Thursday, October 13, 2011

Walking Up The Down Escalator

Summer 2011
Last night while doing homework with The Boy, I watched as he struggled coloring within the lines. Writing his name.  Tracing the letters.  His hand shook as he gripped the crayon.  The crayon that I broke in half to help with his grip.  (note to self: DO NOT break crayons in front of The Boy. It leads to 5 minutes of "We have to fix it.  We need scotch tape.") The Boy needed a bit of redirection and every so often I needed to put my hand over his.

Fall 2011

I stare at the scrawl of his six letter name and I'm glad he doesn't have to write out his last. As much as The Boy loves spelling and letters and building words with his blocks - writing is an exhausting task.  It's not laziness, it's hard.  Physically and mentally exhausting.  It requires hand strength he doesn't quite have. Motor planning and concentration.

For me it requires a lot of redirection.  And even more patience. 

Why does The Boy have difficulty concentrating to write his own name, but has the patience to spell out If you give a moose a muffin?  It's a question, I know he cannot answer.  At least not now. 

There was a time when The Boy couldn't point his finger. 
There was a time when The Boy couldn't jump.
There was a time when The Boy couldn't speak.

The Boy does all of these things now.  So I have to remind myself not to worry too much about his handwriting or the coloring within the lines.    

When I got off the D train at Columbus Circle this morning, I glanced over at the escalators.
The up escalator was too crowded, The down escalator, empty.  I was almost tempted to run up the down escalator, instead I ran up the subway steps.   

I don't know why, but at that moment I thought of The Boy and his learning process.  Some children can just get by as easily as standing on the escalator.  Others, have to work at it by running up the stairs.  Learning for The Boy, is like walking up the down escalator.  It's difficult, there are moments when you feel like you're just never moving forward. Getting to the top will take much longer, but it can be done. 

The Boy never stops moving.  Eventually he'll make it to the top.  And every day he's one step closer to getting there.        

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AutismWonderland - written by Lisa Quinones-Fontanez - is a personal blog chronicling a NYC family's journey with autism, while also sharing local resources for children/families with special needs.