This past year Brian had a regression. Though it seemed he came out of it as there were no more tantrums, I'd just be in denial to say he is back to where he was before he started kindergarten.
But during this same regression Brian did gain something- he has grabbed a hold of his freedom and he's not letting go. He's standing up tall and reaching developmental milestones that "typical" kids go through and parents may not be so happy about. It's just the simple task of knowing you can say "No". Knowing you can make your own choices. Knowing you are your own person.
Brian had many years of ABA. I won't say bad things about ABA because I know ABA was what helped him reach some cognitive levels as well as helped us so much with unwanted behaviors (self-injurous, running into parking lots, potty training). ABA worried me because I didn't want Brian to end up relying on certain cues and becoming robotic. I was a constant advocate for him to receive these services but for it to include free time, changing the cues often, absolutely no negative reinforcements, and lots and lots of hugs.
Though I can still see that Brian needs certain cues before he'll correctly respond to something he is certainly not robotic. It was like this light bulb went off in his head and he realized- "I don't have to do everything my Mom tells me to do!". I joke this is not a good thing, life is certainly easier for everyone when he just does what he needs to do. I'm not going to lie- it makes our days longer and it requires much more patience when I have to pull a hiding Brian out from his blankets as he is laughing because he thinks it's funny that he just left his folded clothes in a pile in the hallway. But I can't help to see the positive in this. My son has his own personality, he's not a robot, and he's (at this moment) just like a typical child.
I want so many things for Brian and I hope this lesson he's learned- that he has the freedom of choice- is something he remembers throughout his lifetime.
Happy Fourth of July everyone!