Sunday, September 6, 2009

Let's Be Friends

My main objective with my blog is to document my family's day-to-day life. I have a closet full of scrapbooking stuff that I don't have time for. Blogging is a lot quicker, and honestly I find it a lot more fun. I can stay pretty current. Knowing I was five years behind on scrapbooking just stressed me out! Anyway, not only have I been able to document life, I have made some really great friends (some I've never met and some I've had the joy to meet in real life). It's been so amazing and fun!

I never set our for my blog to be this, but I feel to be an advocate for the autism community, I'll throw in some stories about our journey with that as well. After all, it is a big part of our life. Kids and adults with autism aren't going away with the epidemic we are in until there is a cure. So if I can help anyone reading this learn more about autism, it will help all of us down the road. Believe me, I live with autism 24/7 and sometimes I can't even figure it all out.

One thing I want so badly for Evan is for him to have a friend. I would love for him to have a friend he would want to invite over to play or meet at the park or the movies. Well, the nature of autism is social situations just don't come easily or naturally. We have to teach Evan a lot of things about social situations that you and I learn just from being in the world. Making a friend is difficult. With autism, he just really doesn't have an interest in a friend. He would rather play with adults, and preferrably Derek and me. We are working on it though. On Wednesdays he has Occupational Therapy and we meet up with Bradley for a "working" play date. They are just so cute together. They are learning to play Bingo (and other games) and TAKE TURNS! Ha! They are learning to be in each others' space. Evan does not like other kids being too close. The therapist makes them sit close to each other, play games together, have snack together, talk to each other and even hold hands at times. My hope is one day Evan and Bradley will be great friends. I really think he can learn that other kids are fun.

This was at the end of the therapy session when Evan's therapist (who is WONDERFUL) was telling Bradley's mom and me about their session. I love how she made them sit together in the same chair. They are looking out the window and I'm sure they are thinking, "I'll do it, but I'm not really liking it."


Of course, Evan has his instant friend, his sister! She makes him interact with her ALL the time! She is constantly involving herself in whatever he is doing. He tolerates her pretty well. She is so good for him, and he is so good for her. It's amazing what small children can pick up on though. She has already told me, "Evan doesn't talk." I really wasn't prepared for it NOW. I thought I had a little bit before we would have this conversation, but I just told her, "Evan talks when he wants to, but sometimes it is really hard for him to talk. That's why you need to always be sweet to Evan and help him." She was content with that and just said, "Ok." I LOVE MY KIDS!

Evan has no problem inviting his sister in on his bed jumping!!! Of course, she is loving that he is giving her the attention!

11 comments:

julie & joe said...

I love reading about Evan. I work with child care programs in MO and one of the really big things the state is pushing is Autism information and education. The university I work for will be opening an on-line training for professionals (child care providers, teachers, etc.) to help them recognize and understand autism. I am really excited about this tool to help people.

Betsy said...

I love that picture of Evan and EG jumping on the bed! So precious. Hopefully it will get easier for Evan to interact with other children. You are such a sweet mom, Leigh Ann!

KLC said...

I work with Autistic children so the cause is near and dear to me. Evan is lucky to have such a caring, loving family! That makes all the difference. Keep being fabulous!!!

Beth said...

I don't personally know anyone with Autism. Thanks for sharing your life w/those of us who are not familiar with your struggles. I'm so glad Evan has made a friend :)

Brooke said...

I work with people that have disabilities and special needs, so I know what you're going through with Evan's autism. I'm so glad that he made a friend!

The Bowden's said...

I "happened" upon your blog from another and LOVE it! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi. I am a special education teacher and have a special place in my heart for Autism. Do you read social stories and have you ever used Boardmaker to make your own picture stories or whatever else? Evan is lucky to have you as his strongest advocate and sounds like you do a FANTASTIC job! Laura

Kelley said...

I love the picture of the siblings jumping on the bed! I think it is so sweet and adorable. Evan and Bradley looks so cute sitting in that chair together. I work in a middle school. I have seen a lot of students with autism. They may have trouble socially, but all I see is someone brilliant! You are a fantastic mother! EG and Evan are so blessed to have each other and you and your husband for parents. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us.

The Neffs said...

What a sweet post! Adorable pictures. Ginger

Kelly said...

LAH - I'm glad you blog because I feel so connected with you!
I'm glad you use your blog to share about autism. You are such an inspiration and I know you can be a big help to others.
And God has given you, Derek and EG some VERY special characters and personalities to help Evan - he is so blessed to have you for his family. I love that Evan is working on having friends. I'm thankful you are able to get therapy for him. You are a WONDERFUL mom and I admire you so much!

Jacquie said...

I love your kids, too, and I've never even met them. The way you shared with EG was so touching to me. She will have a wonderful heart for all that she's learning at such a young age.