The baby steps that Trenton is making these days is phenomenal. I do think one thing that has contributed is the consistency that I display with the boys. It is just me and the boys. I know what is best for them and I do it every single day even if I don't want to. The rigidness in the routine is so monotonous. There are some days that I just want to scream because I am so tired of doing the exact same thing all the time. But, look at the progress we are making!!! I am pushing myself through it because I know it is the best for the boys. It is really amazing when I look back on my daily notes and see how both boys behaviors change when we go out of our consistent schedule.
One area that I spoke about in my book is church and how it has been so brutally hard. Where many parents gave up, I didn't. I pushed through the hard times because I knew if I ever wanted Trenton to attend church I had to push through the hard times. If I gave in and quit, he would know exactly what to do to get his way. (A lot of information on this that I hope to post about soon to help parents understand the behaviors to give in to and not to give in to.) We have made numerous scenes in church. In fact we have totally disrupted church I don't know how many times. Trenton has ran on the stage with the preacher and song leader....which led to me running down the isles to get him. I recall leaving church a few times crying uncontrollably because I couldn't control Trenton. He has thrown food and toys at people a few rows ahead of us and there is nothing to do other than just give a nice nod to the person we just hit in the head. You name it, it has happened. But now, six years after the battle, we are finally going to church and it is going better than I ever thought was possible! Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Trenton would be doing as good as he does in church as he does now. I have a fantastic church that has went above and beyond to make it happen for us. They are amazing and I can't thank God enough for leading us to them.
The boys know the routine of holding hands that I have been consistently displaying with them the past year when we are out in the community. Today we got out of our van to walk up to church and without me giving them any prompts, Trenton took my hand and then he reached for Andrew's hand. I have taught the boys that Mommy holds Trenton's hand and Andrew is my helper and holds his other hand. It works fantastic!!! My heart melted when Trenton reached for Andrew's hand without me even telling him!! The bond they are building is nothing like neurotypical children but it is precious. Andrew really does help me look out for Trenton and Trenton really is showing Andrew love these days. I am so blessed!!!!!
All of this hasn't came naturally to us. Nothing does! When I say it is hard work, I mean it is hard work. Like I said, the majority of parents would have gave up. I have gave myself health problems because I was so determined to NOT give up because I knew I couldn't and I knew we would never achieve these small goals if I gave up.
So, to the parents out there wanting to give up...DON'T! I speak first hand telling you that I know what it feels like to be up around the clock and never sleep. I know what it feels like to push through the physical and mental exhaustion. I know what it feels like to walk in church with the fear and wondering what will happen today....or asking yourself "Wonder how long we will last today?" I KNOW!!! I know the heartache of having a child who you think will never get potty trained. I know exactly how hard it is!! But, please don't give up. If baby steps are starting to happen for Trenton then I know they can for your child because I have been through H-E-L-L and that is no exaggeration!!! Autism is diagnosed on a 1-3 scale with 1 being mild, 2 moderate, and 3 severe. Trenton falls in the 3 category in every trait. His needs are severe. If we can do this, I know you can too. It will just consume every minute of your life and I know how much that plain stinks! However, it is the life you have been handed. Nothing was ever guaranteed to us so just do what you have to do to get by and make progress! One day you will start seeing the light that you have so hoped for and it will be simply beautiful!
I continue to work with Trenton and going to public places. We still have a very limited number of places we go. I don't want to introduce a new place to him yet because we haven't mastered the ones we are working on. However, we are still doing great!
This picture is from church. Most of the time Trenton stands up during church and sways back and forth while he claps his hands and makes his happy noises. Today he sat down a lot! So unusual for him. I was so happy, I had to take a quick pic:)
There are two elephants in town so we stopped to see them after church. Trenton took one look and said, "elephant."