Poor quality cell phone selfie aside, this is one of my favorite pictures right now. Getting kisses from him on a regular basis is a relatively new thing, and I love it. He's never been one for much physical affection - hugs and kisses and just touching in general are not his thing. They overwhelm his already overwhelmed senses, and most of the time he'd just prefer that you not get in his personal space.
We recently started him on a medication, with the goal of helping him calm and focus and get through his day without getting so overwhelmed. It was a bit of a last resort. We are definitely not people to immediately turn to giving our kid a pill, but we felt like we had really tried everything else we could think of to help him, and he was just so overwhelmed by the end of the day that it was just so hard for all of us, and I was somewhat at my wits end.
So we agreed to give the medication a try. And I will honestly tell you, it has changed our lives. It has made a difference far beyond what we had ever expected. We expected that it should help him focus and do better in school. But we hadn't expected that it would make him happier, and more positive, and willing to try new things, and leave him with something left to give at the end of his day. He has much more interactive conversations with us, and can better articulate his needs, and copes with change and disappointment better. And most of all, I never in my wildest dreams thought that it would make him more affectionate.
I practically wanted to kiss the doctor at our follow up visit.
It's not a cure by any means, he's obviously still autistic and has all of the struggles that come along with it. But this seems to have taken the hard edge off some of his struggles just enough that he is not so overwhelmed. And by being less overwhelmed in general, he seems more willing to share and more willing to let us in to his world and into his personal space.
I think he notices the difference. And I know I do - to get hugs from him in the morning, and kisses goodnight every night, and often throughout the day when I ask - it makes my day, and makes all the struggles worthwhile.