Wednesday, January 7, 2009

There's an Elephant in my Living Room!

I was going to start by saying "with autism", but I'm changing that to "with Daniel". Autism is certainly not all of who he is. It does explain some of his well, um, quirks? That's such an understatement, but I'm sticking with it.

Anyway, "with Daniel" he kind of goes along evenly and then makes a huge jump developmentally. I see Zachary as maybe, everyday, he develops a little here, a little there. So it is almost, almost, indecipherable if you are around him every day. With Daniel it's same same same same same then WHAM, some huge change cosmic shift occurs. I think we are in the middle of a shift. And let me tell ya, it feels GOOD.

Starting Sunday, (it's usually so big I can tell you the time) Daniel and Zachary have PLAYED together every single day. I mentioned the fort regarding the I Spy book. That was the first day. Then while Zachary was at basketball practice. Daniel practiced his baritone. Zach got home and got a dessert. Daniel was sort of hanging around him, which is unusual. Then he says, (totally unprompted) "Zachary, when you are finished with that, do you want to play hide and seek?"

Zachary's neck snapped around to look at me so fast, he smiled a little and said, "sure".

And I'll be damned they played hide and seek. I suggested they lay out ground rules of where they can hide as in the basement and main floor, not upstairs. They did. Daniel even made a suggestion. Zachary hid first, Daniel looked, I joined in the looking a bit, because Daniel just doesn't really look very well, and Zachary is awesome at hiding! He's like that guy who could fold himself up into a little box, see reference photo!

They went back and forth. I whispered to Zach to let Daniel think he couldn't see him for a bit, because he is the antithesis of a good hider. It's like trying to hide an elephant in your living room. They had FUN. Then Daniel suggested tag. "Tag?" said Zachary. "How are we going to do that?"

Then Daniel just starts chasing him, and laughing. He's not chasing him to scream at him or to get under my skin. They are laughing and having fun. Weird. Then, they went in the fort, again. Now these things may have happened here and there. But three days in a row, with Daniel initiating the play and suggesting what they do? That is new. And the best part is they are both having fun! Zachary would do anything in the world for Daniel and the fact that Daniel is seeking him out is pleasing him to no end.
Tonight Zachary was at guitar. I was loading the dishwasher and washing up the knives and a few pans etc. Daniel said, "I'm going to watch you wash the dishes". Then proceeded to chat with me the whole time? Just hung out and pleasantly chatted. Weird. Weird in a wonderful way. Weird, like, where did this come from? You NEVER do this.

As I said, he doesn't slightly move into anything, he's either there or he isn't and when he is there, you certainly know it. Kind of like an elephant in your living room.


Jodi said...

Once again, I completely enjoyed reading your blog today. I'm so happy for all of you - and mostly for Zachary. Z has such a big heart, and its so nice (and easy) to see how delighted he was this past week. I guess that's the best part about life - the surprises that come our way when we least expect them. As always, thanks for sharing. :-)

Amy said...

WTG, Daniel! That is so great. I know what you mean about same, same, same, and then a big step. With Joe, he usually then takes a couple steps backwards, but over the long haul, he moves ahead. Daniel is doing so well!!!!!!