating he will throw his plate. It took me at least 4 broken plates to decide that he only gets plastic. The other day he was drinking milk on his own, spilled a little on his shirt, so threw the rest across the room. I want to buy him a communication push button device, but have to save up for it first.

And his glasses are here! He could really use some prayer in this area. If he would let them near his face without screaming and writhing about, he might realize he can see with them on!!

He was standing at the counter eating noodles as I made lasagna, but when I held his glasses out to him Dante took his bowl of pasta, turned his back to me and sat down to eat.

We do love our little Dante, and though it grieves me that he has so much against him, I know that the Lord is with him. He loves to sit on the couch with James and I, even insisting on sitting between us. Dante will often intently look one of us full in the face, and I know he is thinking "I love you" when he does that.

This little update went on for quite a bit! Next time I will tackle Micah's recent activities!

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