Two sides of the same coin. With a knife edge in between. What fine balance is required to keep from tipping from one side to another!
Children are funny that way. One day they love something, the next day they hate it. More so with autistic children, who tend to get fixated with certain routines and rituals.
Little A used to just allow me to put on any clothes (apart from scratchy ones like denim) on him without really caring what they looked like. He'd look at the pattern on his t-shirt in the mirror afterwards, but only to see what it was he was wearing that day.
A couple of months ago, he started to complain and take his clothes off when we dressed him for school, and then go into his drawers and find the ones he wanted to wear. So we now have certain t-shirts that are worn over and over again, and lately he has shown a preference for grey - grey shorts, grey shirts, grey underwear.
While I know all children go through this clothes-choosing stage, I do want to get the other, non-preferred ite,ms, in rotation as well so we're now operating on a "You pick your top, Mummy picks your bottoms" or vice-versa. Today will be day two. Fingers crossed.
Then there's the school issue. First Little A hated it. Screaming, crying, refusing to let me leave his side. Then he grew to love it - pushing me out the door as soon as he walked into the classroom and refusing to go home when I picked him up. But after the Great Fall and Christmas holidays and now with new Shadow Teachers, he hated it again.
The first week was a flashback to two years ago - I had to sit next to him in the classroom, he clutched my hand tightly in his own while the other one paged through the book or played with the toy I'd handed him. He would cry when I moved further away to stand first near, then at, then outside the door, inching slowly down the corridor. My heart broke all over again leaving him there.
Thankfully he has adjusted quickly. The New Shadows, at their exorbitant rate, costing more per hour than the Old Shadow did per day, have track records to justify their prices, and I have to admit that they seem, so far, to be working. Two weeks later, Little A was less needy of having me with him in the classroom, more ready to be left alone. Again, fingers crossed.
We've set a parent-teacher-therapist conference for the last day of January. I have a program outlined based on Little A's age and IEP. We're in the crucial stretch now, the last year before he goes to "big" school. And we've got a way to go yet to get him ready. My sole wish for 2012 is that we succeed.