An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Happy New Year! (plus, a new story on David)

Happy New Year everyone! 🙂  I hope everyone had a fun time celebrating and have plenty of reasons to look forward to a fresh start and a new year.

With me getting sick again and struggling with recovery, and then injuring myself on top of it, I haven’t been as active on here as I used to be and even missed out on getting some planned posts in that I really wanted to do.  Things like random stories and moments with the kids, our list of things we are thankful for from our Thanksgiving dinner, an official Christmas post, and the end of the year review/celebration like I did last year, etc.  As much as I want to say I will just do them all now and catch up, I know my health is still on the weak side so that isn’t as feasible right now as I wish it was so we will just be trying to pick up and go from here.

I would like to start off the year by telling you all of an accomplishment of David’s that both he and I are pretty proud of him for.  Yesterday (New Year’s Eve), we had stopped by Taco Shop for lunch with a gift card we had.   The boys must be getting ready to grow again though because their normal meals were not enough to fill them up this time.  Instead of getting up and ordering more for them myself though, I decided to let David try again at placing his own order for him and his brother.  Something we’ve been working on together on and off for about a year now as he has shown interest and enough courage to do so.  To prepare him, I handed him the gift card and wrote a small note for him to hand to the person at the counter with the order details on it to help serve as a backup.  Then, we practiced together what to do and what he could expect and would need to say in reply.  After a few rounds of this, I let him head on up and get in line, while I waited at the booth because David insisted on being given a chance to do this by himself.  I could still see him the whole time and definitely kept an eye on him for safety and the workers know us there so were helping with this too so he could have this chance.

I am really proud of him too because he not only bravely spoke up when it was time and remembered to look at the person while talking (no eye contact, but he at least faced her which I tell him to do so he can be heard better).  He didn’t get the order right completely, but he did remember to hand her the note I had written when he handed her the card so that worked out too. 🙂  12-31-2013The part I am most proud of though?  He waited!  David encountered a small line when he got up there which made me nervous because he doesn’t typically do well in lines as he doesn’t always remember what to do and he isn’t that great about respecting people’s personal space either.  One of the things we practiced though before I sent him up though was waiting until it was his turn before he went up to the counter and I repeatedly reminded him that it’s not his turn yet until there is no one left standing in front of him.  He remembered!! 😀

The picture above is one I snapped the second time he went up (yep, he decided he wanted more again lol).  He had one person in front of him this time, but remembered to not only wait, but stay back too without me having to prompt him. 🙂  So proud of my little guy. : )  He was proud too.  He ran back to me after succeeding with such a huge grin and so much excitement.  And his face beamed with pride as he carried the food back to the table as well.

With David, one can never tell when something will stick or when a concept will only be grasped for a fleeting moment, so there is no way of knowing right now if he will be able to do this well and this independently again next time we go out.  For me though, it is still something to celebrate that he succeeded this round.   David has been pretty disconnected lately and also has been stimming a lot, but for this one afternoon, on this one day, for this one short moment, things were all lining up for him and he was right there in the moment with us and showing great progress.   Even if it doesn’t happen again immediately, I still see it as a good and welcomed sign that we are on the right track. 🙂



  1. Anonymous

    Way to go David. Very proud of you.

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