Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Boog's Master Plan to Get Everything He Ever Wanted

Wow, it's been longer than I'd planned between blog entries. We've been a busy family. The Boog, in particular, has made some major changes. He turned 3 and had to say goodbye to all his EI therapists, which was sad, but now he's going to special ed preschool two days a week and going to see a rockin' BCBA, Mrs. Sara, three days a week. The Boog's daddy has been busy getting a monstrous infection and a surgery to remove said infection (poor Boogdaddy). The Boog's mommy has been busy taking care of everybody and doing some actual non-Internet writing (and losing 45 lbs. thankyouverymuch). The Boog's sister has been busy mostly eating things: milk, sweet potatoes, her toes, etc.

Anyway, so the Boog has made a lot of progress these past two months, but most notably, his non-verbal communication has improved to an amazing extent. Every day he now uses pointing, head-shaking and about 3-4 signs to tell us what he wants and doesn't want. It's pretty rudimentary, but goshdarnit if it isn't effective. Sometimes I wonder why I don't just shut up and use a small library of gestures to communicate my needs (mostly because I'm a big blabbermouth who loves her OED way too much to give up words). It was only today, though, that I began to realize that the Boog's sloooooooow entrance into communication has actually worked in his favor in some ways...and perhaps is all part of his Boogly little master plan...conspiracy theory? Perhaps. You decide.

Today when the Boog got off the bus from school (he takes the bus now!!! BIG BOY!), he came right into the house and immediately began banging on the dishwasher and pointing at the microwave. I was juggling about 57,000 (okay more like 3) things at the moment - phone, baby, dog, but I dropped everything (lest my dear readers worry, I did not literally drop the baby) to get the Boog a sippy of milk, because when he bangs on the dishwasher and points at the microwave, that means, "Hey, woman, get a cup out of the dishwasher (yeah...I sometimes don't unload my dishwasher until the clean dishes are all used up out of it...and by sometimes I mean often), put some milk in it and put it in the microwave. Now."

About an hour later, he went into the kitchen and began banging on the dishwasher and pointing at it and whining. I immediately dropped the poems I was editing and ran into the kitchen and got him a sippy of juice/water, because when he bangs on the dishwasher and does not point at the microwave, it means, "Hey, woman, get a cup out of the dishwasher and put some juice and water in it. Now."

A little after that, I turned on the TV and was watching a god-awful daytime show I am embarrassed to name. You can guess if you like, but I probably won't confirm if you get the right answer. Anyway, when the Boog saw me turn on the TV, he got very excited. However, when he saw what was on the TV, he made what we call his "stinky face" and walked away. A few minutes later, he brought me the disc of his favorite movie, Ponyo, which was on the table out of its case due to extreme frequency of use (often in the middle of the night, ugh...big boy bed training has had a somewhat uneven success record so far). He pointed at it, and then walked over to the TV and pointed at the TV. I immediately hopped up and sacrificed my guilty daytime pleasure for a children's movie I've seen 3000 times, because, well, that one's pretty obvious, right? "Hey, woman, turn this crap off and put MY movie on. Now."

The Boog's new forms of communication do not end with gestures. He also has taken to giving his little sister great BIG Boog hugs whenever she's sitting on the floor...and then stealing whatever toy she was playing with as he walks away.

Until today, I was seeing all of this through rose-colored special needs parent glasses. "Oh," I thought, "He's begun to communicate with us! How lovely! Sunshine and puppies and rainbows, etc., etc."

Today, though, I realized that my sweet Boog has become a master manipulator. He has learned how to turn me into his personal Cinderella by giving me just enough encouragement about his development to keep me hopping to it, but not so much that I can explain to him, "Son, we can't always have what we want" without being crippled by that awful ASD parent fear of REGRESSION. He has also learned how to use gestures of love (AKA hugs for sister) to get what he really wants (AKA sister's every possession).


Is it a master plan or just plain ol' preschooler behavior with a dose of non-verbal autistic thrown in to muddy the waters? I don't know, but I do know he's getting everything he wants and I'm busier than ever and the Peej is getting bubkis...hmmm...