Our visit with Jamie was as ever a mix of wonderful and difficult. We picked him up from his home as usual and had a quick chat with his support workers – he had been fine that morning. His face when he sees us is just lovely – he knows what it means when we arrive and his is happy.
While we were in the car and driving to lunch, Jamie gave Andy the most amazing look – I have never seen him do anything like this before. It was totally spontaneous and I was lucky enough to catch him in the mirror. It was a look accompanied with a beautiful smile – a look of pure love. Andy’s comment was ‘no amount of money would buy that’. How special is that feeling?
BUT….. during his lunch Jamie was fairly anxious, he was pretty good though and ate well. After lunch we went as usual to the sweet shop so Jamie could choose something. He has a Mars Bar (his absolute favourite) as a treat for behaving well and can choose something else to take back home with him. He chose a crisp packet but decided to open them straight away. After he had eaten them he wanted to flap the packet. Jamie’s total fixation with paper means that everything is used as a ‘flappy’. Crips packets are ideal because they make a nice noise as well. But we don’t let himn flap paper because it winds him up and up until he blows and we have a major eruption. So Andy asked Jamie to give it to him, however Jamie was having none of it, even though he knows that this is not good behaviour. So Andy in the end had to take the packet from him and Jamie just started headbanging and biting his hand – he was very cross.
Andy, who was sitting in the back of the car with Jamie, ignored the behaviour, crossed his arms and pretended to be cross! Jamie seemed quite perplexed and stopped his outburst really quickly! He wanted Andy to rub his head (his favourite thing in the whole world is to have the back of his head rubbed!).
We found Jamie’s behaviour to be really interesting today – his awareness of his relationship with Andy seemed to be on a different level. Does he see Andy (his stepdad) as more of a special friend than a part of his family. He definitely behaves differently towards Andy than he does towards me – apart from anything else, Jamie’s eye contact with Andy is just so different – he really looks at him and holds a gaze. This does not happen with anyone else apart from to a lessor extent with his sister, certainly not with me.
Has Jamie’s development taken a step forward and he is now at a stage where he is able to recognise that people are different and he feels differently towards them? I mean, not just that he does treat people differently, because we know this. People have always had very special roles in his life – Andy and I have always told him we are there to keep him safe and to look after him. We think that he knows this is our role and we try to reduce his anxieties as much as possible. Does Jamie now care that Andy is (pretends to be!) cross with him and does it affect his behaviour?
It is such an interesting development this, and really the reason why I started this blog – I suddenly see changes in my boy, it is truly wonderful.I want to record these changes and share them with others who may find them useful and interesting .