It takes a lot of time and patience to build a strong bond with a person/child with autism. So much more effort, time, and love has to be put into the relationship. A bond between a neurotypical child and a parent comes natural. A bond between a neurotypical child and another loved one or friend comes natural. It is simply built naturally. Nonetheless, a bond between a child with autism and a loved one, parent, friend, therapist, etc. does not come naturally. It takes a lot of hard work.
When I have wanted to just relax for 5 minutes while Trenton was being good, I knew that 5 minutes could be the chance that I could get some eye contact or some natural touch.....and in return...it could make a huge impact on my relationship with him. Therefore, I almost always never chose the 5 minutes break, I chose him instead.
All the extra effort has paid off in many ways. Trenton and I have a very special relationship.
However, another relationship that has blossomed over the past few months is Trenton's relationship with his lead coach, Annie. I have never seen Trenton do such lovable gestures all on his own before with anyone besides me. Trenton is with Annie about 50-75% of his days at Harsha Cognitive Center. That one on one time between the two of them has most certainly paid off. Trenton greets her every morning with a love pat on her shirt, great smile and great eye contact. That is his way of greeting her. Recently, Trenton won't leave Harsha Cognitive Center without giving her a kiss or a hug spontaneously! T-man sure does love his Annie! To top it off today, Trenton said, "I love you" three times to Annie today:) This kid has one huge crush:) But, most importantly, Trenton is a very smart kid. He spends a lot of time with her and he enjoys the structured one on one attention that she gives him and he thrives off of it. I always thought that Trenton had a very strong intuition. I know that from day one he has picked up on Annie's genuine, loving, caring attitude. I have been told that everyone at Harsha Cognitive Center is jealous of their relationship. Annie is one lucky girl and Trenton is one lucky boy to have such an amazing lead coach! Thank you Annie for helping Trenton. You are doing more than I can ever repay you for!