Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ethan's artwork

When you have a child with Autism/Asperger's, you never know when they will be set off.  Tonight, it was because Jonah wanted Ethan to play with him.

Jonah can play with Ethan 24/7, but sometimes Ethan just needs or wants to be alone.  He likes to get coloring books or activity books that I keep in a special cabinet for the kids...he'll set on the sofa or in the rocking chair and go through them.  He has a process...he'll get just one crayon, but preferably a marker or pen.  Then he'll go through the whole book, page by page, and make (usually) one single mark on each page on the right...never the left.  I've asked him about it, why he does that...he says he's "marking it."  I'm not sure what that means, but it seems to calm him down so I'm all for it!

But tonight, Jonah wanted a playmate and Ethan wanted to chill.  But because Jonah is 5 and unable to understand Ethan's "special needs" a tantrum of major proportions was held.  Ethan just can't handle that.  As his social group leader would say, "his stress thermometer reached the red end!"  As always, I try to make it better...hugs, kisses, talking things through...but Ethan doesn't really like hugs, he hates talking things through and he wipes every kiss away (they're too wet!).

I had a wide assortment of crafts supplies, scrapbooking materials, and construction paper on the kitchen table after helping Jonah make a turkey for school.  Ethan found his quiet spot in the kitchen, saw everything on the table, and let his creativity flow.  He made me bookmarks that said things like, "greetings from France.  <3 U" or one that looked like a postcard addressed "Dearest Mom."  He made pictures of polar bears climbing a hill with a full moon, and another one that was a Happy Birthday wish (although my birthday isn't until August!)  But the one that means the most to me is the one you see here (sorry it's sideways!).    It says "Thanks for takeing care of me!  For mom!  I <3 u with all my <3!  <3 U!"

This is now hung up in my kitchen, in a little niche where I have a variety of Ethan's artwork...some from when he was only 3!  I'm running out of room, and although eventually I'll have to take some artwork down, this will remain!  To me, it is an affirmation that no matter how angry he is at me, how many times I have to tell him "NO!" and he storms off, he really does love me.  And even if he can't tell me or show me the way Lindsey and Jonah do, I will be able to look at this wonderful expression of his love and be able to once again see into his heart.  That is something I will treasure forever!!

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