I wanted to post this yesterday, but according to Hughes.net I taken up more than my “fair use” of bandwidth over the weekend downloading game patches for Braeden’s computer. Pffffffffffffffft to them! It seems like a recipe for making new computer installations drag on for ages.
We had a few big leaps this weekend – not just one! I always find it a bit odd that these things tend to happen on weeks when Thane has no school and minimal therapy (he had one hour of developmental therapy this week, that’s all). It also seems that many big leaps happen when big brother Braeden is home too as Thane totally adores him.
I give total credit for the first big jump to Braeden . . . Thane went into a dirt pile without having clothes on. We have a big mound of dirt in the yard waiting to be smoothed out for a new swing set. Braeden has always loved a big pile of dirt, so he has been climbing in it since it arrived. Thane has taken steps toward it. First he approached it and backed away. Next time he was fully clothed, with shoes, touching only with a long-handled shovel and not climbing on it. Then he climbed a bit while fully clothed. Yesterday we moved up to undressed, bare feet and actually picking up some handfuls.
It may sound like a strange thing to celebrate, but when a child has sensory issues, it is really huge to have him accept the feel of dirt lightly touching him. Another cute thing is he realized completely that he was doing something different and special so he kept saying “Look at me, Mommy!”
Thane was also playing in a small pool in the yard, so at some point he took off the diaper he was wearing when the sand photo was taken. Dave, my ever-joking husband, looked at a naked Thane walking back from the dirt pile and said:
“Hi Frank! What’s up Frank?”
Thane shook his head and said, “No. No Frank.” He put his palm on his chest and continued, “This is Thaney!”
This isn’t just huge, it’s monumental! We have been working with him for months on trying to answer the question “What is your name?” – I’ve posted it about here in discussions, including my social story adventures. I wanted him to be able to answer the question because he is always asked when we go shopping and people seem confused when he doesn’t answer.
It wasn’t just a one-time deal, either. We got him to repeat similar scenarios. I asked him what a toy’s name was, and he replied, “This is Elmo.” Then I pointed to him, asked his name and heard, “This is Thaney.” I also find it wonderful that he is no longer “a Thaney” but just “Thaney.”
I even got a direct answer to the question, “What is your name?”
“This is Thaney!” again putting his hand to his heart.
What wonderful, beautiful payoff! Can you tell that I am totally thrilled? I know in the vast scheme of life, this may sound small to some, but around here it is the kind of thing that makes tears well up in everyone’s eyes.
To accompany his fascination with letters and words, we’re seeing an increased interest in numbers. Thane definitely counts with purpose and quantifies things nicely. Yesterday he counted backwards from 17, which is a new skill. I’m not really sure what to make of what he was doing on the deck, but it seemed rather cool . . . he was pacing behind me on a slatted bench counting, “2, 12, 3, 13, 4, 14, 5, 15, 6, 16 . . .”