Small Victories… Big Celebrations

“I peed standing up” !!! 

“I peed standing up ! Just like Daddy !”

For the very first time, Gavin surprised us with this new feat over the weekend. He was visiting here with his Mommy and began doing his little “dance” (the “pee pee dance” his Mommy calls it ). Being keenly aware and finely tuned to his every move and expression, she was familiar with the “dance” and knew he had to go. They headed to the bathroom.  A few minutes later, he reappears in the living room, happily hopping around and exclaiming

“I peed standing up!” (hop, hop) 😀 “Just like Daddy!” (hop, hop, hop)

WOW.

Another milestone reached. It was only this summer that he conquered his fear of sitting on the commode, and we were thrilled that he has since been going potty on his own and wearing big boy undies.. with the occasional pull-up.

Now he surprises us yet again.

Daughter informs me that when she began to assist with his clothing, he pointed to the commode and said “put seat up”. After her initial quizzical look, she followed his instruction and waited to see what would happen next. Sure enough, he faced the commode and proceeded to pee just like a “big boy” !

Ahhhhhhh, the small victories we celebrate so hugely. And rightfully so. For every wee step is truly an enormous stride and deserving of celebration.

We all gleefully joined in on his victory dance, letting him know he had accomplished something special. We wanted him to FEEL special in return.

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Then……and Now

ImageYes… it has been awhile. Nearly eight months since I last wrote? Life happens. Such a busy summer enjoying this life with Gavin, making the most of every blessed moment with him. Busy also with changes at work, adapting to new position and responsibilities there. Before I knew it, the Holidays were upon us, and I wondered “OMG…just WHERE has the year gone” ????

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In March, Jessica, Gavin, and I return to Kluge Childrens’ Clinic in Charlottesville, VA., to have Gavin re-evaluated.. an “annual eval” so to speak. I do believe they will be pleasantly “shocked and awed” at the changes in Gavin…in the HUGE and amazing strides he has made since they first met him one year ago.

So I shall attempt to update in a nutshell.. ( ha! Now THAT will be a chore in itself! )

To begin, we enjoyed a summer filled with sunshine, water, play, and laughter. A sheer delight!

Lazy days at the lake, special afternoons at the playground. A wonderful fun and learning filled week at a ASD Kids Summer Camp for Gavin. Brisk autumn afternoons at the river. Fall Festivals and Pumpkin Farms. Christmas lights and displays.. and Gavin’s first time sitting on Santa’s lap ..without prodding. Sharing in Gavin’s gleeful anticipation of Christmas and counting the days… he was so aware of it all this year and eagerly participated.

A quick collage of pics to walk us through the year: (click on collage to enlarge)

Yes.. “my, how he’s grown” !!! 🙂

And in so many ways. Our little man has done SUPER well in school! He’s thriving. In fact, he is being mainstreamed now… taken out of Special Ed for one hour each afternoon to join those in “regular” class. His very first “Class Picture” !!!

Socially he has grown by leaps and bounds! No longer does he break out in a sweat when his peers approach him. He now plays alongside them, interacts eagerly with them, even goes up to them and gives them hugs !

He has even enjoyed occasional “play dates” :

This has certainly been a move in the right direction, and an absolute joy to watch ! He is far more verbal now.. indeed, he has become quite the chatterbox! He makes his needs and wants known, and then some. The other day in school he asked his teacher “may I have some more juice, please?” Unthinkable only a year ago.

And he talks to Omi on the phone !!! Pure bliss.. and melts my heart every time.

“Hi Omi”. “I love you, Omi.” “I miss you, Omi” “Talk to ya later bye!”

The reciprocal part of “conversation” still needs work.. he replies with short “cut to the chase” answers… no frills. (typical male, lol!)

He is engaging more and more in pretend play now as well… loves his stuffed animals and thinks up all sorts of scenarios to put them through. Using his imagination.. and he sure has an abundance of it !

He is brilliant, without a doubt. He reads AND writes at first-second grade level. He can write all the names of all his classmates, can spell just about anything. But then.. he always HAS had a fascination (obsession?) with the alphabet. He would rather read all the signs at the park that play on the slides or swings. He reads his books to US, rather than the other way around. He absolutely loves to write and spell.. on anything, WITH anything… sketcher, iPad, computer…magnetic letters, you name it. If he can find a way to create words, he will do so.

The only child I’ve ever known to make WORDS out of Legos !!!

He creates letters and words out of cookie dough, clothes pins, string, twigs… and SEES words/letters in EVERYTHING.

Sensory issues… improved in so many areas. No more meltdowns when getting the dreaded haircut, for example.

He does really well with them now. We remember the days when he wouldn’t even let Jessie wash his hair in the tub, much less have someone cut it !

He lovvvvvvvves lights and flashlights , spinning lights, changing lights. I got him a Lava Lamp for Christmas. 🙂 And a kaleidoscope. 🙂

He still has trouble with loud or sudden noises. Still toe walks, but will stop when reminded to walk flat. Still some issues with textures, etc. Food textures included.

Doing better now with getting wet, spilled on, muddy, dirty. No more traumatic cries of “Clean OFF” !!!!!!!!!!!!

This pretty much sums it up for now. We are overwhelmed AND overjoyed at the progress he has made thus far and are eager to see what the evaluation in March produces.

I am now SEMI semi retired, and hoping to blog again more frequently. I have missed it, and I so want to pass this along to Gavin someday.

It has certainly been an amazing journey thus far. We feel very blessed, very grateful..and very much looking forward to seeing what this year brings !!!