The Summer of Octopus

I’m calling it that because she starting saying “octopus” this summer – it was one of the first things she’s said where she could say it randomly and we would recognize it and respond ❤

I feel like I haven’t written anything of substance in forever. I’m always rushed from one moment to the next, never even a moment to truly relax. This Summer has been INCREDIBLE, my favorite so far. I honestly can’t believe how far Lila has come over the past year (especially the last 6 months).

She went from not being able to set foot outside, to playing outside gathering leaves/grass/flowers, jumping on the trampoline, and playing in the pool. That in and of itself is nothing short of a miracle, folks. She’s expressing herself verbally in so many more ways than she ever has previously; it’s humbling to watch. Greeting us with “Hi!”, “Hello!”, “Heeeeyyy!”, and saying “Bye!” –not just as echolalia; but actually using them in the correct context. It’s amazing. She gives us high fives! She will TRY to say almost anything at home now. She doesn’t have any anxiety about it at home around Bill and me.

Instead of intensive, clinical ABA we’ve gone the floor-time route with Lila – all sorts of floor-time/play therapies, including bits and pieces of many different models including RDI and TEACCH. Watching her continue to blossom and grow WHILE enjoying our therapeutic interactions is worth everything. She trusts us – she seeks out eye contact, wants to play, etc. She has come SO far from 15-month old Lila, who would act like we didn’t exist.

WE’VE come a very long way as well! From terrified parents of a newly diagnosed kiddo – to not only attempting  to understand her autism, but embracing it. She’s autistic, and perfectly so. If she wasn’t autistic she wouldn’t be our Lila. I’m really enjoying the time we’re in right now – because as always, things change. She starts school again in two weeks, and I can’t wait to see what’s next!

Current Positives:

  • Too Many to List
  • Her speech is continuing to get better and better, she’s definitely using her voice more than she ever has before
  • She has STOPPED needing the “First, Then” countdowns and once I start them, she will sometimes just come over, prompt me to go to “No More!”, then we just do whatever the next activity is. She’s not needing all of that time to readjust. She’s done this in the past week both with the transition to bath, and the transition to bed. Big girl!


Current Challenges:

  • Patience
  • Being Bossy and Throwing a Tantrum (sometimes violent) when she doesn’t get her way (I’m pretty sure that’s a typical 4-year old challenge! *high five*)
  • Public Outings still extremely difficult for the most part. Continuing to get out in public regardless.


Funny Story:

One of the things we’ve been working on is dinner time. She doesn’t have to sit at the table (she can if she wants) – but Mommy & Daddy have to finish eating before we can all play. “First we eat our dinner, then we can play”. She’s had a really tough time with it, but is getting better. Little Miss Smarty Pants last night: we were eating dinner, told her we were eating but could play as soon as we were finished. She comes over to me and says “diker?” (diaper). So I immediately got up to go change her. Guess who’s diaper was dry as a bone! LOL She knew that would be the one thing I would get up for – she’s an extremely smart cookie 😉



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