The monkey has been amazing us so much. His cognitive skills have increased this past year. Although he’s regressed socially where he has a fear of going anywhere other than school and home, he’s flourishing in other areas.

Schoolwork is one of them. His teacher told us last week that he follows his routine without any issues. He participates during the zoom meetings and his handwriting skills are exceeding. He likes to focus on holding his pencil correctly and does his writing all on his own. Before he would need hand on hand assistance but lately not as much. She also told my husband that he finishes his math pretty quickly and gets frustrated that the other kiddos are taking longer. He wants to move on and has to wait for the rest. Three things on this: He has never finished his work on his own without any assistance from his teachers. He has never finished his work quick; we typically have to keep pushing him to complete it. And third, he typically is oblivious of others. The fact that he is trying to get his peers to hurry up is a huge step in our autism journey.

Communication is another stepping stone. This morning, on his iPad, he kept pressing I want to use Bathroom. I would take him, and he wouldn’t want to go in. I kept telling him I don’t understand what you want kiddo. He finally ran downstairs, grabbed wipes, and brought them upstairs to me. He needed help cleaning himself. Once he realized I wasn’t understanding using his communication device, he took matters into his own hands and simply brought the wipes to me. Before he would have a meltdown at his inability to communicate, or better said my inability to understand. And now, he has become resourceful in letting us know what he needs.

His phobia in going anywhere other than school and home is rough. We have tried to help him but he just can’t handle anything else. He’s secluded himself to these two places because these are the only places he feels safe. But we will keep trying, keep fighting this fear, hoping he will be able to get out of his comfort zone eventually.

But for now, we celebrate his victories. His speech therapist sent us an update this morning. She says that he doesn’t like to use the ‘Hi’ and ‘Goodbye’ icons on his Accent (communication device). He prefers the terms ‘What’s up’ and ‘Take Care’, which I find adorable. He is learning to show his personality thru these devices. And all of this just means he’s flourishing, finding himself in this crazy journey we call life.

And I feel honored to be part of his journey.


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