To a new chapter, 2023!

I’ve been reflecting on this past year and like most of us, we have had some rough lows and some great highs. A few months ago, we decided to start the monkey in therapy again. After not going to sessions since the start of the pandemic, he struggled a lot. He hated it. Hated it! One of the times we were trying to calm him down during a session, he started hitting us and biting us. I was trying to control him so that he won’t hurt the therapist. While I was doing this, he kicked me so hard I felt my chest was going to break into pieces. For days after, I struggled to breathe and was in so much pain. I couldn’t go to the urgent care. How does one explain the reason for my injury is due to my son? I just couldn’t get the courage to go.

Although these are very difficult experiences, we also have great ones. We have had wonderful moments. The monkey’s cognitive development has been increasing so much. A few months ago, I was getting the monkey’s clothes ready for the next day, and I couldn’t find one of his shoes. I asked him: Where is your missing shoe? I didn’t expect a response. He was sitting downstairs on the sofa. He looked at me while I was talking to him. He walks up the stairs, goes into his sister’s room, looks under the bed, and grabs the shoe. He not only knew what I was asking for but also brought it to me. This just amazed me!

Last night his sister told him his hair looked dirty and he needed a shower. He stops what he is doing. He goes upstairs and turns on the water. He went to shower on his own. These actions leave me speechless.

But I think the best moment was a few weeks ago. He was sitting on the floor in the laundry room, with no lights on. I went inside and I asked him why he was doing that. Again I was not expecting a response. He then gets up, grabs my hand, takes me into the laundry room, closes the doors behind him, and turns off the lights. He sits me on the floor where he usually sits. Then he sat next to me and grabs my hand. And there we are, sitting in the dark together, holding hands. Then he gently pushes my body towards the washing machine. He takes my hand and also puts it on the machine. He wanted me to feel the vibrations.

And this is how he is showing me his world.

Yesterday’s speech therapy session went really well. We keep talking to him about the sessions, reminding him when they are scheduled, and letting him know that he has to go. Change is difficult for him but once he understands his schedule, he does so well. And yesterday’s successful therapy shows this is working.

This next year, I have high hopes for my little guy.

When the monkey was younger, my daughter used to always say: This next year is the year. I just know it. This next year will be the year he talks.

She has stopped saying this. We don’t think that will ever happen. I also make sure I don’t let hope come in. That part is a bit difficult to handle. Having hope then realizing that it won’t be possible. But I do know that if we keep pushing the monkey out of his comfort zone, we may find other hidden treasures. Speaking may not be one of them, but I am grateful for the other things he gives us.

He fights us because he is scared. And in all honestly, so are we. But I have a feeling that he will continue to surprise us.

He’s been doing that a lot lately. I think this next year will be pretty great.

And for this next year, I want to wish all of our autism online family a very Happy New Year. I wish it is filled with love, laughter, and joy! I hope 2023 brings you all a wonderful new chapter and becomes an incredible part of your story!

Happy New Year!

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