What we have here, folks, is a lack of progress.
Ok, maybe that's not entirely fair. We have continued, if incremental, improvements in eye contact, in ability to stay focused on a task, in ability to be redirected when James loses interest in whatever. We continue to have a wonderful giggle and a great penchant for smooches and hugs. All of these are wonderful, make no mistake.
What we DON'T have is talking.
In fact, we seem to be losing ground.
We still have "uh" for "up" (with arm gesture, of course), and "ba" for bottle and "ma ma ma" for "mama" and "mmmmmm" for "more" and "milk" and possibly also "moo" and "me". We very occasionally have "Da".
And that's it.
We have babble, but it seems less frequent to me. Our Speech Therapist is not worried, because when he DOES babble, it seems to be more purposeful - we both hear the cadence of language, like when little kids imitate French or Italian, even if we are not hearing words.
But other than that, we seem to be stagnating on a vast windless sea of speech, with nothing to interrupt the long monotony of the verbal horizon. (Gee, that was pretty. I'd edit it for being overblown but, hey, it's my blog and I like it.)
I am... dispirited.
I know this is a lifelong process, and I know our good fortune in having a kid who - if he has to be on the spectrum - is so affable and flexible is more good fortune than many (most?) who are dealing with this crap. So wishing that the bright shiny honeymoon feel of the beginnings of therapy, when breakthroughs seemed imminent each time someone came to work with him, seems ungrateful to me, unmindful of the good we DO have.
But I know I'm not. In fact, it's impossible to be, when you are greeted each morning by those crazy dimples and big turquoise eyes full of mischief. How can you not love the chance to be this kid's mom?
But - as his mom - how can I not also wish that things were different for him, that he could tell me all about what he sees and likes and wants and dreams? I don't wish he wasn't autistic, necessarily. That would be swell, don't get me wrong. But if he could stay exactly the Jamesy he is, only be able to TELL me about it... well, that... that would be something wonderful.
Something MORE wonderful.
Doldrums or not, he's still pretty damn wonderful as it is.