What a difference a year has made. Today I took Owen to the optician for his annual review. He sees an orthoptist every year at the hospital as well so I’m not entirely sure why this is deemed necessary, but it’s something to do on a Saturday afternoon.
Last year, he sat on my lap in the ‘chair’ and the optician just had to check which way his eyes were moving. Pictured is today’s visit:
Owen is also attempting to write his name which means that everybody is getting cards and letters from him.
His speech has really developed. Instead of saying ‘Would you like?’, he’s saying ‘Can I have……please?’ and has developed a real sense of what his likes and dislikes are.
My Dad offered Owen a drink and he asked ‘What is it?’ before making a decision.
He sleeps in his own bed, has learnt to use the toilet and has been on his first fairground rides.
All of these little things add up to a brilliant little boy who is constantly moving forward in his learning and day to day life and is not letting Autism hold him back.
But he’s started to wander! This can be a huge problem with children with Autism. If they can’t express a need for something (toilet, drink etc) then they’ll take themselves off to get sorted, without the understanding of what getting lost means, or indeed the empathy for the frantic parent!
I was that frantic parent yesterday.
I let go of his hand for a second because the man in the café asked if I wanted my iced coffee blended or not and Owen was gone. He knew exactly where he was going and we found him by the money gobbling £1 machines but it took a good 20 seconds (it felt like 20 hours!) to find him. I think with Owen though, it’s more the stage he’s at developmentally rather than the Autism. He knew why he’d walked off and I don’t think he’d have gone too far.
And as the hipsters / gap-year (yah) travellers like to say, not all who wander are lost.
Unless you’re me and wandering around the downs with the dog. Lost.