He answers questions now, which has made a tremendous difference in all of our lives. Today he was playing downstairs while I was upstairs cleaning. He came upstairs and said "Mama, I need help please." Keep in mind that eight months ago he couldn't talk at ALL. This is a huge accomplishment in itself. I asked what he needed and the best he could do was "downstairs," so I went down with him. He wanted me to carry his Little People garage upstairs for him, and he pointed to it and said "Mama take upstairs please."
We went to Target today and I bought him a car, and we made it through the entire store with no tears or shouting whatsoever. Later we went to WalMart and I explained to him that we were not buying any toys and he didn't even whine. Again we made it through the entire shopping trip, very busy on a Saturday evening, with zero tears. On the way out the greeter gave the boys stickers and she asked him to smile at her. I took a deep breath and prepared for the inevitable screaming and hurt feelings. He doesn't like me to talk to anyone, he gets always gets upset. So I told her "He's autistic so he isn't even going to make eye contact with you," but I did at least get him to say thank you. Turns out she has two autistic neices and a bunch of connections to advocacy groups and parent groups. She wrote down a bunch of information for me and gave me her phone number. She was a little chatty and 1DS never got upset at all. The little guy got a little impatient, but the big boy was calm and quiet and cool. Not an easy feat for him.
Days like today are the reason I can make it through the mud and the blood and the tears and the head smashing. This is my life and I love my kids with everything I have, even when I want to take my earplugs and lock myself in the bathroom for an hour. I wouldn't have it any other way.