Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

Who's that good-looking guy?

Who's that good-looking guy?

Josiah loves looking at himself in the mirror these days. He’s been enjoying seeing how his mouth moves, and also how other people’s mouths move, for that matter. He gets a big kick out of my husband’s mouth and stubbly chin, as he sticks his fingers in Joe’s mouth and just squeals with delight. Apparently, he was trying to stick his fingers in some of his peer’s mouths at therapy the other day too (not the most safe thing to do, I know).
Recent studies have discussed that kids with autism tend to look at people’s mouths more than into their eyes. There are even ways they say they can detect potential for autism earlier by seeing how babies track either with people’s eyes or with their mouths–far before the usual diagnosis age of two or three.
I remember looking so deeply into Josiah’s eyes when he was an infant, and really connecting, though. I don’t know when exactly that began to change. Have you ever gone back to the home videos and tried to “spot” the autism? Before 16 months, I could find none apparent. Maybe I just didn’t know what to look for then, but the camera showed an engaged little boy who was teasing and laughing and looking right at the camera.
At any rate, we have some things to *smile* about lately:
1. Josiah was Star of the Week recently at his autism therapy center. We were so proud of him! That little guy works really hard, and he’s been making some good gains lately. He seems to be engaging with his peers more and he loves to ask everybody for “tickles.”
2. My husband’s parents and nephew came to visit us a few weeks ago. Josiah hadn’t seen them since Thanksgiving, but he was really social with all of them from the first moments they walked in. It was great to see!
3. During the summer, Josiah’s therapy center has Friday afternoon “Fun in the Sun,” where they have different themes each week and invite family members to participate. Last year, Josiah had a really hard time with these, and it usually ended up that we left early and I was choking back tears on the way home. Well, a week ago, they had community helpers day and there was an ambulance and fire truck there. Josiah was exploring them thoroughly. Sure he gets a little more excited about the details of chrome hubcaps than hearing the sirens, but he was into it. It’s good to compare back to one year ago sometimes, and when progress seems painfully slow, remember how far he’s come.
4. The pooping problem seems to be solved! We went through quite a long time of constipation, and were having to give enemas. It was awful. Well, because I know my other autism mommies can identify with me on this one, I feel compelled to give a poop update. Josiah is now going every day or every other day, and they’re looking good! His DAN doc was glad to see that his tests are showing no more malabsorbtion of food, any yeast issues are almost under control, and his gut is healing!
5. Josiah is doing so much better feeding himself. It took him quite a long time to be able to scoop up food on a spoon and get it to his mouth. He’s got the mashed potatoes mastered, so we’re starting to work on some trickier stuff.
Sometimes it’s good to reflect. To compare former to present, or to look at your reflection in the mirror and smile like Josiah, especially if you haven’t seen your own smile enough lately.
A cheerful heart brings a smile to your face; a sad heart makes it hard to get through the day.” Proverbs 15:3

2 Responses

  1. That dimple melts me every time. I don’t know how you can stand it! Thanks for writing about Josiah’s progress – it’s so encouraging to read!

    For some reason Rhema has never seemed comfortable with her reflection in the mirror. But like Josiah, when she smiles, you can’t help but smile, too.

  2. Christian also loves to standing in front of mirrors (or any sort of semi-reflecting surface) and make facial expressions into them (along with a little “song” and dance). He’s been known to refer to himself as “gorgious” or “han-sim” at times. 🙂

    Glad to hear about Josiah’s progress. It’s always good to be able to reflect back a year and be reminded of just how far our kids have come!

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