Thursday, July 19, 2012

Happy 6th Birthday, Nikko!

Nikko turns six years old tomorrow. After his OT at 9am I plan to first give haircuts (hopefully) and then take the kids to mom's house for lunch. The following is a ramble, with no clear objective other than to talk about Nikko.

He has grown up a lot this past year, and he survived Kindergarten better than I expected. He learned how to write his first and last name. His speech has improved overall. Nikko can ask for certain preferred things, or namely, food. He can also say NO very emphatically, whereas last year he wasn't able to utilize this skill. He is almost potty-trained, and that's a big thing for the entire family. #1s are good, #2s are still a work in progress. He's still missing the verbal component of telling me he needs to go to the bathroom. He'll just go off and start his business! He's smart and funny, innocent and mischievous. He gets into routines to a fault, but can manage transitions between activities much better than last year. Nikko's stronger, too, which means I have to be stronger than him. Eating habits have not improved much, as he remains picky about his food choices. But he is open to eating grapes and sometimes an apple, and this is important for snack times at school. I am so anxious about him moving into first grade. I think I'll always be anxious for him. He has come really far, and has further to go still. I have come to accept that Nikko will always stand out among his peers, but that being just like them is not the best thing for him. I want Nikko to be HAPPY. I want him to be able to communicate with other kids, and to play with them. I want others to see his goodness and not stare at him for making loud, squealing noises or running up and down hallways, stimming off the baseboards. I get weepy thinking about what he would have been like had he not had autism. But since that's not going away anytime soon, I swiftly kick myself in the butt and move on. He's got a life to live and I'm going to do everything I can to make him enjoy it.

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