Thursday, September 27, 2012

Joint Attention

Boy Wonder, age 2 years 1 month, presents with a complete lack of joint attention.
Boy Wonder's Initial Evaluation 
November 9, 2007

One of the best things about parenting small children, ya know other then the whining and your pants being a walking tissue, is seeing the wonder and laughter in their faces when they experience things for the first time and their little faces looking back at you to see if you are seeing and experiencing what they are experiencing.  That type of connection with your child is what every parent expects but when you have a child with autism those moments are hard to come by. They are focused inward. You fight your way into their world and try to bring them out to your world. You wait for that connection and in our case we waited years. 

While not a daily occurrence, joint attention does happen more and more with Boy Wonder. We took all of them to the Bronx Zoo on Saturday.  They had a Dora and Diego 4-D short film exhibit about a robot butterfly. We were hesitant to take Boy Wonder in. Would he keep the glasses on? Would he vocal stim loudly to the point of annoying other people? Would he just flip out and need to be taken out quickly? We looked inside the theater. It wasn't even a quarter of the way filled. We decided to sit in the front row with Boy Wonder and Big Daddy positioned near the exit. Boy Wonder decided he'd sit on his Daddy's lap.  As the lights went down we put the 4-D glasses on him and Dora and Diego sprang out at him and he laughed, his big delicious belly laugh. He watched the butterflies come dancing onto the screen and reached out to touch them and then he looked over at me to see if I was watching and laughing too and when he saw I was laughing,  he laughed harder. That connection is all that more meaningful because it's been an uphill battle and we are rewarded with the sweetest victory.


  1. Laughter. Best reward ever.
    Love this.

  2. What a beautiful experience! :)

  3. LOVE belly laughter. It's priceless.

    Love you and LOVE THAT BOY!