Focus (Mine)

Underlying yesterday’s post—underlying the decision to pursue audio or vision therapy, underlying the revelation that sensory processing might be what’s holding Martin back most these days—is an important stopover in this recovery journey. Four years ago, the mother who helped me launch our biomed journey cautioned me to be patient and not to throw the kitchen sink at autism. Work through the issues one by one, she advised. That sounded like sage advice, but how was I supposed to figure out where even to start? When Martin was diagnosed, it felt like everything was broken. Martin had no functional language. He couldn’t sleep without assistance. He ran in circles. Often he appeared not to perceive whether Adrian or I was present in the room. He bolted. He wandered off the edge of playground equipment without noticing till he hit the ground.

For a long time, I did throw the kitchen sink at autism. I had that desperation peculiar to (1) the parents of the newly diagnosed and (2) the parents who can’t seem to find anything that improves the autism symptoms. I wanted to do everything and do it now. I thought we had two years to beat autism, three at most. The urgency was overwhelming.

Those times are over. Martin has improved enough that I no longer think, “Where should I even start?” That has been replaced with, “Eye contact is pretty good. Language is really coming along. He sleeps. He’s connected to me and Adrian, and he looks forward to seeing his friends. Handwriting and fine-motor skills are improving. But the attending—that needs work. Action plan!”

We are nowhere near the end of this journey. No matter. What a difference between where we were and where we are.

He reads. He understands. He writes. We're doing pretty well.

He reads. He understands. He writes. We’re doing pretty well.

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