A follower of this blog and mother of two children on the spectrum asked me if Emma used an ipad. I wrote about Emma’s ipad last fall for both this blog as well as the Huffington Post, so in responding to her email, I reread both those posts. The one for Emma’s Hope Book is entitled Emma and Lists. What struck me was how far Emma has come since then. I looked at the date – September 24th, 2010 – and while yesterday I was feeling a bit discouraged with Emma’s ongoing struggles with handwriting, I cannot help but feel incredibly optimistic with her progress after reading those posts. It’s funny how rereading something I’d written less than a year ago can have such an impact, but it has.
Emma has certainly come a long, long way. In the post “Emma and Lists” I write about how when I am feeling a little sad or discouraged I make lists. I go on to recount my current lists, (hopes) for Emma. “Help Emma with Reading,” “Help Emma with writing,” are two such items. I remember when I wrote that post, thinking that these were dreams, perhaps dreams I might not ever see accomplished. And yet, here I am in July of 2011 and not only are both these dreams coming true, but so are others that I hadn’t even thought to put on my list. Things like: beginning math concepts, writing in full sentences, learning to type, following three and four step commands. These are all things Emma is in the process of learning.
I will try to remember to take a photograph of Emma’s handwriting this afternoon. She is coming along. She is learning, she is progressing. It’s easy to forget, though. I forgot that last September I could only hope Emma might one day learn to read and write. That she is now doing so is remarkable and wonderful. Last fall we were still riding on the wave of our success with having finally gotten her out of diapers at night. We were still struggling with getting her to sleep through the night. I’d forgotten all of that. It seems so much longer than ten months ago. It feels as though years have slipped by.
I haven’t dared dream for awhile now. But rereading those posts reminds me of how important it is to have dreams, for ourselves, for our children.
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, and to see how far she’s come in one year go to: www.EmmasHopeBook.com