>Maya has been doing an Art Class with a neuro-typical girl with an independent Art teacher. Maya really enjoys it, as Ms Rita the Art teacher has taught them some wonderful arts and crafts projects. I purposely did not mention Maya’s diagnosis to the teacher, as I wanted to see how Maya would cope with a new teacher whose teaching methods were for typical kids. I was very apprehensive how Maya would react to receiving instructions and whether she could follow the class. To me, the arts and crafts they did seemed far more sophisticated than Maya was used to.
It wasn’t just scribbling here, they had to paint within the line! They had to hold the paintbrush in the pencil grip! To my amazement, Maya was excited yet calm and listened carefully to the teacher’s instructions. She followed the design layout, chose the colors she wanted, she painted and cleaned her brush and blotted it just like the teacher asked. Her artwork came out amazing. Even more amazing, throughout the class, she was chatty with her friend and the teacher. She was having fun and was totally comfortable with the whole thing.
For the past 2 weeks during ABA, the therapists have been teaching Maya how to tell a story. This is to prepare her for her Speech and Drama class at her kindergarten. “Mummy, my favorite class is Speech and Drama!” she once said. Recently, she showed us how amazing her story telling abilities were. Maya told us a 4 minute story that was full of twists and turns, totally unscripted and all from her own imagination. Everyone was blown away, luckily I took a video of it. Otherwise I myself would not have believed it happened.
Last week, Maya came home from school and told me “Mummy, I love going to outer space. I can wear a spacesuit, I can be a pretend hedgehog and be a Space Hedgehog!” When I asked her what she wanted to do in space, she thought about it for a minute. “I’ll go to the moon to get cheese and biscuits” was her reply.
She had mastered some “Wh” questions such as Where is, what is and who is. However, the Why’s have been a bit slow to come by. Recently, she started asking Why questions left and right. When she saw me giving a syringe of medicine to Yasmin, she asked me “Mummy, why do you give Yasmin medicine?” When I said it was because she is sick, Maya asked me “Why is she sick?” I replied because she’s got a fever. And Maya asked “But why does she have a fever?” By this point, I totally ignored the principles of good parenthood and instead snapped at her to be quiet and go play elsewhere.
Yesterday, my mum told me of a conversation she and my dad had with Maya;
Maya – “Opah, who are you?”
My mum – “I am your grandmother”
Maya – “Why are you my grandmother?”
My mum – “Because I am your mummy’s mother”
Maya – “But why are you mummy’s mother?”
My mum – “Errr, why don’t you talk to Atok”
Maya – “Atok, who are you?”
My dad – “I’m your grandfather”
Maya – “But why Atok, why?”
Last month, our biggest issues with Maya was her anxiety and negative thought process. She would get extremely agitated when things don’t go her way immediately or if we wouldn’t give in to her requests. When extremely upset, she would start shouting and her voice would become high pitched again. We heard a lot of “I need it, I need it!!” and “You must do this, you must!!” from her. Maya’s anxiety level was at it’s highest that we have ever observed.
Maya also started to get obsessed with dark and scary stories. All her stories would end up being about spooky forests, evil witches and monsters. She fixated on the color black and wanted to paint everything black at art class. This was very worrying to Paul and I, as her negative thought process was getting more and more pronounced. Everyone commented on it, teachers, therapists, my parents and friends. We feared that she was going down a depressive road and that she would have a tendency for depression or bi-polar disorder in her teenage years.
She started having issues with getting dressed again. She would refuse to wear clothes, instead she would huddle naked on the floor after a bath, refusing to get dressed.
We changed her Cod Liver Oil to Evening Primrose Oil as this would help with anxiety. I reintroduced TMG after a short break because we had run out of stock and this brought about another burst of language in her. And just like before, TMG also caused her to tolerate wearing clothes again. We added 5-HTP as this would help with her anxiety issues. This past week, we noticed there were less anxiety and negative thought process. She is happily wearing different clothes. A couple of days ago, Maya talked on the phone to my friend. “Auntie Sherly, I like your wedding. I like to wear wedding veil. I had a party and we ate cake. Do you like to play dress up? I like playing dress up. I can wear a wedding veil and a ballerina tutu.” I finally put a stop to the conversation and told Maya that Auntie Sherly can’t talk to her anymore and she had to put down the phone. To which Maya asked “Mummy, but why??”