As I mentioned last week, we had a very good time visiting my parent's house with the boys a few weeks back. I know changing locations and not having Daddy around is always difficult on Ayden, but he really did very well. We had a couple of very exciting things that really may be a highlight for me when thinking about Ayden and his progress this summer.
First,we attended our hometown summer fest. To say this is sensory overload for Ayden may be a small understatement. Loud music, lots of people, high noise levels....it's one of those types of things we usually avoid with Ayden because often times it ends in a lot of screaming and meltdowns! We decided to try it this year though. I know, I know...you other FX moms are cringing right now knowing what this usually leads to. We had a decent location since my parents are directly across the street from downtown, so it was easy to just leave if it got to be too much. We did our "trial run" before the BIG show on Saturday with the waterball tournament. Waterball is kind of like tug of war, but you have a ball on a string that you shoot with a fire hose to get to the other team's "goal". It's a lot of spraying water...and since both the kids love that I figured it'd be a good mix even wth the crowds and noise. I was not disappointed! Ayden did FANTASTIC walking over just holding my hand and enjoying the water/spray in-spite of the large crowd and dogs around us. The best part of the whole thing was he came up to me and told me he was all done! He signed all done, then asked to be picked up. We pushed him a bit after that so little brother could look at race cars and the train on the way home, which did cause some screaming, but overall it was a big WOW for us and such a huge improvement for Ayden. Saturday went much the same while we walked the car show, except Ayden sat on daddy's shoulders and just relaxed and had a good time. I was so happy and proud of him!!
Second, I should explain with this next one that Ayden has some severe texture issues. By severe texture issues, I mean he has a difficult time even walking down a sidewalk that changes from cement to brick. Walking on grass has not even been an option until just recently, and even then it's with a specific purpose like "I'm getting my toy". He also has issues with things he touches, such as tennis balls, play-doh, etc. Anything different really. We have to work a long time to get him touching other objects that don't fall into his normal everyday textures. The other thing he's had a problem with is dogs. He had a dog scare him when he was about 18 months old and since then it's like been a lot of meltdowns for him to even see a dog. This has slowly been improving thanks to a couple dogs, namely my parents and our friend's dog who are both very well trained and great with the kids. So, how is this all relevant? Ayden, multiple times over the time we were at my parent's house went outside, on the grass, and was throwing a tennis ball around to their dog which he then chased around. And he was smiling. And having FUN. Without being prompted. It seems like such a simple thing, but it is HUGE with Ayden. Just one of those things would be a big step for him, but all together....it was amazing to watch. He even picked up the tennis ball when it was slobbery.
He just did so well the entire time we were there. I love that we are finding that balance for him and being able to go out and for him to enjoy himself. Watching him be anxious and scared of things most kids enjoy has always been so difficult on us, but now we're enjoying each second that he improves.
I do have some fantastic pictures to share, and will post them later on. I haven't even had a chance to pull them off my camera we've just been so busy.