I already posted once about how well Brody knew the golf cart paths and very quickly indeed! Paige used to have to ask Brody which way to go....
I have always known that Wyatt was pretty aware of where we were when driving. If we would drive away from the park he wanted to go to he would cry. He could never tell me where he wanted to go, but I sometimes could tell by his reactions when I passed things, etc.
I already posted a little bit ago about how Wyatt has been starting to point and say "This way" when he wanted me to turn. He even knew which road to turn onto when we had driven 40 miles from home and on three different freeways. He is SO aware and knows what is going on in the world around him and he becomes more and more aware each day. The best part is, that he can actually express what he wants to me now - at least in some form. He used to just cry if we didn't go where he wanted. We have taken pictures of every park and location in town so that he could go through a stack and show us which one he wanted. He has been able to tell us "park" but we never knew which park! We would go to one and he would cry, then another and he would cry. The pictures helped, but we don't have pictures of everywhere this cute little boy wants to go.
So, this brings us to today. Paige had taken the kids to Jump 2 It while I did some work. Then we had planned to pick up Brody from BB and go swimming at a friend's pool. While at BB she texted me and said that her pool was closed so we agreed to meet at mine. We were all in our swimming suits and ready to go and the kids knew the plan. But as I pulled out of the parking lot and went to make a right turn, Wyatt FREAKED out. He was screaming, crying, banging his head on the seat, etc. It was pretty bad. I asked him what he wanted and all he said was "This way" and pointed for me to turn left. I was so intrigued as to what had made him so upset and I really wanted to find out where he wanted to go so I decided we would go on a wild goose chase.
I couldn't turn left there so I had to back up into the parking lot and head to another exit. As I got to that exit Wyatt pointed right and said "This way" so I turned right. I got to the stoplight and Wyatt pointed left and said "This way" so I turned left and headed down the road. We went down the highway for a few miles and I kept waiting for him to tell me which way to go. At one stop light I pointed and said "Do you want this way" and then pointed the other way and said " or do you want this way" Then Paige asked "do you want straight?". He pointed forward and said "straight." Not sure if he was just repeating her, but I'll take it.
So we kept driving straight and passed all the turns I thought he would have taken us on. At this point I had mostly determined that he was leading us all over town or that he thought we were headed the opposite direction and going to the sensory gym or something? I should have known better than to second guess this genius. We got near the next stoplight and Wyatt pointed right and said "This Way" So we turned and headed down the road. By the way, his little soft voice when he says "This Way" may be the cutest thing I have ever heard. He doesn't yell or even raise his voice. He just says "Dis Way" and I love it. Maybe I will get him on video next time.
Okay, where where we? Oh yes, the railroad tracks. We crossed over them and kept driving. Paige and I were confused because it appeared that he was leading us back to Jump 2 It where he had been only 2 hours ago. Why would he want to go back there? Plus, he was in his swimming suit and he knows that swimming suit = pool. We got to the stop sign in front of Jump 2 It and asked which way and he surprisingly pointed to turn right which was NOT the way to Jump 2 It. Now we were thoroughly confused. We were on an industrial road in the middle of the city with a 6 year old navigator. What were we thinking?
Just then Paige remembered something. Last week when I was gone, Paige and the kids had followed a fellow BB mom and kids to Jump 2 It. After that, they had followed her back to her house to go swimming. Could Wyatt have really remembered how to get to Jump 2 It from that one time? Was he now taking us to our friends house on these back roads that he had only traveled once? Not possible. Or was it???
At this point Paige mentioned that if Wyatt was doing what we thought he was doing then she needed to work on her navigation skills. She still uses her GPS to get to Jump 2 It and she did not remember how to get to our friend's house from this direction even though she had just driven it only days before.
We got to a stoplight and Wyatt's little voice from the back said "This way" as he pointed left. At this point he got excited and let out a squeal. He knew exactly what he was doing and exactly where he was going. Sorry Paige - looks like you need to work on your skills. Maybe you could ask Wyatt for a lesson ;) (Man she is fun to mess with!)
We got to another stoplight and again Wyatt told me where to go. We took one more immediate right turn at his direction and pulled into our friends apartment community. We were all laughing and shocked and excited and blown away by what had just happened. As I drove by the pool Wyatt said "STOP" He then said the cutest most amazing thing ever:
He smiled and said "Thank you".
I about cried and Paige's jaw dropped. He really has never used that term in its proper context before and if he had, it was a memorized response. THIS WAS NOT MEMORIZED. It was real. Wyatt had desperately wanted to swim at THAT pool and the only way he knew how to get to her house was to re-trace the path that he had taken the week before. He was able to remember the EXACT route that had been taken and was able to communicate with me enough to tell me how to get there. When we had finally arrived at where he wanted to go he was so grateful that he thanked me. I feel like crying right now just thinking about it again. How many times has this little boy wanted to go somewhere and could NEVER tell me where that was. In fact, how many times has he wanted to eat something, buy something, drink something, play with something, felt sick or wanted to be comforted that he COULD NOT express to me. In the last year or so he has at least been able to say "water" or "hamburger" and a few other requests. This has helped a lot because for years we just had to guess every last thing that we thought he needed or wanted.
Most of you can ask your 6 year old what he wants for Christmas, what he wants to be for Halloween, what his favorite color is, who his best friend is, if he is thirsty, what he wants for lunch or if he is ready for bed. For so many of us, we don't have that luxury and it is a lot harder than you may think. However, witnessing what happened today was a miracle to me and will get me through the rest of the hard times. The amazing thing is, because of the Brain Balance program, those miracles are coming faster and more frequently than ever before.
We love you so much Wyatt and we KNOW that someday soon you will be able to tell us all of those things listed above - and what a joyous day that will be.