Autism Dad: Happy Birthday Ben, #8

We’re seeing improvement in Ben’s eye contact, concentration, and social engagement — the first real gains since Ben’s diagnosis at age 3. Yesterday was Ben’s 8th birthday. It was one I won’t soon forget. Over my lunch hour I surprised Ben at his classroom, discreetly handing him a pack of Starbursts and then giving him a not very discreet hug that nearly swallowed him. Later I saw him use a touc…hscreen computer (see pics). I can’t tell you how huge this is. The teacher explained that they’d tried for over 12 months, but Ben could not concentrate long enough to grasp the concept. This month, seemingly out of the blue, Ben has taken to the touchscreen computer, sitting still while he manipulates and moves objects across the screen. His teachers attribute it to the IPAD that he has been getting aquainted with at home. I watched later as he did an art project; he needed guidance from the teacher but he was unusually engaged, if distracted by my presence.
I hadn’t given up on Ben, but let’s just say this — I had adjusted my expectations and focused instead on just loving my boy. The gains he’s experienced seem like game changers. And they extend to the playground, where, with the encouragement of his little brother, Ben now attempts the monkey bars and climbs more confidently. For his birthday we are getting him a bike. Can’t wait to see him cruising around, feeling free. I am feeling a sense of possibility.
Have a great weekend!
This entry was posted in February 2012 and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Autism Dad: Happy Birthday Ben, #8

  1. Grace says:

    So much good stuff here! Happy birthday Ben!

    • Autism Dad says:

      I know Grace, it really has been a journey! And this recent progress, however small, is definitely one of those defining moments in the journey. Were you happy with the Giants victory?

  2. Stoked for you bro! Hang in there!

  3. cassiejean says:

    Wow. I am so excited for you and Ben, and it just touches my hearts to get to hear your journey. Thank you for sharing. I don’t always comment, but I always read every new post, and I just feel blessed to get to hear the story of a dad that really cares, tries his best, messes up and admits it, and still tries… There are so many stories of dads that just give up, and we need to hear more stories like yours 🙂

  4. carla says:

    amen, to cassiejean!!! It brought tears to my eyes. Eight is when big things start to happen , I remember my sons! !! Never give up and keep loving those two sons of yours!! carla

  5. What a great post. My twins have autism (they are 4) and I commend you for your posts and sharing your journey. I APPRECIATE IT.

  6. Christa says:

    you guys are my heroes! L&K, C

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