The Russell Report
The past few months have been a very trying time. We've gotten over our illnesses, but now we have to deal with the changes in Russell's behavior over the past several weeks. I'm speaking primarily of the tantrums that he unleashes whenever we ask him to do something he finds objectionable, such as leave finishing his dinner or leaving a store.
I've heard of the "terrible twos", but Russell is now nearly four years old and he is still behind his peers in several aspects. Primarily, his language skills and ability to hold a conversation are severely lacking. He talks to himself often--typically repeating phases that he hears at school--but rarely initiates conversation with others. In terms of his social skills, Russell does not play with other children with the exception of Punky and one or two others. We understand that these behaviors are typical of autistic children.
But it is the tantrums that are the most frustrating. It is difficult to take him out in public because he will often refuse to go where we want him to go. Sometimes, he will just lie down in the middle of the street when he gets upset with something we say to him (like, "hurry up!").
In other aspects, he is clearly improving. The most obvious area of progress is potty training. Right now, all he needs to complete are wiping his tush and peeing standing up. He also appears to be able to read some books.
The pictures that I post of Russell appear to be that of a healthy, happy child. In general, this is correct. But in terms of his language and social development, Russell is not out of the woods yet.