Raising children with autism:- Why the smallest steps are massive!

As the school summer holidays are fast approaching, I feel that it’s timely to reflect on The Square Peg’s achievements this past year.

What a year it’s been for our little Tasmanian Devil. We were very fortunate to be offered a place for him in a fabulous special needs school that he started after October half term. Since he has been here he has grown so much and made progress in many things and we’ve really noticed the changes in him….only very small changes mind you but to us they are massive.

These are a few of things that we’ve noticed….

Answering a question.

Previously when you asked Edward a question he would not answer, he would just stare straight ahead. Recently, we have found that he is now able to process information a little quicker so more and more he has started to answer a question. He answers with a simple ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. For us this feels massive and it’s lovely that he’s starting to interact with us.

My name is Edward.

He completely understands now that he is called Edward. When people ask him his name he now responds and says ‘My name is Edward.’ The first time was when we took him to see Santa and the elf asked him. I jumped up and down with excitement. I was so cute.

Running off

Edward absolutely loves to do his own thing. Whenever we go out anywhere he never stays with us, his favourite thing to do is explore at least 50 metres away from us if not further. He used to completely leg it and I would have to sprint after him yelling his name. Recently, when he starts to wonder off and I shout ‘Edward stop!’ He actually does stop and turns round to face me and then he starts to come back a little bit. This fills me with relief and I can relax a bit more when we go out now.

Staying within a reasonable distance of me.
Edward actually sat down with us and ate a sandwich.

Going to the dentist.

I am so happy that we’ve had a huge breakthrough with the dentist. When we go to the dentist we all have our appointments at the same time so I think this has really helped. To begin with Edward wasn’t having any of it. He’d run around screaming. However, the last time we went was an enormous improvement. I get in the chair first, then I ask if Edward wants to sit on my lap and we get the dentist to move the chair up and down which he thinks is hilarious. This time we were amazed when he voluntarily opened his mouth and let the dentist check his teeth properly with only a little bit of gagging. The other thing that happened on that day was when the boys got in from school I told Matthew to brush his teeth before we went to the dentist. Now, normally Edward won’t tolerate a toothbrush anywhere his mouth (see my previous post about the teeth brushing (or not) palava…..https://mummyofasquarepeg.home.blog/2019/02/10/how-do-you-brush-a-square-pegs-teeth/ ) however, he suddenly decided that he wanted to copy Matthew and put the toothbrush on his lips first and then he touched his teeth with the brush! I think I might have to pretend that we’re going to the dentist everyday as he has refused to do that since.

Massive progress for Edward to put the toothbrush in his mouth!

The Barbers Shop

Again, this has been a similar experience to visiting the dentist. We have progressed from running around screaming and having to be held for them to cut his hair, to having it partially cut before he’d had enough, to sitting still but crying, to only crying when it was finished, to now finally sitting still all the way through and not crying at all. We take both the boys to the http://www.thehairshack.org.uk/ in Ivybridge. The ladies in there are absolutely brilliant with him and they have loved seeing him make this progress. They still always try and offer him a lollipop at the end but he shouts ‘NO! I DON’T LIKE LOLLIPOPS!’

Fresh out of the Barbers and smiling!

The Paediatric Appointment.

So this was the most recent thing that had me singing from the rafters. We had his follow up appointment with the paediatrician. At these appointments they always weigh them and measure their heights. The paediatrician sat opposite him and asked Edward to take his shoes off…..and waited….and to my astonishment Edward started taking his shoes off, then he walked over to the scales and stood lovely on them whilst he was weighed.

To most people with children these are small achievements that they take for granted, I should know because Matthew easily did all of these things and I didn’t think that any of them would be challenging…..but with Edward we are literally jumping for joy every time something small is achieved and that’s why the smallest steps are massive for parents of children with autism.

Please share your small steps with me and we can celebrate them together.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Gail says:

    Oh I love hearing about Edwards little/ but huge achievements. Such a lovely little boy. I’m so glad he is doing all these lovely things. Well done Edward. And well done mummy, you really are a special lovely mummy xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s so exciting when he does something that he hasn’t done before. Xx


  2. M says:

    Well done mummy and Edward to the achievements! No matter how little they may seem they are HUGE in his little world! Super proud of you both! He is a gorgeous little boy and you mummy are an absolute saint! I salute you! You’re doing amazing. Edward you’re a wee charmer and a cutie pie. Well done on all your achievements wee man. You’ll conquer the world buddy! So proud of you both!!! Xxxxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for such a lovely comment! He’s just like sunshine and brightens up everyone’s day. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. momminintherealworld says:

    This is wonderful, Sophie! Little by little each small bit adds up to a big change. Way to go, Edward 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. twicemicrowavedtea says:

    Oh this was lovely to read! I can sense how happy and proud you are just from reading this post. Well done Edward! #dreamteam


  5. Sounds like Edward has made huge progress and such a relief for you especially with the running off. Sounds like you are doing a great job! Thank you for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Heather Keet says:

    I love that he knows his name is Edward and can communicate that to people. Names are such a huge part of identity! Sounds like he’s had some massive moments this school year and I hope next week brings even more. #DreamTeam


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