Sunday, 1 June 2014

Like a birthday at the carnival, with unlimited food and tickets! Minus the puking...

It was a super busy day. I don't even remember what day it was. I'm pretty sure it was last week. I was sitting on the floor and was just about to get up when the most magnificent thing we go.... I got a hug from my son, and a little cuddle. And it wasn't one of those hugs where I'm pulling him against his will to get a half hug. It was a need to reach out and embrace Mommy moment. I didn't cry cause shock had set in first. The kind of blank stare like, what's happening, then the realization, then the welling of tears and then fighting to hold them back so I didn't scare him off. This I must say is the very first hug I've ever received from him where he was the initiator. And to complete this heart stopping moment he laid down with his head in my lap and played with a toy. I was amazed. This is something I accepted might not happen right away or ever really and suddenly there it was. His little arms wrapped around me. He even hummed a little hum as if he'd been meaning to do this but just didn't know how. I will hang on that moment forever.

When we first noticed Keltanys not wanting to be touched it was strange to us. he was almost 16 months. He would get agitated if you comforted him, told him he was cute, or even tried to get near him to hug him. He would fight to be put down. We would constantly tell friends and family it's not you it's just his preference. It's so common these days to have adults that don't want to be touched so why not afford children that same right. I actually was a little glad that he had that preference cause he had no concept of stranger danger. I was still sad that he might not reach out and show love that way but as they say let it go and it will grow.

After months of going through his sensory boot camp, and speech impairment, we got used to the whole idea that it may always have to be a prompted thing every once in a great while. What we were most terrified of losing was more eye contact. That was something my Mom taught me at a very young age was that communication can still take place if through nothing else but eye contact. I was more afraid of losing that than anything else. And sure enough it started to fade.  I was desperate. We reached out to a speech pathologist who gave us some pointers on creating more eye contact and they did work, but then out of the blue he was taking a huge interest in numbers and while walking through the toy department, we found a playdough set with cut out numbers. Thank god for playdough!!!! Every morning we would play and his eyes would light up as we played. Suddenly I could coax him into saying, "Playdough back please," "Flatten please," "Squish it please," all the while maintaining that precious eye contact and showing him what each verb meant. Then while the whole playdough craze was happening we introduced bubbles, and even more opportunities to communicate unfolded and soon enough after months and months of no touching, we got him into rough housing where the opportunities to communicate were vast and the eye contract was more constant. Slowly, but surely it was OK to ask for hugs and kisses now and then. And he got used to it. He would run up and give everyone hugs and kisses when asked.

After a year of that, and many hours of play based therapy mixed with endless rough housing, he now is pretty used to our parental affection. Now were teaching him that not everybody needs to be kissed and while hugs are always good not everyone always wants  so we should always ask if it's ok first. He always gives me a look of, "but I just discovered that they're great. People must be crazy not to want one." Still I remind him, but nevertheless am more than grateful that he thinks they're great.

Thanks for reading again.

With Gratitude,
Amber Jones

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