Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eye Contact, Priceless!

As you may or may not know, when GP was young and very much non verbal we thought he was deaf. We didn't know he was autistic, we just thought he couldn't hear because A. He didn't speak and B. He didn't look at us when we called him. Little did I know that was just one of the first signs that something was amiss... Well, GP could hear us just fine. He just didn't want to look at us because eye contact is just not something that autistic children are comfortable with.
To this day, I am constantly reminding GP to "Look at Mom"...
it goes something like this:
Mom, "Gene Paul did you find your belt?"
GP (looking around)"mumble,mumble..."
Mom" Gene Paul, did you find your belt? Eyes to Mom!"
GP, "Yes, I have it on!" (as if I can see it under his untucked shirt, duh!)
And so it goes, it's like a sentence that signifies, "Social interaction is required". It's as if he totally forgets to look at you when he speaks, even when HE initiates the conversation!
It's like "Yes, I was talking to you eventhough I was looking the other way and speaking softly...what? You didn' get that?" LOL!
While at the beach earlier this week I called him (Blackberry in hand, ready to snap his picture) and when I said "Gene Paul" He lifted his head and looked straight at me, and smiled . I think my heart skipped a beat. I can't believe I actually snapped the picture. He looked straight at me without a prompt. This is sooo rare, and I am so grateful for this small blessing.
Eye contact, it tells me that he hears me. It tells me that he sees me.
It tells me "I am here, Mom."
Eye contact, positively priceless!

32 comments:

Nancy said...

you gave me shivers... My niece has a 13 month old that is undergoing tests for metabolic problems. I think he is leaning toward Autism...
but don't really know enough about to voice my concern...

Sue said...

This picture is priceless! So thankful you shared it with us:)
It made me smile :D

Jennifer @ Stitchin' Thyme said...

What a beautiful photo, thank you for sharing this priceless memory. A childs love - beautiful!

Needled Mom said...

A priceless and beautiful picture!

Kaaren said...

My heart is melting for you and GP, Brenda. We don't realize just how much we take for granted until we hear stories like this one.

Bless you both.

Sheila said...

I'm such a sap! Tears in my eyes and my heart filled with joy for you Brenda! He is a very handsome young man and I am so glad that you captured those beautiful brown eyes and shared them with us.
Blessings~
Sheila

cockermom said...

What a wonderful picture! Thank you for sharing such a special moment, he has beautiful eyes!

Sandi said...

Very sweet, Brenda. What a treasure the photo is because you know the meaning behind those eyes.

Dawn Heese said...

Congrats on your wonderful milestone. May you have many more!

Marie said...

GP your one in a million and you make us all smile and very happy. Thanks Brenda for sharing your amazing young man with us!!Hugs, Marie

Lynn @ Painting Thyme Needfuls said...

Tears of happiness for you Brenda. You are an awesome Mom......I am constantly in awe of all you have done for GP.......and how far he has come...it takes a SPECIAL Mom to have to have a SPECIAL child like GP...God knew what he was doing when he blessed your life with GP .....he is precious....and those eyes looking back at you say it all.
BIG HUGS,
Lynn

Sweet P said...

What a great photo of GP! He is one handsome young man.

Whimsey Creations said...

Absolutely! And what a great picture - thanks for sharing.

Red Geranium Cottage said...

You just gave me chills.That is the sweetest thing. He's adorable. And he's so lucky to have a caring mom like you. Your awesome Breanda.

STITCHINPRIM said...

Brenda:
Your GP is priceless and the photo with the beautiful eyes says so much.. I think I told you I have a great grandson who is autistic and he is slowly showing some progress with eating habits.. He is a precious little boy.. well, not so little any more.. He is 13 and a blessing..
GP, you are a handsome young man..
Blessings,
Maurine

Angela said...

Milestones. What makes waking up worth it some day. Just the hope of something small that is really so huge happening and we do not want to miss it! :o) Your son is beautiful.

Barb said...

That is just soooooooooooooo sweet...you are right, it is moments like that that makes it all worthwhile. I know it is hard for you but what a wonderful mom.

WoolenSails said...

What others may see as a problem is really a way to enjoy and appreciate every moment with your child. You are both blessed by each other.

Debbie

trash said...

Look at those gorgeous eyes. I knew there was a reason he became my 'new boyfriend'!

Life really is about recognising the hugeness of those small moments.

Laura said...

You're right Brenda:
this is really a priceless moment!! The picture is really nice and I'm sure you will keep it like a little treasure.
Thank you for sharing with us this wonderful moment and I wish you this is the beginning of thousands & thousands of PRICELESS EYE CONTACT with your little Prince!!
:)

Denise :) said...

I'm so glad you shared that precious moment with us. Thank you! :)

Patty said...

Beautiful eyes your boy has. Progress, baby steps he's moving forward. Yay!

Have you ever watched the movie Temple Grandidn? I'm sure you've heard of her she has designer the holding pens for most of the slaughter house in this country and I believe she has a PHD and yes, she is autistic. I know she has written at least one book.

Met Naald en draad op Bonaire said...

Wouw, tears in my eyes,what a precious moment and I'm happy for you. You must have a lot of patiens or is it patience but it works. Marjan, Bonaire Netherlands Antilles

Donna said...

You are the perfect mama for GP. I teach the inclusion kindergarten at my school and often have autistic little ones. They are often my favorites...smart, funny, and their own person. Eye contact is a bonus! I had 2 last year and one was a cuddler...sweet!
Thanks for sharing the adventure with us.

Sharon (Stitches on Mars) said...

Hi Brenda,
Priceless indeed :)
Hugs, Sharon

SheilaC said...

What beautiful eyes your handsome son has!!

Your picture is wonderful, I hope you print and frame it :)

SheilaC

Carrie P. said...

That is just so precious. I am so happy for you.

Nancy said...

You may tell Gene Paul I think he is very handsome and had THE most beautiful eyes! Bless you both!

quiltdolls said...

Having an autistic son who is 18. I know how you feel. When you get a look from your autistic child it is like yeh, 10 x over.

kim from san diego.

Sheri Howard said...

Yes, priceless and so handsome!!!

Cathy said...

This is just a reminder that the littlest things in life that we take for granted is nothing to take for granted! God bless your love and spirit to share your precious family!

zulĂș said...

I've arrived here looking for patchwork and then I met the eyes of your son
Sometimes life is hard but also has magical moments
thanks for sharing yours
M.