Sunday, November 1, 2009

"No Pizza"

Before I had enough margin back in my life to put this blog together, I posted a couple of little progress stories on ZL on the Sonlight Special Needs - Learning Challenges board with the thought that that would preserve them until I could put them up on a blog.

I need to search back through and find more of them (there are at least two others, I think), but here is one from June 26 of this year.

An interesting window into the mind of my 3.5yods (PDD-NOS/ASD):

We've been doing a GFCF diet with him for 3 weeks or so now. Since right after getting his diagnosis.

ZL is low-verbal. He uses primarily one-word phrases (his only two-word phrases have "please" at the end, since we insist, but it's really only one word), mostly nouns. He does not initiate conversation (or at least did not until recently; he's starting to point things out in his environment). So, basically, we don't have a whole lot of insight into what's going on inside his head. We know he's intelligent (he's beginning to read), but we don't know what he's thinking.

Yesterday, when I was getting the kids ready to take to a friend's house for a while so that dh and I could concentrate on packing our house, I called to one of the kids to get the yogurts out of the fridge and put them in a sack to take with them (ZL had a GFCF snack already packed, instead).

ZL piped up with, "Yogurt!" (I obviously should have been more respectful and not mentioned it in front of him. We're working hard on this, but I forgot in my rush to get out the door.) So, I had to tell him, "I'm sorry. You can't have any yogurt."*

His response? "No pizza."

You see, he made the connection, the first time he heard anything about not being able to have yogurt, with the fact that he's been left out when we've had pizza since we started him on GFCF** (please, understand that we've been packing up in the US, packing our house here, and I'm 3 weeks from having a baby; there's no way we would have had pizza in front of him right at the beginning of him going GFCF, otherwise).

It floored me. It really gave me a window into how many connections are actually happening in his little mind that we have no idea about, because he can't verbalize them. It excited me (and, admittedly, made me a little sad for all we're missing). And it inspired me. We will find a way to get in there and let him out. Period.

Oh, and this morning, I asked him if he was a lil' punkin (dh's nickname for him, since he was born on 10/31), and he said, "Yeah." He answered a yes/no question! (Those of you with ASD kids will truly appreciate the magnitude of this.)

I think I have renewed vision and strength for the road ahead.

*I have since learned how to make coconut milk yogurt, and he is *so* happy to have his yogurt again. :-)

**We also now keep GFCF pizza in the freezer for him to have when we have pizza.

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