And he has finally overcome his aversion to stickers! George is extremely tactile sensitive. He's long acted like all those friendly cashiers in grocery stores who try to give him stickers are, in fact, the monsters that live in his nightmares who want nothing more than to stick their evil poisons on him.
Okay, maybe I made that up. I have no idea what he experienced when peeling happy faced stickers off his clothing, but I do know that he panicked at the very sight of them.
But apparently, that is no longer the case! This morning, he calmly went into Emma's room, helped himself to a sheet of butterfly stickers, and proceeded to peel off every single one of them and affix them to his shirt. Then later, onto his pants. Then later, onto my magazine. Then later, a select few ended up on his cheeks and neck. Strange child.
Emma was great about sharing her precious stickers. (As soon as I promised we'd go buy some new ones!) She seems to understand why we get excited over silly little changes in George's behavior. She cheered him on as he covered himself in pink, green, and blue butterflies. What a great kid she can be!
I met with George's teacher yesterday, for a six month review. It amazes me how much he's advanced. Really, he was diagnosed with Autism only nine months ago; but in that time, with the help of many incredible teachers and therapists, he's come so far. His vocabulary expands daily, with several short phrases now finding their way into conversation. He is an active participant in his class, even at the circle time that used to be so difficult for him. (Over 30 minutes of sitting in a group, paying attention to teachers and students doing show and tell.) His violent outbursts (hitting & hair pulling) have completely disappeared at school (still working on that at home), and he plays with his friends actively, instead of parallel play off to the side.
Earlier this week, I was rereading what I had written the day he was diagnosed, and feeling those emotions anew. Overwhelmed, sad, angry, fearful...you name it, I felt it. But then, going through our photos and the memories we've recorded since, I feel so differently. I'm proud, happy, still frustrated sometimes, but hopeful and excited, too.
Love you, buddy! These three years have flown by, and I can't wait to see what the next three bring!