There’s Not an App for That

My sweet little boy has gone full fledged toddler in the last 1-2 months. Opening cabinets and pulling everything out. Trying to turn on the stove, opening the fridge, pulling out the bottom rack of the dishwasher. And crying when he doesn’t get to “play” with the lid on a full-to-the-top drink bottle.

My spouse has reacted unevenly to it, sometimes proud of what our son is learning to do, sometimes worried about what he may get into next.

Frankly, I love it. He’s having so much fun exploring the world. He’s hanging with his ASD friends at school and chasing them around. He’s laughing so much. He is learning how to go after what he wants, literally, using motor skills that he only recently developed.

Today it was necessary to add an additional layer of child safety everything, just two weeks after my last step up the childproofing ladder.

The increased motor activity however is not been in parallel with an increase in speech. And sad to say, we seem to have reached the end of his nonverbal repertoire. Half the time when he cries it seems like it is actually frustration at not being able to tell us he wants to keep playing, not the actual conclusion of playing.

Moving the needle on his ability to communicate with us has been frustrating for him. And I fear we just aren’t doing it right. I’m not even sure we know what it is.

I try to teach him signs. To point at what he wants. To use his picture book to indicate a choice. If the object’s name is one of the sounds he can say, I try to help him say that too. But so far it’s not working.

I wonder often how the heck any family can deal with all the conflicting advice and recommendations, especially when you have a child with any developmental issue that requires therapy and expert opinion. This is the sort of thing I wanted to research and conquer by now but sometimes I think there is no way to actually do it. I start dreaming of some sort of app or technical solution but if there such a thing existed, it would be on the first page of every autism guide ever.

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