Thursday, June 9, 2011

Wyatt is Growing Up

I have a beautiful 6 year old boy who 10 weeks ago was still using the floor as a toilet.  At night he almost always wet the bed. Trying to wash his hair was quite the task and combing it was even worse.  We had to help him with literally everything when it came to self help skills.  Even though we had taught him in ABA how to do certain things, he still never did them.  He also was a runner.  If you let go of his hand, he was off.  It didn't matter where you were.  He also used to escape the house all the time.  He used to spin in circles and do quite a bit of stimming.  This little boy barely spoke unless we asked him to say a word and most everything he said was a memorized response of some sort.

We still have a long way to go but as of today I have a little boy who:
  • Lets us wash and rinse his hair without a fight.  We can even tell him to tip his head back, or get under the water and he does it.  We used to pretty much have to get into the shower with him to get this job done...
  • Lets us comb his hair without a fight.  As you can see in the photos he has beautiful curls :)  In the back he usually has a tangle that he does NOT want us to comb out.  He now just stands there without wiggling or moving while we quickly comb his hair. 
  • As I have said before, Wyatt now goes in and uses the toilet on his own.  He still comes running out without his pants on the majority of the time, but that will soon change.  We even have the small portable potty in his room for nighttime and he is now almost always using that at night (rather than the floor...)  It is so small so it is amazing that he even attempts it.  What a good boy!
  • Puts (or tries to put) his own seat belt on.  Today I told him to get in the car and buckle up.  He got right in his chair and started trying to do the seat belt on his own!  He has never even tried before!  It was so cute.  I still had to help him, but he will get it soon.
  • Talks spontaneously because he wants to.  He tells us what he wants, he sings songs sometimes and repeats things well now.  Today I asked him to say Bye to Heather at BB and he said "Bye Heather".  We used to have to tell him "Say bye"  "Say Heather" and sometimes he still wouldn't do it.  Today I told him to say "Paige, I want scissors please" (because he usually just says "scissors" or uses one word requests), and he said the whole sentence!  It was awesome!  He calls us all by name too :)
  • He is way more connected - you can just tell.  His eye contact is obviously better, but he is also just more aware of us, what we are doing and wants to be around us and play with us. 
  • He is thinking for himself.  I LOVE this!  It is so wonderful after so many years to not have to guess what my son wants or needs.  He now either tells us or somehow makes it known what he wants.  
  • He is not much of a runner anymore.  Well, I am sure he could still beat Paige in a race :) but he doesn't run away from us all the time anymore.  If we opened the garage door, we used to have to hold onto his hand all the way to the car or he would be out in the road, but now we open the garage and he just goes to the car, waits for the door to open and gets in.  He does the same when we get home.  He gets out and goes in the house rather than taking off like he used to.  This has always been a HUGE problem because we could never let go of him and we have always been afraid of him wandering off, getting hurt, etc. 
  • He is stimming way less.  In fact, until last week, I hadn't really seen any for awhile, but it came back a bit this week :(  Not really sure why, but as the brain changes we are told to expect a roller coaster so we were going upside down last week!  One good thing came out of it though.  We noticed him spinning in circles by the pool.  I HATE to see any old behaviors - it just does not make me happy.  However, this time was a little different.  When he was done spinning, HE WAS DIZZY!  This is great because that means he is getting better.  He used to spin a lot and would also ask us to swing him and spin him round and round.  When we would put him down, he would just walk away.  Is that normal?  No.  That should have made him dizzy and it didn't.  Well, now it does so that is great!
  • He is starting to learn by watching.  I have noticed him doing things that he sees the rest of us doing.  We don't have to teach every last thing - he is finally just picking things up on his own. 
There are probably many more, but those are most of the ones I can think of at the moment.  And now for my favorites!

I don't know if you can tell - but somewhere in all of those blankets are ALL THREE of my kids.  Yes, tonight Wyatt went and climbed into bed with his brother and sister - again.  This will be the third night I believe.  We always end up moving him because I still don't know what he would do in the night if he was free to roam (or leave the house!)  But we still let him fall asleep there.  The thing that I love is that we ask him to go get into his bed and he says "No" and goes in and lays down with them.  I wondered if maybe he liked the bed more?  No way.  It is an air bed and he used to have one and still slept on the floor or crib mattress.  Then Paige thought maybe he just doesn't want to be locked in, but I don't think that is it either.  If you see in the right corner of the picture there is another bed he could sleep on if all he wanted to do was be in a different room.  So my conclusion?  Wyatt loves and feels connected to his brother and sister and sees them sleeping together and wants to be there too.  I KNOW that is it and it makes me so happy.  He woke up tonight and Paige took him to the bathroom and then tried to get him to go into his room and he would not.  He went right back in and got in bed with Bro and Haze.  I think it is so funny how they are all so sprawled out and in different directions.  I can't wait for the day that I can leave him in there and they can all three sleep together like the best buddies that they are. 
Next:  Today I went to find Wyatt (if I don't see him for a few minutes I always go looking to see what kind of trouble he is getting in to...)  I found him in the bathroom and it was the cutest sight!  He had gone potty (#2 - yay!)  in the toilet and was now standing on the stool with soap on his hands!  He was washing his hands!  He hadn't gotten to the water part yet, but he was on his way.  My little boy new that he needed to wash after he went potty and he was doing it on his own without anyone telling him what to do.  I was shocked and excited and I still am.  :)

Lastly:  HOLY COW!  This is HUGE!  Hazel let Wyatt out of his room this morning and he came running out with clothes on.  Yes, that is uncommon.  He usually has taken them off in the night because he wet the bed and when he wakes up, he just takes all his clothes off.  Sometimes lately he has gone potty in his portable toilet in his room and then gotten his clothes back on - which is awesome!  So when I saw him come out with his clothes on today, I went to his room to empty the little potty.  But when I got there, it was empty!  So I started collecting his sheets and blankets to put in the laundry since I was sure they would be wet, but they weren't!  What was happening?  My darling Wyatt had not wet the bed!  He had slept a whole night without going to the bathroom.  I don't think that has happened for 3 years and those were all flukes...  I took him to the bathroom and sure enough he had a lot in there   I still was in disbelief and needed the proof :)   I am truly hoping and praying that this wasn't a fluke.  I am hoping this means he is losing more of his primitive reflexes (some cause bed wetting) and that washing blankets, sheets and clothes every single morning will be a thing of the past!

So much going on around here and this is only a part of it :)  It seems, and I am hoping, that Wyatt is on the brink of yet another explosion.  I can just feel it. 

My little boy is not so little anymore.  He even has a loose tooth!  It really is so interesting to see him grow and develop almost as if he is growing up all over again.  He is learning things the way that he should have learned them in the first place.  He is imitating like he should have in the first place.  He is going through all of the phases of development that he should have gone through years ago.  What does this mean to me?  That he is changing and that his brain is changing.  That everything that Brain Balance says it can do, it can do.  I am so grateful for this program and the people who have worked so hard to bring it to all of us who so desperately need it.  Because of them, this little boy will eventually go through all phases of development until he has lost his symptoms and diagnosis.  We truly are rewiring his brain.


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