All children and people have different growth patterns in their life.
Growth is very noticeable when a child is younger. They crawl, they take their first steps, their first bike ride and so on. When a child loses their first tooth, gets their first haircut, the list goes on and on when a child is growing up, especially the period from baby to toddler. Lots of changes happen during these years.
When your child is on the autism spectrum, regular growth can sometimes appear at different times. The physical part may be similar at times as other children and then vary at others. For example, your child may walk at the same time as another child and they may start eating solid food at the same time as another child, but they may not be able to talk at the same time as another child and they may be delayed in toilet training or other things. For all children the variance could be quite different, even children with autism.
We did have issues with the understanding of rules of sports for example. You can play soccer and kick a ball, but do you understand you need to pass the ball and you are part of a team? These things were more challenging for our son.
I belong to several different face book groups. I read stories about kids doing many different things and overcoming unbelievable challenges. Mostly, I just read and don’t comment because I want to evaluate and see for myself, especially on alternative treatments. In these cases, I may have to do more research and talk to more people to see if this would be a good fit for my child. The same goes for any products that are being sold. Some are good and some are not.
One thing I have noticed is that people are always excited to post about growth in their children – positive changes that have happened. It doesn’t matter how they got there, they are just happy that good changes have happened in their child. I love reading these stories!
I have seen growth at different times in our son’s life. I’m always happy when this happens.
Lately though I must admit that I’ve been amazed. I’m amazed by the small little things that no one really notices.
I’ve noticed calmness. I’ve noticed quiet attention and engagement to surroundings and people. I’ve noticed independence and problem solving. I’ve noticed true emotional feelings (these are not always positive in nature as they have opened our son up to real emotions that are not always happy ones.)
For most people, this would not seem like a big deal, but for us it has been truly remarkable.
Recently our son participated in a music festival with his class. He plays the trumpet (not super great) but he plays. They had to play 4 songs. He was sitting on the stage the playing with the group the entire time! A feat that would not have happened 5 years ago. Now as an onlooker observing they may say to themselves that this kid is playing the wrong note. But when I saw the video of him playing that was so graciously sent to me by one of his teachers, I had tears in my eyes. That I said to myself is real growth. From the kid who in grade 1 came off the stage to look at one of the band members trumpets in the middle of a concert.