Growth and Happiness Is All The Therapy I Need

Yesterday afternoon, despite our backyard still being covered in snow and the temperatures still hovering in the high 30s, we decided to spend time playing outside.

We haven’t really had a chance to truly enjoy our backyard as we bought this house just as the snow was beginning to fall in the beginning of winter.

We dug out our outside toys and tossed around a ball.

Brian decided he wanted to climb one of our trees.  I boosted him up to a comfortable spot where he could just sit and watch the small stream of melted snow that runs alongside our property.  Past the stream, our neighbors let out their dogs into their fenced yard.

Brian was watching the dogs with some fascination as I narrated for him, “Oh, our neighbors let out their dogs.  A black one and a yellow one.”

He pointed his finger at the dogs and concentrated so hard and said, “Look it a dog!  Look it a puppy!”

Unless you have seen a child with autism and apraxia tighten their forehead in concentration to get out just a word or two that you’ll understand, you can’t comprehend how amazing it is to hear words come out as clear as day.

This was the first time ever, without being prompted or modeled, that Brian told me to look at something. That is so huge.

He’s doing so amazing these days.  He’s using language in new ways.  Using scripts in situations where they are almost appropriate.  Like yesterday when he wanted privacy in the bathroom while he was brushing his teeth and he told me to “Go Home!”.

He’s happy again.  He’s laughing and playing and connecting more.  He is having multiple days in a row with zero behaviors at school.  He hasn’t hit me since the time I blogged about it.  He’s not hurting himself anymore.

My readers wouldn’t know this.  Because I write when things are hard.  Gosh, when those times are hard I NEED to write.  It’s cathartic and therapeutic for me.  I need to let it all out because I’m thinking nonstop about why it’s hard for Brian, why he’s in pain, what I can do to help, and worrying if this is a regression we aren’t going to get out of.

And then finally, after months of regression, he comes out.  He is shining.  He is growing.  He is beautiful.

And I just revel in it and I feel the weight come off my shoulders.  And we’re all happier.  I have to enjoy every single moment of it as we don’t take it for granted around here.  And I  don’t need to write because just being with my family, in that happiness, is all the therapy I need.


Heather Nelson

About Heather Nelson

Heather resides in Rockland where she is busy juggling life as a newlywed, a mom to two boys (one of which who has autism), a part time job in direct sales, and a full-time job as a pediatric occupational therapy assistant. She has a love for live music, karaoke, and cheering on the underdogs.