As my emotions swung like a pendulum, the craving for normalcy was a primary goal each morning. All I could do was watch Sawyer’s every move. I’d watch him eat, I’d watch him be propped on a pillow and chug his milk, and I would watch his lips as he would script through words in his attempt to communicate.
It was like our own personal Groundhog Day. From the moment he would wake up, he had his own individual checklist.
A typical Saturday morning at the Rubin’s…
7:05: Sawyer drinks his milk while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. However, he needs the cup with the straw that he likes. Typically the straw built into the cup that is mangled by Sawyer’s biting on it.
7:15: The pantry door is swung open for his chocolate raisins that are out of his reach. This doesn’t stop him from stepping on anything to get them. There aren’t any words other than “chocolate raisins” screams.
7:45: We attempt to steer Sawyer away from Mickey shows so we can engage him into playing in the playroom. The problem is that Sawyer can’t play yet! The puzzle pieces aren’t fitting into the correct places and he loses interest within minutes.
7:48: Sawyer goes right to the sliding door and screeches “swing” over and over again. I hesitate to take him out because once he gets on the swing, he will stay on it longer than Nomar Garcipara would adjust his batting gloves in between pitches. It’s a marathon!!!
7:52: I crack and take Sawyer outside and put him in the “yellow” swing. At this juncture in Autism, we begin to learn that everything has an association to color.
8:33: I’m so ready for Kellie to come out and take over. However, I do realize that after a long week at home, she needs as much time away from this routine as possible. (For the record, I didn’t do this nearly enough).
8:45: When I get to an hour of pushing the swing, I hit my breaking point. I converse with Sawyer about getting off the swing and going inside. He spends the next 5 minutes shouting “swing” but I gently slow him down.
8:50: I take him off and he wants to stay outside. I’m lost on what to do. All he wants is the swing but I have to give him a chance to try new things.
8:51: I take him around the house and he knocks on the front door. Kellie opens it and greets him with excitement. He runs inside, through the garage, onto the rocks, onto the grass and back to the front door. This would happen over and over. This was his moment as he discovered something new.
It was only the morning but the loop was discovered. However, it was the beginning of some independence. It came in the form of a circle. It was the birth of “the loop.”
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