We have Mikey in our local ECI (early childhood intervention) program. He has a speech therapist who comes out once a week and an occupational therapist who comes once a month. The occupational therapist might start coming more often, not sure about that yet. Anyway, they both came today and we spent most of the time just talking about Mikey. We talked about what he does, doesn’t do, strategies, ideas…etc. They tell me that he’s unique and doesn’t follow the typical developmental milestones. In some ways he’s advanced for his age. Other ways he’s behind. They do not believe (and I don’t either) that he has the typical red flags for autism so that is very good. They both think that the approach we’re now taking with the bedtime “routine” is the best thing. They both are very encouraging about how we handle him. It’s nice to get a little backup about what you’re doing. They think we’re extremely patient with him. That’s because they haven’t seen us at our worst. The speech therapist is going to loan me a book called The Challenging Child or something along those lines. Maybe it will give me some ideas.
I think his strong will and fearless demeanor can carry him far in life if we’re only able to channel it for good. I believe Mikey will not only succeed but excel at whatever he decides to do in life. He is and will be a force to be reckoned with. Right now he is excelling at rattling my nerves and melting my heart constantly. Maybe all strong-willed children are like this. But when you take strong-willed, sweet, fearless, FAST, hilarious, volatile, brilliant, charismatic, and gorgeous and stick them all together, it makes for a very challenging situation. Trust me.
BTW, we’re trying to do the bedtime thing with no baby gate. The “theory” is that if there is not a barrier to throw the toys over that he won’t throw toys anymore. We’ll see about that. He resents the gate so we’re hoping that maybe he’ll feel more calm without it. Tonight we removed most of the toys and the baby gate. We told him not to cross the line of the threshold. So far, he’s kind of obeying. He’s tiptoeing right up to the threshold and smiling a big toothy raised eyebrows kind of grin. We’re so hopelessly in love with him.