I have been struggling with ideas and ways to teach Charlie. I have been so concerned on what the best way for him to learn would be, that in honesty I wasn't teaching him much. I was still showing him new things, but not in a way that he should be shown. Then Brian and I went to the Conference. Eveything that Dr. Grandin said NOT to do, I was doing. I was focused on the label. I would think to myself "Well I can't do this because Charlie is Autistic" She said "Don't get caught up on Labels" And I was. I didn't realize at the time that I was.... But I was. I wanted to protect Charlie from the things he didn't like and would set him off, because I didn't want him to go through his childhood hating things. I wouldn't let Charlie help cook because I was afraid of "What if he didn't like the texture, and then he wouldn't eat anything at all!!"
I was oblivious to the fact that maybe Charlie WANTED to touch his food, play with it, feel it in different ways. So after the conference I threw everything I was doing out the window, and started anew.
Charlie has helped make cookies, and dinner, and to say He LOVED it would be a understatement! I did not realize how much he enjoyed it, until I looked at the pictures I took. He really did enjoy it. He loved Cracking the eggs, and mixing the flours. He loved filling the measuring cups and pouring them into the bowl. We were talking an laughing the whole time. I gave him different things to use to stir with. I gave him beaters, whisks, spoons, forks, etc., and he picked what he liked best. It was such a learning experience for the both of us.
Charlie's intolerance to Gluten and Dairy seem to be slowly going away. He has had over the past week a couple things with some gluten in them. He hasn't acted any different then normal. Which gives me hope that he will be able to eat some different foods here soon. I do not plan on taking Charlie off the GFCFYF diet at all, But this at least gives us a little room to breathe.
He is also really starting to eat. A LOT. He is using his fork and spoon fantastically and is trying his hardest to have manners at the table. We don't request a lot from him. But he knows when he should say "Thank you" and if he wants down, he knows he can get down. Meals are ALWAYS a work in progress, but by taking Dr. Grandin's Advice and letting him play with his food, and cooking it before hand, then require manners at the table makes a WORLD of difference.
Charlie has been talking a ton lately. He is gaining new words every day it seems like. He is up to 20 words right now. I am SO incredibly proud of him. He is just doing so well.
Charlie is currently OBSESSED with Thomas the Train movies. His favorites are Percy, James, and Toby. He knows their names, and what they look like. We recently have lost James (He says Kime) and he is know where to be found. He asks about him at least every 30 minutes or so. "Where's Kime?!" And then we search more. It's fantastic!
It's kind of funny how much I love the 2 year old in him. Some parents would give up and go buy a new train, or tell them it's lost forever. But I really do enjoy looking for the lost train. It's like we connect. We hold hands, go to a room, and while I'm looking in one spot I can say "Charlie look under your bed!" And he DOES IT! He listens and follows directions. It really is awesome.
He is starting to follow directions more and more these days. It really is a blessing. He is teaching Amelia how to get her shoes when we are getting ready to go. I can tell him "Charlie help meme get her shoes!" And he takes her by her hand and helps her get her shoes. I honestly thought that Charlie wouldn't be teaching Amelia things, but she would be his teacher. Just goes to show how wrong I was!
Amelia and Charlie are literally two peas in a pod. I thought that one would hate the other or be jealous of each other ( sometimes meme is when I'm trying to calm Charlie down) but really they are best of friends. I'm sure they would sleep in the same bed if we let them.
Charlie is experimenting with lots of different things lately. Generally he hates things on his head. Like he will freak out if you put anything on it such as like headphones, hats, the hood on his coat etc., Definitely not a fan, until recently. Brian and I where cleaning out our closet and found some old baseball hats that I had gotten at a concert WAY back when we were dating. I tossed the hat on the floor when Charlie grabbed it and put it on. He wore it all day. He though it was THE coolest thing. Since then he has tried on meme's sun hats, his construction hat, beanies, baseball hats etc., He is really into trying them on and walking around, looking at himself in the mirror and making faces. Of course he can not be prompted to do this, he has to be random and at his choosing. And honestly I'm okay with that, because this is progress. He is trying new things, different textures, and pressures. He is doing it at his pace.
We are still working on getting Charlie to dress himself. It definitely is going to take time, but he is progressing well. He can zip up his coat now, but still needs help with putting his arms in the right holes.
Charlie turns 3 in less than 4 months. I honestly can't believe it. He is growing in leaps and bounds, and I am the luckiest mom in the world to have him for my son. He truly is an inspiration.