With busy schedules, weekly appointments, and never ending to-do lists, sometimes if feels like we’re going a hundred miles a minute but getting nowhere. It’s even harder to see progress when it can be so slow going.
In our world of Autism Spectrum disabilities, even the tiniest changes can be a really big deal.
So how can we make sure we don’t miss those little details? I use a calendar to keep track. I can make quick notes about new things my son is doing while keeping track of our “sunny” and “cloudy” days, because progress is always closely related to how he is feeling.
For example, when he is very constipated ( I know a lot of ASD kids struggle with digestion) there’s virtually no progress. In fact, we usually have regressions during these periods. And it makes sense. I know when I have tummy troubles, it’s hard to concentrate or feel anything other than crabby. I just want to curl up under a blanket until it passes. So for my son, those days we don’t try new foods or practice new social stories or work on potty training. We just do our best to maintain and stay comfortable.
Time is a funny thing, especially for us super busy moms. There have been so many times where I’ve felt frustrated because Simon and I were working on a new skill for what felt like forever. Then I check the calendar. “Oh that’s right, he got sick two weeks ago and we had a lot of sleepless nights and tummy issues.”
In the same manner, it’s so cool to see the little leaps he’s made during the month. I can check back and see he learned to say maybe 5 new words and we worked up to holding a new food without any fear. Having that constant visual gives me the motivation I need to keep trying new things with him, even when it seems like nothing is sinking in. It is. And eventually, new skills will emerge.
*If you have any concerns about your child’s development, contact your pediatrician, or school district special education department for an evaluation.*
Previously posted at Hudson Valley Parent Magazine.