I sat waiting, getting more anxious by the moment but I had to wait it out. I didn’t hear the telltale sign in his voice of a meltdown so I waited, with my anxiety still going up. He wants me to answer him instantly no matter what I’m doing or what’s happening. I explain to him that I can’t always react or answer when he needs me to, that we have to be patient with each other and work together as a team. I want him to be able to respond with words that come from his voice instead of mine. I’ve always filled in his blanks hoping he would say the words but sometimes he still uses the exact words I would say to him. He wanted to go by “de windows” on our way home, one of his favorite buildings in our city. I had told him we would but he repeats everything, needing the comfort and my input. I remind him that we can talk about what he’s going to see or other parts of the activities that we will do but he doesn’t have a complete grasp on the art of conversation so I work with him on responses. When he gets anxious and I am either emotional or respond slowly he will repeat, “hi Owen” or some version of this trying to get me to respond quickly. We have practiced saying, “hi mommy” and other responses instead of his own name so I waited. He wanted to see the windows and I wanted him to ask to go. What seemed like days was maybe thirty seconds. I didn’t want him to have a meltdown but I wanted him to respond to me and tell me where he wanted to go. And then there were the words, his glorious words. He changed his words. He said them. He had been repeating “hi Owen hi buddy” and then he said, “hi mommy I want to see de windows pwease”. The victory dance was running through my mind. I told him yes we were going to see the windows and how proud I was of him for using his words. The victory celebration continued. It’s such an emotional journey because I want him to learn and grow but I also want to keep him calm and not cause meltdowns. He associates meltdowns with moments and I don’t want that to stop his amazing growth progress. Each step forward is a victory. Smile today, grow tomorrow and be happy. Smiles to all and donut daze!
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I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.