We survived our first two days at Harsha. I am mentally drained and feel like I have been beat to the curb. However, I want to primarily focus on Andrew first. Andrew was evaluated on Monday. If you are a daily reader of my blog, you may recall that I have talked about how Andrew's social difficulties are complete opposite of Trenton. Trenton very rarely notices kids. When around other kids, Andrew will pick a kid out and do EVERYTHING that kid does. Andrew will get inches away from your face...even strangers. It is very sad to watch...VERY SAD!
A lot of people associate autism like Trenton.....where he is unaware of his surroundings and does not pay attention to others. Andrew social difficulties is what this facility called "hyper social". A very small percentage of kids with autism have this. Hyper social is where the individual can be too social. They do not know how to socialize so they take it to the extreme and copy everyone around them or copy one person. They have the ability to know that they need to socialize but they do not know how to. This is Andrew. Lately, Andrew will get right up in your face and just look at you. I am talking like one inch away from a persons face. He will do this to complete strangers. He doesn't know a stranger.....which is very dangerous for him.
Unfortunately, children and adults with hyper social autism are in a very high risk of being bullied, kidnapped, and hurt by others. Most of them know they are different which causes for a very difficult life for them. Most of them have the mental capacity to want to fit in. However, they are very rarely accepted by their neuro typical peers which leads to being bullied, etc.
I don't think my heart has ever been broken to pieces like it was on Tuesday. I witnessed Andrew at Terre Haute in a social opportunity with three other kids his exact age and it was devastating to me, Nana, and Andrew. For ten minutes I tried to get him to go play with these three children but he was scared. He kept on hugging me but he would look at the children in such a way that expressed he wanted to play but just couldn't walk up to them and play. Finally, he walked up to them holding his "Dusty" plane smiling. One of the kids asked, "What is your name?" Andrew completely froze and just babbled back.
Andrew babbled"gagagabababgagaag." The kids all busted out laughing. One kid said back, " Your name is agaggababaaga." and continued to laugh.
I looked at Andrew and he had one of the most frightened looks on his face. Again, the kid asked, "What is your name." Andrew says nothing. The kids laugh. Andrew starts crying, drops in a dead run to me and screams, "No play. No play. No play. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy."
My heart broke in pieces. I hugged him tight. While I was fighting back tears, the mother of the kids who missed the whole thing happen walks up to me and says, "Are they being nice?"
I reply with a cracking voice, "My son has autism and can't speak correctly. Your kids are laughing at him."
The mother stands there, looks at me, and says nothing to her kids and walks away. WOW!! This woman was very lucky that I was having an emotional day where I just wanted to control it by crying. Let me tell you, there have been times I would have gave this woman a piece of my mind....but some days...its just not worth it.
On the other hand, Trenton did great! He stayed for 7 hours both days. I am so proud of him. All of this week, the coaches are following Trenton's lead. Trenton's buttons will not be pushed for another week. In approximately two weeks, Harsha warned me that Trenton will be mentally exhausted after his days because they will work him hard.
The two days in Terre Haute had a lot of tears. I left crying both mornings when I dropped Trenton off. I can't really put in words what it feels like to drop your child off at an autism center. Both of my boys have to work so hard for things that come so natural to most. I would do anything if I could trade lives with them.
However, I can't be more excited at the same time. Three full day at an autism center!!!!! This is exactly what he needs and we are finally able to do it. God tells us to be patient and he answers prayers on his time. Well, like the saying goes...good things come to those that wait....I've waited since Trenton's diagnosis for the perfect facility to open up within driving distance......I've prayed and prayed and left it up to God and its here! Its finally here!
Yes, the boys and I have a full load. A very full load but unfortunately, children with autism can not have a normal childhood. They don't even want that. They strive off of structure....structure....structure!
After our long first two days at Terre Haute I was really hoping I would get lucky with a good night last night. Sad to say, that didn't happen. Trenton didn't go to bed til 12:09 AM. Andrew was up non stop from 1:30 AM to 5:30. Mommy barely got the boys and myself ready for another full day of therapy. The boys and I survived all day with therapy at Olney and Effingham. I am so thankful that the boys have some AWESOME therapist that always bend over backwards to help me maneuver the boys to and from the van and to and from therapy!