Today I watched as Connor casually waved "hi" to several strangers when they said hello to him. And when they asked him if he was having a good day, he nodded his head. When they cooed over how cute he was, he smiled at them. And when I told him it was time to go, he waved "bye bye" without prompting.
This is the kid who as recently as two months ago told pretty much every single person who tried to spontaneously interact with him something along the lines of "No. Don't like, go away." When did he decide to not only actually tolerate people he doesn't know, but to be friendly and interact with them? I'm staggered by how much he's changed in just the last few weeks.
This is a major development for him. I think a lot of it has to do with the social interactions he gets at school. Certainly he's more interested in other children now-- and not just to tell them "No!" if they try to play with his toys. I think that part of it is not having little tiny seizures all the time; he's not missing out on a lot of social interactions with people and is able to respond appropriately because he can figure out what's going on. Also he doesn't have to spend all his time and energy just keeping himself from being totally overwhelmed. It makes me happy to see him interact with others on his own because I really would like him to have those meaningful human connections with people other than his family and his medical and education support teams. Right now he's able to win people over just because he's so darn cute regardless of what he's saying and so he can be antisocial if he wants to, but what about when (God willing) he's twenty? Cuteness only goes so far.
So this is a huge step towards independence for him-- just him being willing to interact with people makes the job of teaching him how to communicate so much easier on me. Yay Connor!
20 hours ago