When Kate was a baby, she really enjoyed playing by herself. She did not engage in games such as Peek-a-boo. She did not follow my gaze. Kate learned to make eye contact, respond to her name, and point with the help of Early Intervention. There were so many skills that come so easily to many children that she had to work hard at to learn. Today she discovered another skill!
Kate was eating yogurt this morning for breakfast, while watching a video. Kate seems to eat more and have less problem with sensory issues when she watches something while she is eating. I really enjoy the summer because Kate can watch sailboats or watch birds fly by and she often does not need a video to help her eat. When Kate finished her yogurt she had some on her lips. I asked Kate to lick her lips. Kate proceeded to give me an awkward smile. (Smiling is another issue for another time.)
I said, “Kate, watch mommy.” I licked my lips and she imitated me! Fortunately for Kate, once she acquires a skill set she does not lose it. It was just the first step, but it was a big one. I decided to try imitation with Kate again. An hour later I asked Kate to tap her head, touch her nose, put her hands in the air and give me a high-five. She imitated each step. Great! So far 2012 is looking good.
What skill is your child working on in 2012?
The New Piano
My husband and I have wanted to buy our daughter, Kate a piano for quite some time. The problem with autism is that it takes up so much time. Time for special needs class, time to travel to and from class, time for therapy after school, time for special cooking for dinner (feeding issues), huge amounts of time for feeding, time for cajoling any verbal interaction I can get from Kate, bath time, and (whew!) time for bed! After many many months we finally got that piano. Kate has been taking music therapy classes for 3 years. She can play the piano by ear. One of her blessings and talents is perfect pitch. So we just knew she would love, love, love a piano in the house.
My mom volunteered to entertain our two young daughters in Kate’s bedroom while the family surprise piano arrived. The girls shouted with pure delight at their first glimpse of the piano in our living room. They sat on the bench together and just banged on it for a few minutes. Wow! They actually sat and played together! As awful as the banging sounds, it also sounds like the sweetest music ever played in our home. Autism has made our family slow down to a crawl and appreciate things that many families miss. Two young girls banging together on a piano, in sync. No gentle sweet tones, no melody, no harmony, no pitch, no one to impress….and no applause required.