This post has given me fits. I couldn’t post earlier – removed some things, trying again. Still zero response from WordPress help, about to give up and move to a different platform.
The title of this entry references things I mentioned in my last entry – to wit, that we’re up one daughter and autistic grandson over the past couple of weeks. I won’t say it’s been easy. It never is with a special needs child. But I’ve seen progress on several fronts in the time they’ve lived here. My grandson has apparently identified me – as a friend of mine put it – as a “soft place to fall.” He spends his day with me, watching TV, bouncing like Tigger from Winnie the Pooh, and generally being a child. He’s gone from 100% non-verbal as of a few months ago to a vocabulary of about 50 words when he moved in with us, to probably double that in the past couple of weeks. He has definitely bonded with me in a big way. My daughters were discussing the fact that both the grandsons have done that and they can’t figure it out. The kids just sit next to me and watch TV or play games or whatever. I can’t chase them around (though I do with this little man, to the extent that I can – because it’s unavoidable.) I talk to the children though, and hug them. I got two spontaneous kisses today from Li’l D, and he crawled into my lap to watch TV a couple of times.
Mind you, this child has been diagnosed as autistic. I have always suspected that while there are definitely some learning disabilities there, a lot of his issues stem from being effectively stuck in his room and ignored for the first four years of his life. My daughter didn’t know how to relate to him and his dad – well, that’s another messy story. Here, Grandma is non-judgmental. When he has a meltdown and his mom gets mad, Grandma talks to him quietly to talk him down, then after it’s over, it’s over. Grandma doesn’t stay upset with him.
He still doesn’t cope well with transitions, but the panic attacks are shorter lived now.
I’ve started asking him to help me with little tasks, and he seems to thrive with that. I had him toss some things (non-dangerous) into the trash while I was fixing dinner. It was genuinely helpful to me and I told him thank you and gave him hugs. He lit up like a Christmas tree. It was something he could DO.
G wasn’t overjoyed that the kids were moving in, and I do understand his concerns. In the end, however, we both agreed that this was necessary, and overall G’s growing a little less stressed over things. He has his issues with transitions, too.
Dealing with a special needs child is always exhausting and never truly easy. But in this case, as the title says, it’s worth the trade-off.