Monday, April 03, 2006

Rainy Days and Mondays

Punky lets out a hearty yodel Posted by Picasa

As I stop exercising and eat more, my double chin grows ever larger (Russell doesn't seem to notice, though) Posted by Picasa

Punky rides on the Rocking Doggie Posted by Picasa

Russell checks the fluid level of the Rocking Dog Posted by Picasa

We haven't really done much the past month. As you may be aware, the Bay Area had a record 24 days of rain in March. This washed out virutally every weekend. We've been spending most of our free time at home, playing with the boys and watching new videos, such as 'The Lion King' and "Aladdin'. The highlight of these past two weekends were trips to the local toy store, Toy Safari, which the boys enjoyed very much.

I want to clear up any impression that you might have of Russell as an out-of-control kid. He is a very good boy who has trouble communicating with others due to his autism. As a result, he gets quite frustrated at times and this often results in a tantrum. He seems to have no trouble letting us know when he is hungry or has to go to the bathroom. It's just when he wants to get something out of the ordinary done, his communicative skills often aren't enough to get his point across. He also speaks in a whisper which makes it hard to hear what he is saying.

Punky does not seem to have the same trouble as Russell. At 20 months old, he is already talking and knows his alphabet. Jenny swears that he understands most of what she is saying. Punky also throws a tandrum every now and then, but he is generally less maintenance than Russell. Give Punky a bottle of milk or a cookie, and he is happy as a clam.

We realize that a setback does not necessarily indicate an overall trend. Russell has come a long way in the past year, and we need to understand that his recovery will take time. This past Saturday, we attended an Autism conference at Children's Hospital in Oakland. We already knew most of what was discussed, but found that many children have worse symptoms than Russell. His condition is considered quite mild, so his outlook is a lot more optimistic than many others. We're grateful that he is generally healthy, but of course we wonder why he cannot catch up more quickly. I am going to take things one day at a time and try not to let things get to me.


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