Screeching, Jumping and Anticipating Four
It started with climbing on the dining room table. At the time I just thought JB was being and adventurous toddler. I have to admit at first I would get all worked up about it but soon I realized he wasn’t afraid. He loved climbing and it seemed like he would have so much fun that I just adjusted to him doing it. I kept a keen eye on him to make sure he wasn’t in trouble and if he needed me I would be there to help but he never needed assistance from me. Then he would slide down the stairs at my parents house.
There’s ten stairs from the top floor to the bottom floor and he would climb up to the top and slide down all ten on his stomach. The first time I heard it I could have sworn he had hurt himself. My husband almost broke his ankle trying to jump up and catch him. He thought it was hilarious and we were all scared out of our minds. Over time I just got use to his adventures. At two he wasn’t afraid of anything and as he was heading into three things slowly started to change. JB got more and more adventurous, he would climb on the table and jump off, he always climbed up the slide, he would try to jump off monkey bars and he was terrified of the buzzer on Family Feud.
Flapping his arms in excitement and silence is what lead us to getting him tested right before his third birthday. He always seemed to march to the beat of his own drum and that process taught us so much about him. Within a few weeks our lives was forever changed when he was diagnosed as someone on the Autism Spectrum. Suddenly his lack of words became an issue, I had hoped one day he would just up and start talking in complete sentences but as time progress I know that this may or may not be the case.
As a family we started to learn different ways to help JB learn in a way that he understood. The first step is learning some sign language for us to communicate with him. School is also helping but he’s only there for two and a half hours each day and with all the snow recently he’s been missing a lot of that as well. However according to his second quarter progress he is making progress in some of his goals and others he’s completed them already. All but one SPEECH. He’s still non-verbal and as we approach four years of age panic and wonder is setting in.
Jumping in excitement seems to be his norm these days. While it doesn’t bother me most days, sometimes it’s nerve wrecking. More and more I wish and hope for use to get more space to allow him room to be free. His energy levels has increased and of course naps are off schedule because of school. He’s also starting to have some unusual fears as well. He doesn’t like dogs at all, but he isn’t afraid of other animals or insects. He doesn’t like the State Farm Buffalo commercial, he screams when it comes on.
It’s odd really that a commercial and a buzzer on a game show terrifies him. For me his inability to speak gives me nightmares. I’m scared for so many different reasons and some days it’s just overwhelming. There are days I just can’t breathe when I start to think about what I want for his life. Like when he started school last fall. There was a point where he had four different bus drivers and four different bus aides. All strangers I suddenly had to trust with my son’s life five days a week. I had anxiety for weeks putting him on the bus.
Even to this day I get a bit nervous when I walk away so he could start his day. He seems to have different reactions to school each day. Sometimes he’s great the entire time and other times he’s cranky and fussy in school. It’s a balancing act that I am learning how to skirt. Some mornings I can tell how the day will go and others he throws me for a loop. A few weeks ago screeching started. The first time it happened JB was sitting on pillows behind my back. It came out of no where and it was loud. My heart stopped because I didn’t know if he was hurt or anything but shortly after the screech was a laugh. He was happy, excited, and full of joy so he screech. It’s so loud that at times I feel like my ear drums are going to burst.
How does a three almost four year old hit notes that high is beyond me. It’s so scary at times because I never know if he’s hurt or if it’s just excitement until I hear the laugh afterwards. There are days that he’s screeching constantly. Those days are hard sometimes because I try to keep him mellow. Living in an apartment has so many challenges already and adding Autism to the mix brings another set of problem. We’re on the top floor so the jumping disrupts neighbors. The screeching is loud so I know the whole build hears him. Sometimes it happens when we are out shopping or dining which draws in all kinds of funny looks and whispering.
With four right around the corner, I have no idea what’s going to happen. I don’t know how JB is going to progress and if the screeching will end soon. I don’t know if he’ll develop more fears or drop the current ones. WE didn’t get a guide with JB’s diagnosis and we’re just learning as we go. Some days it’s stressful and others it’s just our life. So here’s to conquering screeching, jumping and his fourth year.
If you have a child that’s on the Autism Spectrum what are some of the things you experience with your child?