This is an update on our sweet and spunky Elizabeth, at twenty-nine months old. She is more than likely autistic and has a pretty substantial speech delay and sensory issues which cause serious meltdowns but is otherwise healthy.
She recognizes and names many letters of the alphabet and every number from 1-9. She likes doing an alphabet puzzle and lining up foam letters/numbers.
She gets very upset when her ten month old baby sister, Isabella, complains or cries. She says “Oh, okay?! Sorry!” and usually starts crying. She is assured that Izzy’s alright.
I am changing her shirt in the morning now but I don’t change her pants unless we’re leaving the house (we’re working up to it). We follow changing her shirt with brushing hair and teeth which has seemed to help her accept getting dressed without going somewhere.
She has started playing with her seven year old brother, Samuel. She guides him around by the finger or follows along as he leads their play. She will play on the slide or the trampoline with him for a long time.
She is frantic and screams with fear when Isabella crawls in her direction. She is corrected and encouraged to stop, most of the time she does but sometimes she has to go to time out.
Time out is still very effective. It’s in her crib and lasts about two minutes. Sometimes she screams and other times she is pretty calm but when I go back in the room to get her, she has recovered and no longer screams about whatever set her off.
She is able to repeat new words about 60% of the time.
She lines up a lot of her toys. From her dollhouse people and pretend food to flash cards and trains, she likes lining things up.
She still does a lot of side glancing and closing her eyes to avoid eye contact. She’s usually smiling while doing both.
She will not let us read to her except from the two Lulu books. She enjoys sitting in my lap to look at four animal books, pointing and identifying everything (or wanting me to) but not reading.
She has started copying my behaviors. When I sit at the table with my laptop, she goes and gets her laptop (a Chromebook that we don’t use anymore) and sits next to me with it. When I eat a burger, she wants one.
She has refused riding in a stroller for months (screaming wildly and fighting physically) but I bought a new stroller for Isabella a few weeks ago and I tried Elizabeth in it last night and she accepted it! Got right in and was happy.
She loves playing with rice and lentils in the sand table we have. She scoops and pours into different containers and most of the time keeps everything in the table. When she becomes bored, she will sometimes pour some on the floor or throw it like confetti, but overall she does what she’s supposed to. Oh, and she climbs into the table pretty routinely.
She has finally stopped sitting or standing on the dining room table. For a long time, we couldn’t have dinner peacefully but now she sits calmly with us or walks away and plays (if she already ate).
Lately, she learns words for new things and says them a certain way (usually correctly but not always) but then loses the word (saying it incorrectly or differently) for a day to a week and then gets it back.
I have been letting her walk into rooms (previously off-limits because of her destructive behavior), instead of carrying her, and then leading her back out. Initially, she acted very uncertain about it but after a few days of encouragement, she has been confidently walking in, doing what needs doing (like brushing teeth or hair in the bathroom, getting her snack or drink in the kitchen, etc) and then walking back out with me.
She gets very bothered if Isabella touches her clothing or hair. The only contact they have is when I put Izzy on her lap to do the toddler slide (I just happened to try it a few weeks ago and Elizabeth thought it was funny so she lets me do it). She has still never held her in a “normal” fashion.
She has been giving her eighteen year old sister, Maggie, and me kisses lately. And she hugs me, Stephen, Maggie and Samuel.
She doesn’t yet use any pronouns like me, you, or I.
She has been saying “Da-eeee” as daddy for a number of months now to identify Stephen, but only recently started saying “Ba-buh” for me. (It sounds like a nasaly version of mama). She can say Maggie but rarely does. She tries to say Samuel but it comes out unusual. She has been saying baby since before she turned two.
She has been enjoying the action flashcards and is up to over twenty of them. This is helping her learn verbs since she previously did not know/use any. She will say “walk” or “walking” while doing it but she still uses nouns and directions to express what she wants. For example, she will say “table, c’mere, c’mere, c’mon” when she wants me to follow her to the table.
She stopped using eating utensils some months ago so I have been feeding her things that require them, like grits, cereal, macaroni and cheese, and yogurt.
She still confuses many words that sound similar and uses signs for both. For example, she signs “peach” while looking at pictures of the ocean (beach) but she also signs “peach” while identifying a peach.
She will no longer just color on paper with crayons, but peels the labels off the crayons and then she might color, or she might throw them on the floor.
Sometimes she says “dipper” (diaper) after she has peed or pooped, indicating that she wants to be changed.
I taught her to say “yes” and “no” a few weeks ago but she doesn’t understand how to use them. When she wants something, she includes “yes” in the request to make it more exciting. For example, she might say “bath, bath, c’mon, YES!”
When her fourteen year old brother, Joshua, makes an elephant trumpeting sound, she looks very freaked out and says, “All done! All done!” He has pretty much stopped doing it but sometimes he does it a little bit with Isabella because she likes it but he tries not to do it when Elizabeth is around.
She has started walking out to the van with me (instead of me carrying her) and she doesn’t scream or insist we go the way she wants (the yard, etc).
She plays well in her bath and I can wash her hair as long as I sing a bath song while I do it. She used to want to stay in the bath indefinitely but now she asks to get out by saying “all done” after about ten minutes.
She loves stickers and enjoys sticking and unsticking them to construction paper.
She eats bubbles and drinks bath water every time she’s in the tub even though I have tried to discourage it.
She began incessantly repeating a phrase after watching a set of shows (Mother Goose Club Playhouse) so we had to stop letting her watch them. She says “Hi, liddleliddleliddle…” in order to greet us, or to just randomly say it but she is trying to say “Hi, Mother Goose Club Playhouse.” She says it a few times a day now but she had been saying it at least fifty times.
She says “yank you” or “gank goo” for thank you when she wants something and/or when we give her something.
Maggie puts her to bed at night. She is tired enough to go to sleep anywhere from 8:45-10:30, it just depends. She usually takes her stuffed dog, pig, and elephant to bed with her, along with her water cup and her blanket. She sleeps with the blanket around her head like an elaborate headdress. Her nap (which she has most days, but not always) is on one of our couches or on the floor (and I transfer her to the couch). I have to cap the nap to 30-45 min so she will still sleep at night. To wake her up from her nap without a meltdown ensuing, I turn on Moana and first get her to focus on the menu (which is many different scenes, therefore interesting) and then I’ll turn on the movie from the first song (if I start it at the beginning, she screams A LOT with happiness at how upset the toddlers get, lol) In the morning, she wakes by talking quietly to herself or screeching sadly anywhere from 7:30-9:00.
She gets very upset when the sun is in her eyes (sitting at a traffic light, etc) and cries/screams if we don’t move within a few seconds.
Look for another update next month.
Thanks for reading!