It’s been a really busy week this week. We had Grandmas funeral on Tuesday and been seeing family this week. Then of course we had Easter and was exploring J’s sensory box. Those of you who read my ‘J’s journey update‘ post the other day will know that we’ve put in an application for our local special needs early years unit. It’s raised a lot of emotions in me and I have spent time reflecting on just how far J has come since we first raised concerns back when he was just one.
This photo of J helping with the cookie cutter is actually very meaningful to me. Usually when we try baking J just wants to play with the scales and tip stuff in then walks off. He doesn’t like the ‘mess’ and texture once the ingredients get wet and mixed up. Plus it’s no star wars or cars related so doesn’t hold his attention. However, on Saturday we used the pre mix that was part of his sensory box. As we everything was weighed out and ready it was quicker and less transitioning from one ingredient or one action to another. J tipped the mix in and added water (he wanted me to do the butter part, I think that was a step too far for J in terms of texture).
He helped to mix with the spoon and our sideboards and floor quickly turned very white and powdery, but there was lots of laughing. J was enjoying baking! I rolled the mix out and J was eager to use the cookie cutter. He was actually surprisingly good at spacing them out and not overlapping the patterns. We put the mix in the oven and went off to play Star Wars whilst they cooked.
When the cooker timer went off J ran into the kitchen. Luckily I beat him to the cooker, I swear he forgets what ‘hot’ means. Once the cookies were cool I made up the icing sugar mix. J had no interest in icing the biscuits, I think it was a bit too messy for him. So I added the icing sugar and J did the sprinkles…from a distance…with a claw hand to ensure no icing made contact…with a wet wipe nearby in case the sprinkles stuck to his hand.
BUT it’s all progress.
You see usually J would be a mile away from anything messy like this. He would have lost interest before they even made it into the oven. Just because J has a diagnosis of autism doesn’t mean his future is set as someone with ‘special needs’. Yes he’s going to a special needs school (if he gets a place), yes he has difficulties which need support and yes, his autistic traits do make life challenging but they make him who he is. There’s nothing to say any of this will stop him from doing great things and achieving beyond our wildest imagination. In fact all of this might be the key to driving J to greatness. He’ll get support in his early years unit that isn’t easily accessible in mainstream, his difficulties such as textures make him very creative at finding ways around things, and one his traits where he focuses on small details makes him observant and very good at understanding how things work. You put all these together and you have the makings for greatness.
LIVING ARROWS: The project originally took it’s name from a poem by Kahlil Gibran, “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth” and every Monday we share a moment from our week and invite others to do the same as part of this linky. (hosted by ‘What The Redhead Said’)