April 2, 2008

National Autism Day (Part Two)

As I said yesterday, today is the first ever National Autism Day. I hope you will celebrate with Kyle and me today about the wonderful progress Will has been making in many areas. We believe God has done miracles in his life and He continues to do so. We very much have hope for Will's future!

Since this time last year, these are tangible things we've seen change in Will's life:
  •  I remember asking Will very simple questions that were difficult for him to answer. "Will, would you like apple juice or orange juice?" would be an example. Now, he is able to answer them and even tell me without prompting what he needs or wants.
  • Will was very attached to certain objects (Squidsicle anyone?) and was always carrying them around. He no longer carries things in his hands, at least on a consistent basis.
  • His fine motor skills are improving daily. He is able to write his name (not even on the radar a year ago)and he actually will color and holds his crayons correctly.
  • Last year at this time, he was not dressing himself or even willing to try. Now, he can fully dress himself, snap his pant buttons, put on his own shoes, go to the bathroom by himself, and he's even interested in picking out his own clothes (the halloween spiderman costume would be his first choice everyday). This year, he started saying, "I can do it by myself." for the first time after so long of having meltdowns anytime we made him do something on his own.
  • This year we've seen a huge change in his desire to play with other children and know how to do that. He has learned to take turns (something very difficult for him to understand a year ago), to share willingly, and to use words to express displeasure if someone has done something he doesn't like.
  • Meltdowns that used to be constant are few and far between.
  • He is aware of and interested in his brothers. When Luke was born, he asked to hold him. This was a huge thing for us.
  • His language skills in general are dramatically improved from a year ago. He can answer most any questions except for "why" questions.
  • Going into new situations or being around new people does not faze Will anymore. We used to worry about even taking him into extended family situations because he would meltdown, but now he is enjoyable to be around in those situations.
The Lord is truly gracious to us and has brought so much joy to us through our son. The list above could go on and on. I'd like to put it to you....how have you seen Will progress?