Sunday, April 20, 2008

Airplanes & Changes

April is Autism Awareness Month. I have meant to do something about it, but somehow between lists, some minor efforts on FoggyRock, and life, it simply hasn’t happened in any form other than my usual journal blogging.

I took the above photos of airplanes flying overhead as I sat out back on the deck this afternoon watching the boys as Dave worked on putting a new swing set together. For some reason, I have always liked to take pictures of airplanes, even though one can’t really get a good picture of something that far away that is moving so fast. I also took about 200 pictures of the kids.

I was thinking to myself that the children have really changed a lot since last spring. Braeden had just had his hair cut short again so the difference in how he looks is really dramatic. For Thane, his looks haven’t morphed that much in my opinion, other than the fact that he is bigger. But in other ways, he has changed so much.

At 2 years old he used to scream, hide, run into a house or car when a plane flew overhead.

At 3 years old he stopped what he was doing and would point out airplanes, often using sign language to make his exclamations clear. He moved through being nervous about them, but the sound always impacted him.

At 4 years old now airplanes going overhead today didn’t faze him at all. In fact, I pointed an airplane out to him when he didn’t even notice it.

Thane also played with his sand table. Then he got into the sandbox! We walked from wood deck, to stone path, to grass, to crushed stone, to wood border around play area . . . without hesitations.

He’s speaking in much more elaborate sentences now, which has been really wonderful and fun!

He still lines things up.

Braeden is taking on more responsibilities, but also testing limits a bit more. He walked the dog only to the stream today, which was a limit I gave him. Dave wants him to go further, but this seemed good to me. I had to laugh at the face in this last photo – I wonder what he was thinking? He was trying to do routines on the trampoline and Thane was getting on and off, so perhaps Thane was too close to allow him to do what he was trying to do? Check out the teenager hair!


Melissa said...

Wow, those are actually really great airplane shots! As you were starting to write about Thane and airplanes, I was thinking... someday he won't he notice them, and then I got to the current plane situation... yippee! he doesn't notice. Sounds like a regular 4 year old to me! I know it's a constant struggle to determine if a given behavior is "autistic" or "normal for x age". I have to say that a lot of what you tell us about Thane... sounds like pretty normal stuff to me :) I know we keep telling you, this boy is going to have an incredible future, and I feel that way all the time. Both your boys are wicked cool, neato and brilliant in so many ways.

Melissa R

Bec said...

Thanks, Melissa -- I think they are pretty wonderful too :-)

I think a lot of Thane's "issues" are normal+ -- a typical behavior taken to an extreme. For example, he used to have to count the stairs and if he missed the number he would have to start over. Today he got off the trampoline and missed the bench we use as a step, so he climbed back up so he could get down the right way. A lot of these issues are getting lesser with time and therapy. I think there is a good chance that his diagnosis will evolve into Aspergers since I don't believe his speech will be considered significantly delayed by the time he is 5. Or perhaps he will just have some spectrum tendencies like the obsessive compulsive issues and sensory processing disorder.

Some of his differences are really beautiful and totally lovable. I am just so happy that he is happy and having a so much easier time with the world than he used to!