Autism and social delays

by beagooddad on December 2, 2006

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Pookie is nearly 4. With the social delay from his autism, he often acts more like he is 2. This is most noticeable when another 4 year old comes over to play and it is mostly noticeable through Geetle.

When somebody her own age comes around she talks, chases, and argues with the kid nonstop. Her and Pookie do like to chase each other from time to time but nothing like what she does with other kids her age.

Pookie has started a really interesting phase of asking for everything and anything now that his language skills are strengthening. But, the downside is that when he does not get what he wants, he often starts screaming and crying.

It really frustrated me until I made the realization that he was starting to sound an awful lot like Geetle did about 18 months ago. Pookie is starting to go through his terrible twos (which as we all know actually happen closer to when they are 3) which means he is hitting a new developmental milestone.

The screaming is very annoying. The constantly repeated questioning no matter how many times we say no is annoying.

But, here are a few other things he is doing recently.

He has started to respond to the question, “What is your name?” with the response “My name is Pookie” while poking his chest.

As long as there are no crayons, markers, or paint around, he is perfectly content to play board games and puzzles while alternating turns with me, Beagoodmom, and Geetle.

And, my personal favorite, if he starts asking those annoying repeated questions and you try to ignore him, he will move around staring at you until you make eye contact. Yes, he is starting to realize that eye contact is a way of showing that the person is paying attention.

A couple days ago, he even went so far as to grab my chin and turn my head towards him. We do this fairly frequently when we can not get his attention.

The other night, we went to one of Geetle’s school’s Family Nights. They had a lady who had a bunch of real animal pelts, turtle shells, feathers, and puppets. She told the kids a ton of information about the animals. She also had these about 9 inch flat circles that she spread out for the kids to sit on. Pookie stayed seated with quite a few reminders to sit down but only once where we had to get him and sit him down. He listened intently enough that his echolalia was clearly in response to what the instructor was saying.

Geetle is still the highlight of pretty much anywhere she goes. Her language skills are very strong and she is extremely funny. She says and does stuff that cracks us all up many times each day.

People sometimes have trouble figuring out how to appreciate Pookie.

Pookie did not start smiling until a few weeks after Geetle when they were babies. That probably was an early sign of his autism. I remember the flood of relief the day he started. I remember rubbing my head on his belly repeatedly so that he would continue to do it.

It feels like we have been going through that again. Pookie is going from a stage where we were not sure how much he was comprehending to a stage where he is starting to respond to almost everything and it is just amazing. Even when his response is to yell in anger that you will not give him cookies for dinner.

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