A new development

Well things seem to be going pretty well so far. I think I have to scale back my expectations a bit. I suppose I’ve had a bit of a fantasy about the day that Beth is healed and her not being autistic anymore but I have to remember that she’s been autistic for 10 years so her learned behaviours of those years wont magically go away with treatment. I think I was looking out for that miracle moment when I would think “oh look it’s working” but it’s going to be a lot slower than that and a lot more subtle than that I see now.

For example Beth speaks in a high pitched voice and it’s quite monotoned at times. This is fairly common in autistic kids as in some instances that’s how they hear things so that’s how they learn to speak. That will probably always be the case whether Beth is autistic or not because that’s how she’s been taught in her mind. I know people still have accents 60 plus years after moving to a new country, some things can’t be changed completely. Also, there are of course many many things that she’s behind her peers in being able to do, socially and academically, these things don’t all of a sudden get better whether she’s well or not. Of course once the fog has cleared it should hopefully be a lot easier to teach her and believe me, she can be a pretty quick learner when she wants to be. (Unfortunately she quite often doesn’t!)

Anyway, one of these subtle changes has been taking place over the last couple of days. It’s been 5 full days since we started taking the flaxseed oil in earnest and Richard Malter said we should see rapid improvement so I’ve been looking out for the signs.

One thing that has always frustrated me about Beth is that her short term memory seems to be nonexistant at times. She’ll remember things from years ago but if you ask her about something 5 minutes ago she’ll have no idea. The worst of these times are when she’ll be playing with something that she probably shouldn’t or has taken from one of the other kids, then it goes missing and when you ask her she will either make something up, stare into the distance or just say “I don’t know.” I don’t mind the I don’t know answer so much because this is a development that has only happened this year. In the past she would just tell me something and I would be looking all over the house and it just wouldn’t be there. Then it dawned on me that I had never taught her that she could say “I don’t know” if she had no idea. She was either trying to shut me up or wanting to tell me an answer that was required so was just telling me what I wanted to hear. Problem was, the thing was never there!

Yesterday we’d been at Grandma and Grandpa’s and I’d given her her medicine. She had the magnet on her finger and I’d forgotten to take it off. When it came time to go home I asked her where it was. She looked at me blankly and then when I prompted her by asking if it was in the study she just said yes. Well I looked up and down and couldn’t find it anywhere. When I got back out to the car I opened the door and told her that no, it wasn’t anywhere to be found. Then the lightbulb went on! “It’s in the bathroom, that’s where I took it off.” Lo and behold, there it was! This was a good 5 or 10 minutes after the first time I asked her, not sure how long it had been since she’d actually taken it off. I was blown away as this is the first time she’d answered a ‘where is’ question appropriately.

Then this morning it happened again. The kids were all playing with the Simpsons Stickums characters that had come with the Herald Sun recently. Beth loves the Itchy and Scratchy characters and these 2 were the only ones missing. Bill said in a resigned voice “oh well, guess Beth put them somewhere and we wont be able to find them.” Without any prompting Beth piped up with “No, they’re in my room.” Bill said that he’d looked there but of course being a male he couldn’t see them! Beth insisted that they were there and went and got them to show him. Wow, how fantastic that was! It’s going to be the little things that make the differences but add them all up and they’ll make all the difference in the world.

About Sarah

Mother of an autistic child wanting to write about my personal experiences
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