Well you all know we have this beautiful little 17 month (today!) old baby. I say baby, because compared to our Mr 10 at this age, he really is a baby. By 16mths, our older son was already talking clearly and stringing words together into coherent sentences. He knew all his colours, animals and their noises, shapes and was pretty close to knowing his alphabet! We now know of course that this is not ‘normal’. That’s cool, regardless of how ‘gifted’ or whatever Mr 10 is, he has other issues that stop him from reaching the potential of his big brain in the current societal constraints in which he lives! But back to Mr 17mths….
So Mr 17mths definitely says a lot of words and he’s a fantastic communicator. He gives you a few words and actions and points and makes relevant noises and with that information you basically get a whole story out of him. It’s kinda cool. However… he also does a whole bunch of stuff that Mr 10 never did. Like banging his head on stuff…deliberately…repeatedly! It’s crazy!
If you say, “no” or take something dangerous away from him, or him from it, he arches back and flings himself forward to headbutt whatever he is near! He’s headbutted the concrete steps at the back of our house, the kitchen bench, the floor, us, the dog, a tree, his high chair, the fridge, the pantry, the microwave, washing baskets, a guitar… you get the idea. This means that we are all on the lookout and worrying for his head. He has bruises all over his forehead and face from the things he butts. Crazy. We are working on not reacting big, just trying to remove him and put our hand in the way so he doesn’t damage himself. We say “no bang” because he also tends to fake the motion and say “bang” to let you know about it. We say, “if you bang, you will go to bed.” That worked for a while, he really didn’t like me putting him to bed after he’d headbutted something. I just hope it’s one of those phases we just have to get through.
Another crazy thing he does is launch himself headfirst around the place. For example if he climbs up something (an activity he does a lot, on anything and with great skill), he might just turn around, let go and dive off head first! Now he’s definitely not a “slow learner”. We keep getting comments when we are out about how clever he is and how many words he has and how quick he understands things… but really… we have to have someone follow him around continually with hands at the ready for when he decides to launch himself into dangerous positions! Let me tell you that is very hard work!
On the positive side, there are definite differences I can see in Mr17 mths which give us hope that he doesn’t have similar difficulties to Mr 10.
- He is definitely capable of self calming and when he decides to sit down, he can actually stay still. Mr 10 could never do that at any age, until he was medicated.
- He really listens to you when you give an instruction and he can actually follow a string of simple instructions through to a conclusion. Mr 10 still struggles with this.
- He loves cleaning up! He will pack up stuff he’s played with, wipe up stuff he’s spilt, get the broom out to sweep stuff. Naturally not always, and he’s not very effective at it yet, but he does it and that’s awesome! Mr10… not so much. Ever. This could just be a personality trait though rather than specifically connected to his ADHD or ASD.
On the whole, it’s really lovely having a baby again, but super duper hard work. Particularly at the moment when my husband is launching a new business and working late into each night and having to go away for work and conferences and what not. It means I’m on the go all day and sometimes a lot of the night too, but hopefully once the business is launched things will really settle down and we’ll all get a lot more time.
For now, enjoy some pics of my crazy boys!