Otherwise

Are you wondering what Martin said last night?

Last night Martin said, “Otherwise.” He came up with the word. He used it properly and in context.

You’re thrilled? You can’t believe it? Here’s what happened:

Adrian and I put Martin in bed at 8:00 p.m. Martin was all worked up, absolutely could not go to sleep. We are fighting yeast again (Martin versus yeast overgrowth, round IV, get your tickets now) and started nystatin on Friday. Martin’s doctor warned me that we might have a difficult week with yeast die-off; so far, our “difficult week” has entailed diminished attention and focus, fleeting eye contact, and unrelenting hyperactivity. Fabulous.

After an hour of bouncing on his mattress and (needlessly) visiting the potty, Martin started yelling the he wanted to go in “the big bed”—my and Adrian’s bed, where Martin is allowed only in the morning, to wake up. Adrian, exasperated, suggested that we let Martin fall asleep in our bed and then move him back to his room. I agreed but said it had to appear to be Adrian’s idea alone, so Martin wouldn’t start thinking he can bug me for big-bed access.

Adrian called Martin to the family room, where we were watching House of Cards. I hid behind the sofa (Adrian’s idea alone!) and listened. Adrian told Martin that he could take a stuffed animal and climb into our bed, on one condition: that he settle down and go to sleep. Did he understand?

“Yes,” answered Martin. “I will go to sleep. Otherwise I will have to go back to my bed.”

That was it! No prompts, no hearing anyone else say it first, nothing. Martin casually lobbed “otherwise” into the conversation, as if it were an everyday word.

As if he’d never once tested in the bottom third percentile for expressive language skills.

Now, if only he’d settled down and gone to sleep….

One thought on “Otherwise

  1. Pingback: Autism-Blind | Finding My Kid

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