Blogging about life and raising our five kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

The Lost Key

There is a key missing from our house. Dean and I have searched everywhere for it. We have asked God for help and still nothing. We are at a loss, coming up empty regardless of where we look.

This key holds so many answers for us.

It is the key to Asher.


Asher is the easiest child I have ever parented, and I there have been many! He is so easy to please and very compliant. All we have to do is give him something to dangle and we won't see him the rest of the day. People would think having a child who is extremely easy to parent a good thing, but in the world of international adoption, this "easiness" has nothing to do with the child's personality and everything to do with his inability to leave the isolation he was accustomed in order to interact with the world around him.

When I first met Asher, he spent most of his day doing this:


But he had a lot of spunk. You can see it at the beginning of this video. The turning away and making faces.


This loss of 'spunk' is bothersome to me. Where did it go? Were the demands we put upon him just too much?

Still today, at 7 months home, he will spend most of his day doing this: (he's a little miffed here as to why I'm not telling him to stop like I normally do.)


But, as you can see at the end of the video he is easily stopped. I bet 30 times a day I go looking for him because he's hiding some where so he can stim undisturbed.

Every kid is so different. Axel came home CRAVING information. Asher? He came home happy to be in a family and to have a variety of things to dangle. If anything requires real thought - like learning to match colors - forget it. Not only does he have zero interest, but he just shuts down. And no, it's NOT too hard for him, he just doesn't WANT to. Keep in mind this is a boy who I can say, "Go get your shoes and your glasses." And he'll come back to me with his shoes, glasses AND socks because HELLO you don't wear shoes without socks Mom! He follows all kinds of directions. He is a very bright little boy.

We have discovered that if there are small kids around (developmentally 2-3 years old.) he becomes quite animated, making all kinds of sounds and very curious about what they're doing and wanting to participate. We don't have many of those kids around here. He has also started initiating communication. Signing "up" and making a noise to get me to pick him up. Signing "eat" and "more" when I'm eating something and he wants a bite, "shoes" when he wants to go somewhere, "all done" when he wants to be done with something.

A couple days ago, at 4:30 a.m. I decided that Asher isn't going to summer school. He would only be going for a couple of weeks before we leave for D.C., with teachers who don't know him (or the "rules" about hugging, etc.) and we'd just be handing him over to total strangers, reinforcing to him he can just go to anyone. Nope....all of that can do more harm than good at this point. And so the big kids with be headed off on 7:00 a.m. busses and Asher and I will be hanging out.

And while we're hanging out we will continue on the quest to find Asher's Key.

2 comments:

DandG said...

I think you are hinting at part of the key here:

"We have discovered that if there are small kids around (developmentally 2-3 years old.) he becomes quite animated, making all kinds of sounds and very curious about what they're doing and wanting to participate. We don't have many of those kids around here. "

Can you find any preschool "mommy and me" classes that would take him? The social interaction might be the catalyst you need.

Charlotte said...

Have you considered finding a 'mothers and toddlers' type group you could go to with him whilst Angela and Axel are at summer school? I'm in the UK, so don't know if you have set ups like that, but was thinking that then you would be with him, still parenting him, but he would be surrounded by peers who you say stimulate his desire to learn and engage?
Charlotte