Monday, October 16, 2006

How's Theo? I Don't Know

I just spoke to Grace and it turned out to be a tough phone call. Theo is very happy at school and does well with the routines, but during free play he is lost when not given direction from an adult. Someone has to tell him what to play with and after a few minutes he sort of just stops and looks off.

I told her this isn't the Theo I know. That he's so independent, to the point of being defiant since he knows exactly what he wants to play with and is tough to sway when he's made up her mind. She said she wouldn't even begin to describe him as defiant as school. When I asked if he ever whined, she couldn't believe it. Oh no, never!

I'm glad he's not defiant, but why is he so aloof? She said maybe he's just not comfortable yet, and a lot is going around him, and it's only been a month. But Theo has never had an issue with this before. As far as I know he was independent at daycare, as soon as we got there he would run to some toy. He's never had a problem getting adjusted. She did say though, that he loves circle time. They sing about everyone there that day and things like that. But it's very routine oriented. That part was no surprise, he is very routine oriented.

Other things she said -He's very good with sensory toys like playdough. They're trying to show him how to be productive with it. All the running and climbing he does in the playground is good for him. He mostly eats well.

Also very upsetting is that he doesn't seem to favor any one kid. I was hoping he'd have made a friend.

She said I'll be hearing from Jeanie, the speech therapist soon. They would like to put him on the PECS program. I shuddered when I heard that. I have read about PECS and I know it's a program for autistic children. It's a picture exchange communications program. She said it will help him take the words he already has and better develop his understanding. I'm all for anything that will help him... this is just so damn difficult.

As for potty training, Grace was very surprised when I told her what Theo does at home. At school he never tells when he's wet or soiled. But he does stand at the urinals with the other boys, even though nothing happens. She said he needs to communicate awareness of being wet/soiled before they can train him, but now that they know he does it at home, they'll look for it and work on it. And she said by all means I can start at home.

Theo is more different at school vs. home than I expected. And I expected him to prosper more at school than at home. I'm so confused on so many levels. More and more I feel like the clock is ticking, the before- kindergarten-starts clock. I want answers. Is Theo autistic or not? Is he going to have a normal life one day or not? If I knew, one way or the other, I could at least be prepared. I don't know, I'm upset, I just got off the phone with Grace so this is all very fresh. Maybe tomorrow I'll have more perspective...

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