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Increments of change

Autism Awareness Month is coming to a close. I always like to try and post something that folks might find useful. This year I'm going to muse about the increments of change.

There's this obvious phenomenon of how change isn't as apparent when you are living with it every day. It's that way you see your kid every day and don't think to much of their growth, but then someone who hasn't seen them in six months says, "Wow, they've gotten so big." And you measure them and low and behold they're 2 inches taller. You hadn't noticed because you see them everyday and the incremental change isn't apparent. Same thing with social skills and behavior development.

It is so difficult for us to assess how Ethan is growing and changing over time. People who haven't seen him in a while will often comment that he seems to be more at ease with conversation, that he's talking more, that he seems more mature. It's nice to get that perspective since we're living in the incremental day to day and can't see the change, and unlike height or weight, there's no real good measurement that we can do. I suppose someone else's perception is the best indicator.

My take away from all this is that parents of kids with autism should know that their children are growing, maturing, developing, maybe not at the rate of their peers, but they are advancing every day. The increments of change day to day are so small that we can't see it, but when someone outside your little circle comments, take it as an honest observation. They are progressing.