Sun Hats and Sun Cream: When the little victories count for so much

   You may have noticed I have been a little quiet of late. I can’t believe I haven’t posted for a MONTH (if you have missed me, I’m sorry). Life has been a little hectic. In all honesty it hasn’t been any busier than normal, but I have been struggling a little more than normal (there will be a post about this later). Anywho…

This post is about last Tuesday. We had a sickness bug work its way through our house last weekend, and it claimed everyone except me as a victim. On The Monday Zachary was sent home from nursery as he had projectile vomited, he had apparently made quite a mess as he continued walking whilst being sick. It was quite cute as they think he was trying to notify staff. That night he was sick multiple times, but by 7pm it all appeared to be out of his system. He is a funny little man as when he is sick there is absolutely no warning and as soon as the last drop has left his mouth he is fine again asking for “tissues” saying “dirty” and “gusting”. He can be adorable at times.

Anyway, the sickness on Monday meant no nursery on Tuesday. By Tuesday morning he was absolutely fine. Recently we have had to change our morning routine which means we now drop Oliver to school first. This is not going down well. Every morning Zachary gets pretty distressed that he can’t go to Oliver’s school. We generally have tears, screaming, lots of sitting/ laying on the playground floor with protests of “Zachary School” and when he is informed he can go to nursery we are told  “NO ursery”. 

When we eventually are able to leave it is normally with a request for “apples” “green apples” or “orunge playground” and some times “eggs”. Once we have established what he needs we progress to nursery. After an initial request for apples he changed his mind to playground. I thought why not. It was a gloriously sunny day and he really wanted to play. Our local park has benches which are shaped like a train and its carriages. Zachary adores it as does Darwin. We went and we played and had a great time.

 Then it happened. Zachary has recently been doing a lot more delayed echolalia (basically repeating whole scenes from Thomas the Tank engine, over and over) well there is a particular one to do with one of the trains being rescued by another. Well when Darwin was a little too confident in his clmbing abilities and starting climbing up a ladder on the climbing frame Zachary began to look very worried and said “Zachary rescue Darwin” then he started talking jibberish. He ran over and started trying to pull Darwin down. I was so happy, he had used the concept of what he had been verbally repeating over and over and selected the correct word AND used it in a sentence AND acted on it. Now a Neurotypical child maybe would have said that Darwin was Stuck or that they would help him. Rescue seemed a little extreme, but perfect none the less. This was going down as a WIN!

What I wasn’t aware of was there were going to be many more wins that day. These included, Zachary wearing a Sun hat!!! Zachary isn’t keen on hats, hoods he loves but hats not so much. Well today, he wore his hat (for 20 mins at least in total) he kept removing it and I explained that if he didn’t keep it on he would have to go inside. He would then slowly lower his hand and put his hat back on. This was a double WIN. He understood AND he followed a new instruction. 

Did I mention the Suncream? This was also a double WIN. We were on a roll. Zachary dislikes Suncream, although to be fair, I’m sure most children dislike Suncream. Today I tried a technique I hadn’t tried in a while. I let Zachary apply my Suncream and then we applied his together. It was a moment filled with giggles and smiles. I was so happy. Then Darwin did the same and his Suncream was applied with smiles instead of tears… That was what made it a double WIN. Now we all know Zachary has Autism Click here to read about our diagnosis  there have been some questions raised about Darwin, there is no question of Autism, but there is talk of speech delay and Sensory Processing disorder. However he has ongoing issues with his ears and we can’t move forward with any sort of diagnosis, so we just keep plodding along. One of the things that have had us wondering is his random fear of normal every day objects, the kettle, the washing machine, the vacuum cleaner and the shower. The worst is definitely the shower.

 Now, it’s not uncommon for children to be frightened of these things particularly when they are babies but Darwin isn’t a baby anymore and has been exposed to these items almost faily for coming on 2 years. Well this was our biggest win of the day. I had taken the boys in the back garden and we had played Dinosaurs, trains, javelins (with our foam swimming noodles) and then the boys decided to lick the mud. They were filthy so I decided it was shower time. Zachary loves the shower, Darwin is in and out in 30 secs whilst screaming his head off. Not today, I am not completely sure how it happened, but Zachary was filling a bucket with the shower water and Darwin was at the opposite end of the bath by the taps. Zachary playfully threw some water at Darwin. Darwin Froze. I froze. Then he started laughing. Within in a few minutes they were filling buckets and splashing each other. I was so proud. This was a SUPER WIN. Over the past week, Darwin has started requesting the shower be on when he is in the bath by pointing and getting excited. 

When you have a child or children (especially a child with additional needs). It can be hard to see the woods for the trees. It can feel like you are fighting the same battles everyday. Progress can be slow and I won’t lie it can be disheartening. That is the very reason we have to take every win we can get, the smallest of victories are worth celebrating, sometimes even if only to allow us to keep our sanity. Just remember it’s the battles in which we are victorious that allow us to win the war. Onwards and upwards. 

Thanks for reading 

Cherrysnotmyname 🍒

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