Thursday, September 9, 2010

Holiday Milestone Shows Progress in Journey from Autism

L'shanah tovah to all of our family and friends that celebrate Rosh Hashanah.  We had an early Rosh Hashanah celebration this weekend at Bubbe and Papa’s house, and it reminded me of the Passover Seder we had there this spring.

We have gone to Seders before, but Kai was too young to be interested in the ceremonial aspects, and too picky an eater to care much for the food.  But, this year, he was aware that Passover was coming up and wanted to celebrate it.

For a while there, it looked like we would be out of luck, as we knew no one who was planning on having one.  But, when Bubbe heard that Kai was interested, she threw one together for us.

She had booklets for everyone that presented the Seder in 20 steps.  As you’ll recall, Kai loves numbers so anything that has numbered steps is a big hit with him.  From the time the candles were lit in step one, he was sitting with rapt attention.  As we went through step by step, he got more and more excited. 

He liked that he got to drink a little cup of wine, (ahem, cranberry juice) four different times, and had fun with the kids’ set of representations of the Ten Plagues that Bubbe got for him.  He also had fun searching for the afikoman (and we used gluten-free crackers for matzo). 

But, he also listened respectfully during the various blessings that were given.  And, he helped ask the Four Questions.  I don’t know how much he understood about the symbolism of the different elements of the Seder plate, but by the end of the evening, he knew what each element was. 

And, when it came time to sing Dayenu, Kai led the way, boisterously singing the chorus. 

He enjoyed the Seder so much, he wanted to do it again the next night.  And so, we did. 

Holidays are a good occasion to note the progress in your child’s development. Coming only once a year, it is easier to compare the change from the previous year than on ordinary days.  This Passover was unlike any other before, and showed that Kai has made great progress on his exodus from the effects of autism.

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