Getting Better All the Time

When Ian used to have school breaks, it was really rough. On all of us. His Early Intervention Provider had a really funky schedule and it was not uncommon for him to have 2-3 weeks off during winter holidays, spring break and summer. For a typical child, 2-3 weeks off is difficult. For a child who thrives on routine, structure and sameness? It’s akin to torture.

Since beginning full-time school, each school break has gotten easier and easier. It used to be that weekends were too long for him, now he is ready to go back to school on Monday but didn’t spend the whole weekend awake and having meltdowns. One week breaks were barely tolerable, now he glides through them with ease. The longest breaks we have at his new school are ten days or so. We can do that! No problem!

I’d like to give all credit to his school. They truly are amazing. But the truth is, several factors have brought us to this point. For one, his programming is appropriate for him. His school has brought much of this about. But we also have to add in medications, his allergy-free diet, a sensory diet and finding activities he enjoys.

But we’ve changed, too. We are better at reading his cues. He is better at communicating his wants and needs so there is less frustration. We’ve learned how to handle behaviors much more calmly, often heading them off before they happen. We can tell when he isn’t feeling well, is bored or is over-stimulated. And we’ve learned perhaps the most important piece of information that we could possibly learn: THERE IS NOTHING A BATH WILL NOT CURE.

Unhappy child? Water. Thirsty? Water. Bored? Water. Not feeling well? Yup, water. Ian is happiest when he is in water. Whether he is swimming, participating in water play, playing with a spray bottle, jumping in puddles or bathing, water is what makes Ian the happiest. It doesn’t always make US the happiest (like, when it is coming through the kitchen chandelier because SOMEONE is recreating the sinking of the Titanic. Ahem. Luke.) but it’s what works for Ian. Finding out what works for your kid, and making sure that thing happens? Priceless.

Of course, our water bill might be a teensy bit higher than other people pay. But that’s okay. Because this smile? This smile makes everything we do worth it:

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