Updated: Apr 2
Stephanie had her spring break last week and her brother and sister have theirs this week. We had one nice day that we were able to go outside for a walk but after that it has rained and today it snowed. Stephanie and I went to a movie one day but overall stayed home. The weather may be what is causing an up tick in some aggressive behaviors. She is ready for spring that's for sure. She's not the only one.
Since we have been indoors we have been coloring, coloring, coloring. It did help with her sticker stash, as that seems to always run low. It also meant a lot of my time has been spent a the kitchen table coloring. I even tried teaching her coloring by number. She enjoyed it but it was very tricky. She doesn't know her numbers or colors, and since a lot of our crayons don't have wrappers it's hard to know what some colors are. Blues, greens, black, and purple all looked alike. As much as I love coloring, and it does sure calm things down, there is only so much one can color before it becomes tiresome and repetitive.
I tried to take Stephanie back to swim class. She has gone on and off since she was little but it has been at least 3 years since she's gone. The first class went great but then not so great for the second class. We are going to give it one more chance but do it privately instead of with the 3 other kids. The place we go has an activity pool right next to the lap pool and it is VERY loud in there. So all that noise on top of the expectations required to make it through the class was too much to handle. If it continues to be too much for her we will find a different place. It seems like summer is still pretty far away before we will be able to swim outside.
Since April is Autism Acceptance Month I will share some things that make Stephanie the unique individual she is. There is a lot of talk in the autism community about "light it up blue" and the puzzle piece symbol, both from a nationwide autism organization. I won't go into details on why I don't support those, but I feel like supporting a local organization is always a better idea. There is a lot of hate for the puzzle piece icon since autistic people don't need to be fixed or put together. But I feel like Stephanie is a puzzle piece in the sense that we are still figuring out what works for her. Since it seems to change all the time. She is always keeping us on our toes. What works one day may not work the next day. The picture below is of Stephanie at her first Christmas. She is almost 6 months old. She ALWAYS had good eye contact. When she was 2-3 years old I would fill out some online questionnaires about autism and no eye contact was always a major red flag. Since she always responded to her name and had good eye contact her scores was always in the normal zone. She met all her milestones that first year on time and was a baby that was always happy. She did have a strawberry mark (hemangioma) on her neck as a baby and a cyst on her brain during her prenatal ultrasound. It appeared to have disappeared at a later ultrasound but I always wonder if either of these had anything to do her with the neurological and speech disabilities we see now.
Stephanie is now listening to "Basket Case" at night by Green Day with a "let's get out our frustrations session" involving throwing pillows or soft items around the room. It's become a fun game for the family. That is followed by an instrumental version of "Away in A Manager" to fall asleep too. I think that is because she wants there to be Easter songs like at Christmas time but besides Hallelujah I don't have any songs to play. At least she is happy with what we have.