He is one of the happiest little boys you will ever meet, and he has an infectious smile that lights up the room. He enjoys puzzles, cars, blocks, and he loves playing with his animal toys. My boy is a whiz on his iPad. Each day I am surprised and amazed at the way he navigates it and is mastering the various educational apps. And he LOVES playing the educational games :)
J loves the Bubble Guppies, Little Einsteins, and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. His favorite parts are the music sequences. He loves to dance along to the songs and does the motions with the characters. Recently he has been enjoying music videos from the Mother Goose Club on youtube. He's also been known to watch some of his cartoons in foreign languages on there as well - maybe he wants to be bilingual?? :)
We have random dance parties throughout the day. He loves getting down to some Old Macdonald and often requests to put on some Moose A Moose videos so that we can dance to the songs. If he hears a few beats of the Fresh Beat Band on the television he runs over for me to pick him up and dance with him. He enjoys when I sing songs to him and he will follow along with the motions to songs such as Wheels on the Bus and If You're Happy and you Know it.
Speaking of which, when he's happy you WILL know it! He emits happiness and excitement from head to toe. He will do a little bounce with a subtle flap of his hands and hop around the room with a huge grin on his face. Sometimes he will lay on his stomach and do a little belly bounce, while his hand and feet circle with excitement. It is hard not to smile yourself when you see how happy he is.
He has never raised a hand in anger or frustration. If something upsets him he may give a sound of disapproval, but is quick to recover. He has been pushed or hit at play dates and had other children take toys from him, but he has never struck back. He may seek me out or simply walk away, looking a bit confused as to why someone might want to hurt him.
He is currently nonverbal, so we are waiting to hear his voice. That doesn't mean he can't communicate with us though. He may not be able to say "I love you", but he shows it with his actions. He is quick to give hugs and squeezes, and will sometimes give little "love pat" on my shoulder when hugging me. If I am making dinner or otherwise occupied while he is playing, he will only go a few minutes before finding me to check in. He will give my leg a quick squeeze and go back about his business, only return a few minutes later.
He also communicates with us using pictures. He has a little book filled with pictures of some of his favorite food and toy items. If he wants or needs something he brings the picture to us. I love hearing the rip of the velcro as he tears out a picture, followed by his little footsteps padding over to find me. He will also grab our hand to guide us where he wants to go, and has picked up some basic signs and will use them as well.
He loves watching his reflection. I will often find him practicing his signs or doing the motions for different songs in the mirror. But really, can you blame him - look at this face
J LOVES fruit. Apples, grapes, strawberries, nectarines, plums, you name it. Especially bananas. He will usually sign for a banana as soon as we put him in his chair for a meal. He is a great eater. I am often surprised by just how much he will eat!
He has begun to find enjoyment in art. He will paint, color, glue, and loves to play with play dough.
J has taught me to truly appreciate the small things. Every new skill he learns or accomplishment he makes is cause for celebration. I don't take anything for granted with this beautiful boy. I know how hard he as worked for each and every milestone he has reached. He is such a trooper. He receives a total of 22 hours a week of therapy and has teachers coming in and out of the house all day. And he never complains. He meets each of them at the door with a smile, takes their hand, and leads them to his "classroom". I am in awe of him. He truly inspires me.
These words can only begin to describe the wonder that is my son. Yes, he has autism. He is also loving, caring, happy, brilliant, innocent, joyous, funny, adorable, hard working, and the list goes on. This is what you should think of when you think of a person with autism. A little boy fill with joy and wonder who will melt your heart with his smile.