A bittersweet anniversary...

I didn't plan on posting this because let's face it, I post wah-wah Autism blogs a lot. But, as requested by Lauren, here it is.

I know I never say it enough, but I'm so truly blessed.
You're probably wondering who's hijacked my Google account or if I've already been drinking this morning. I can assure you that neither have occured, though the thought of a mimosa is always in the back of my mind.

I tend to be the pessimistic, hell--a whiner at times, but I couldn't help but think about this last night.
I was laying in bed with Vincent, fighting with him to go to sleep (at 2:30am) when I tried to hand him his cup of milk for the upteenth time. He looked at me and said "no." I tried again, with the same response. He rolled over and grabbed my hand, placing it on his tummy, letting me know he wanted his tummy to be rubbed.

Next month will be the one year anniversary that our "normal" life had a head-on collision with Autism. Just one year? It's hard to believe that it's been that long, but also that short of a time. A year ago Vincent didn't make eye contact and was literally in his own world, oblivious to others around him. He had no language, not a single word and couldn't communicate his simplest needs.

Fast forward to today. He dances, mimicks sounds and words, and even has a small vocabulary of his own. His latest communication development is that he will say "Ama" until I make eye contact and verbally acknowledge him. After I do this, he'll babble whatever he has to say. I usually tell him that I love him too and he smiles.

He says hi, bye, blows kisses, makes animal sounds and the list continues. He has words of his own and he also utilizes sign language for when he's finished or if he wants bubbles.
He comprehends so much more of what I tell him. Last week I told him to go get me a diaper so I could change him and he came back with his diaper bag. Wait--did he just listen to me and do what I asked him to do? HUGE!
These things aren't usually considered a big deal...but they are. These bits of communications are so incredibly huge that I, a (somewhat) vocal individual, cannot find the words to express the joy that it brings me.

What's the miracle cure? Hard work. Therapy, play, patience. He didn't get injections or take pills to cure him. I learned how to get into his world. It's not easy. I yell, I cry, I crumble. However, when I do break down, Vincent understands that "Ama" is upset and he comes into my arms and just holds me. He'll hold me as long as I need him to, which usually results in more tears.

That love is the proof of improvement. That love is my reason for being.