“I see the bill,” the man next to me grumbled as we sat in the waiting room, both dropping off our kids at day treatment. “But I don’t know if I see any results or not.”
I nodded. That sounded familiar. Bills for therapy sessions and receipts for higher grocery bills have been piling up for us for months. And like him, I’m constantly wondering about results, too.
As we talked, our kids were head-to-head, both bent eagerly over an iPad racing app. Logan was grinning from ear to ear as he watched Andre play, and Andre looked quite proud to explain to Logan how he was beating the level. Maybe that’s a sign of success right there, I thought–social interaction, sharing a combined interest, taking turns–would these things have happened without day treatment or diet?
It’s easy to miss moments like this because they’re so small, so normal. It’s much easier to measure against every night at 8 p.m. when Logan has his meltdown that I have to put Sadie to sleep first or that he can’t use his old type of toothpaste anymore. It’s much easier to remember him running through the kitchen yesterday afternoon babbling “ba-ba-be-do-goo-goo” or whatever nonstop, nonsensical baby talk it was.
I was trying to cook, my weekly challenge, and even though this recipe for curried quinoa was super simple, it was impossible for me to do with Sadie crying every two minutes that Logan had taken one of her toys and Logan running around babbling. Seriously, I don’t know how women get anything done with kids in the house. Luckily for me, while I put on my referee hat and shuffled between sending Logan to time-out and assuring Sadie she didn’t need to scream bloody murder over a tipped-over dollhouse, my husband stepped in to finish the recipe.
Curried Quinoa (from the Body Ecology Diet book)
- 1-2 tbsp. ghee
- 1 tbsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 2 medium onions, diced (I only used one, and even that was a lot)
- 2 cups cooked veggies (I just used frozen peas)
- Melt ghee in skillet
- Add curry and sea salt
- Saute onion
- Add other cooked vegetables and saute for several minutes
- Add quinoa and adjust seasonings.
I added garlic, and Jason cooked the quinoa in chicken broth instead of water, too. I actually think it’s the most delicious dish I’ve had in a long time–and even Logan ate it! If we measure success by looking at the small things, I suppose I’d have to say I’m progressing as a cook, too.
Yesterday at the park I was given another measuring stick of progress: as Logan rode his bike in circles on the basketball court and I pushed Sadie in the swings, a van drove up and parked. A boy, a teenager from the look of his height, ran toward the big toy. But his face argued a younger age; it registered pure joy rather than the nonchalance of a teen. His gait, too, seemed almost choppy and he ran with his arms held out at the sides, which is just how Logan runs.
When he reached the big toy, he confirmed what I’d guessed–he was clearly on the autism spectrum. He started grunting, loud, deep grunts, and planted himself down on his knees. He continued grinning and grunting as his mom walked up, sat by him and gestured to the slide and the swings. I could tell she was trying to interest him in something other than just tracing the pattern of the metal climber.
But the boy was clearly excited, clearly enjoying the warm sunshine of the lovely day. It made me happy that he was able to enjoy the park–that except for us, it was empty, without the older kids and tweens who are usually there. I don’t know that they would have made fun of this boy, but I kind of suspect they would have. He was different–very different–and had I not spent the past year reading about autism, I’m sure I wouldn’t have understood his grunting noises as his way of communicating joy. I probably would have been a bit nervous by his differences, too.
Logan is far from grunting to communicate, and I think he has probably always been much more higher-functioning than the boy at the park was. But it reminded me of when he was 2, just over 2, and still not talking but grunting and pointing to communicate. Whether it’s from therapy, diet or simply Logan himself, we have seen a great measure of success.