When a Door is not a Door

After raising four kids and homeschooling for five years, you’d thinkĀ  would have some parenting tricks up my sleeve. Which I do. I’m quite proud of all the trial and error I’ve gone through to get the tool box filled up.

And then came Max.

Though for the past few years I’ve disparaged that the things that worked with all the other kids, just don’t work with him. I’m slowly starting to realize why. And I’m slowly starting to figure out what works for my guy.

Today while talking with some Autism service people it really clicked into place to me just how unique Max is. We were discussing our boys and how they were so alike in that they could say just about every single letter of the alphabet, recognized numbers, spelled out words yet they didn’t talk. The ability is there but not the understanding.

For example, Max can spell D-O-O-R. He knows the shapes for each letter, the sounds, and says them in order yet “Door” has no meaning. He can’t equate those letters to mean the thing. “door” is not a door. I realized today that that is the opposite of how my other children learned. For them they understood the concept of “door” before they understood the letter combination that created it. For Max he understands the letter before the concepts.

I’m working on going around the house labeling things with the label maker. Trying to help him make that connection that the symbols he loves mean something.

This one little realization feels like such a big WIN to me. I “get” this part of my kid right now. Having a child that is closed off, reserved, silent is hard. I feel like a little door just opened into his world, I can barely contain the excitement as I peek inside.