Thursday, April 7, 2011

Cole and Cale were our guests Friday night, giving us need for some of those energy boosting drinks. They are so energetic, but I guess all 3 and 5 year olds are. From the moment Brandi opens the van doors it is a chorus of "Granny, Pappy, Granny, Pappy and then directly to the swings.

They both buckle them selves and then applaud their accomplishment. Then it is " Pappy,swing me high" from Cole. Cale waits patiently for his turn, not. He is bouncing up and down,"swing, swing". Cole is not satisfied with his altitude until he is able to kick the blades on the porch ceiling fan. Cale is not as much a daredevil, he is satisfied at a lower height.

After a few minutes Cole calls out " I want down, down, Pappy" and like and echo Cale repeats,"want down Pappy". I as Cole what he wants to do. Car, drive car followed by the echo, Cale. Typical little brother wants to do everything big brother does.

The load up in the little "Fred Flintstone" cars. Cole will get them lined up and says 1,2,3,go. Down the driveway they go, their little legs taking short steps to propel the cars. Then at the gate Cole will climb out and begin to push the car back to the porch. Guess what the "Shadow" does. Cole jumps on his trike and guess what the "shadow" does. The poor little "Shadow" forgoes a tremendous amount of supervision as Cole mimics his absent sister, Erin. They both are well supervised when Erin is around. It is amazing though how much of Erin mannerisms and posture Cole exhibits when she is not here to be "in charge".

Last week I wrote of the increase in Cole's vocabulary and how it continues to grow. Although it has only been a week since he was last here his use of words in phrases and short 3 and 4 word sentences has grown miraculously. He ask me to "kiss his hurt" and "Pappy, I want some ketchup" followed by the same for "ranch".

These boys love ranch dressing. They eat it on every thing from green beans to pizza.

Cale's vocabulary and speech is increasing as well. He speaks so softly you have to really listen to understand what he is saying. He brought me my glasses and handed them to me saying, "Pappy glasses". Then "get in Pappy's lap".

I am trying to catalog the new words and phrases for both of them to get a real sense of the changes.

It is not only their ability to communicate verbally that is growing but their problem solving abilities. Cole is doing better with the cut out puzzles and Cale does real well with the puzzles.

I put one of each color building block on the floor, red, green, blue, purple and yellow then ask Cole to bring me another block. I made him put the block with the same color block and by the third set he was matching the colors on his own. But then Cale want to show off his throwing arm and style, so I gave up for the time being on a repeat.

Then after breaking up throwing practice Cale grab my arm,"lay down, lay down". I said I will if you get me a pillow. He said "pillow" or something close, then ran to our bedroom and returned with a pillow and pulled me to the flow. Once on the floor I became the trampoline again. They both jump on and over me until I mention sponge bob cookies.

I got the cookies, took the clothespin off the bag and let them help themselves. Cole took the bag and they ate out of it. Cole loves to control the number of cookies Cale gets it seems. But then something happened. I had been showing Cole how to put the clothespin back on the bag the last time they were here. Well he grabs me by the hand with the bag of cookies in the other. Pulls me to the pantry, opens the door and pointed up and said something I did not understand although he said perfectly clear.
He pointed and said "clamp". I thought he saw something in the pantry he wanted to eat. He points again and says,"clamp, Pappy, close it". He was asking for the clothespin but calling it a clamp, which a clothespin is. I took the clothes pin and ask him, this. He responded "yep" "clamp, pinch it". I gave it to him and he proceeded to put it on the cookie bag and with a little help which he ask for, "help, me, help me", we got it on the bag. He then told me "put it up" and I did.

We have no idea where he got the word clamp from much less how he correlated it with a clothespin. But he did.

He is forever toting his Thomas book and asking Marcia or me to "read it". While I lay on the floor with Cale and Marcia was in the kitchen, I heard Cole behind me. I rolled over to see him in Marcia's chair where she reads to him. He was sitting there with his book open, turning the pages and naming the characters from each page. Something we had never seen him do. Then he say "one, two cats". There is one page with two cats in the illustration. He went from front to back pronounced "the end" and then started again.

Within a matter of minutes he had exhibited behavior we had never seen before used words he had never used before. For those of you with FX children you have to know the elation and emotion that runs through you when things like this occur. To anyone reading this without FX children, I hope you will try. Even though Cole is 5,it is the same feeling as a 1 year old beginning to walk and the first time they say Mama or Daddy.

Well, I have rambled on here enough. This Autism Awareness Month. Autism, much less Fragile X, was not anything I gave any thought to a few years ago. Now I do, I hope that my ramblings will have some positive effect on the way children and adults with development disorders are viewed by those not immediately touch by their lives. I hope that people will remember they are not only someones' son, daughter, brother or sister, they are somebody, period.


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