Here's an amazing update on what Miss Thing here can do that she absolutely could not do before.
1. Drink from a straw. Why is this a big deal? It's a fine motor skill, believe it or not, on par with being able to drink from an open cup, or blow bubbles, or air through a recorder. All of these things Ellie has mastered in the last 6 weeks. Her brain is on overdrive in this area. Thank you, Goddess Danielle of OT.
2. New phrases that pay:
Mom, will you play with me? (Yes. Anytime, anywhere).
Looks like Emma is upset. (Ellie was able to recognize the expression on another child's face and interpret it. Very difficult for kids on the spectrum. Some Asperger kids never do it. It's not intuitve for them. This also makes teaching empathy hard...we just need to model, model, model.)
I would not like to try carrots. (Okay then.)
Helen, will you play microphone with me? (Inviting another child to play in her space is not an Ellie thing. Interacting with other kids is hard work. But Helen got the nod, even above precious little baby sister Emma.)
I would like more cold water in my big girl cup. (You got it).
3. Ellie now can be gently redirected to another adult besides me for assistance. Before, if I couldn't help her with a task, it was throw herself on the floor, cry, run around. Now it's, Daddy, again please Gabba. No tears, no upset. Love it.
4. She knows, as in the photo above, that a smile is requested for a picture. She's really trying. She plays Funny Faces in the mirror and tries to see how her face looks in different positions. Again, not intuitive, but so, so valuable socially.
5. SHE HANGS AROUND THE KITCHEN AND BUGS ME TO ACKNOWLEDGE HER. You have no idea how great it is to have your child want you to come into her world when she hasn't done it for almost four years. I can't always drop everything but I sure wish I could. She is trying to carry on conversation--back and forth, turn taking, you go and then I go. The effort she is making is amazing.
What works? Therapy. Therapy. Lots of it. Hard work. Cutting out people who aren't supportive. Really knowing your child. It's all for this. These moments I have waited for all my life.