Elizabeth | 31 Months

This is an update on our sweet daughter, Elizabeth. She is more than likely autistic (we’re going through the evaluation process currently) and has sensory issues and rigidity, but is otherwise healthy and happy.

She jumps a lot. She jumps when she is excited, when she’s happy, when something is funny, when she’s mad, when she’s frustrated.

She is obsessed with hair. She is constantly reaching up to squeeze my ponytail or bun, and she does the same to Maggie. She even squeezes her own, which looks so cute and funny. She makes a very specific face when squeezing it, too.

She loves spinning and side-glancing. She also really likes being super close to the television when a character is up-close. She turns her head to get a different angle and she thinks it’s so funny!

She could watch me blow bubbles to her for hours, I think. She is fascinated by them.

She has been eating her weight in strawberries lately. She also really likes bananas and blueberry yogurt. With the yogurt, she has a spoonful in her mouth and then pushes the blueberry out into her hand, looks at it, and then puts it back in and eats it.

She only eats with her hands. I give her a fork and/or spoon when she’s eating fruit and she likes them but she only wants them nearby – she won’t actually use either one.

She still lines up her toys a lot and she usually counts them in the process. She can count to twelve so if there are more than twelve things, she just starts over at one and continues.

She walks on her toes almost all the time. I feel like she’s doing it more and more.

She frequently leads us by the hand to ask for help. She guides us to the thing she needs help with (if it’s in another room, for example), and/or she directs our hand to the specific thing that needs assistance (like a button on the tablet). She used to say “help” but she’s doing this instead most of the time.

She is saying a lot more words but they are still said independently of each other. She asks for things or points things out by single word only. She has said a few verbs lately, like ‘eat’ and ‘crying’ but they are not said in sentences, just individually.

She’s still very interested in letters and numbers (letters more than numbers) and can recognize, name, and find all of them during activities.

She is super focused on phones right now. She pretends to answer a phone but she’s always holding something different than an actual phone even though we’ve given her a few. She makes a ring sound and then says, “Oh! A phone! (which sounds like ‘bone’) and then says “Hello?” And holds the whatever-it-is up to her ear and looks like she’s listening.

She has started resisting bedtime. I take her stuffed animals in there ahead of time, and then I set up her pajamas in the living room. I change her clothes right before bed usually, which is somewhere between nine and nine-thirty. Then I carry her, her blanket and her water to bed. She has started complaining some about it but she settles down within a couple of minutes and falls asleep so it isn’t a complaint due to not being tired. She gets up around 8:30 in the morning. She’s still burrowing, making a very elaborate headdress with her blanket and stuffed animals; you can barely see her face.

She is sleeping better. She occasionally wakes to ask for her hair to be fixed or she cries/screams once but she settles back down easily and goes back to sleep.

She still has trouble following a directed finger. If I point to something, she has extreme difficulty finding what I mean, unless she can easily see it and it is a common (to her) item.

She seems to somewhat like the new therapy swing we got but I think it bothers her that it’s not a regular sitting-up swing like the ones at the park.

Her clothes never bother her now! Once she is dressed, she is happy in what she’s wearing. She only wears a white cotton t-shirt and pink sweatpants to bed at night, and a pink or mint cotton t-shirt and navy or gray knit pants during the day.

She pretends that her baby doll is crying and she needs to comfort her.

She likes playing with playdoh but she puts into her mouth and I don’t yet know how to discourage this so we’re going to have to stop.

She still enjoys going to Publix with me but she has started becoming very rigid in the way we shop. We have to take a certain route, walking down specific aisles while avoiding others, and I have to buy certain items that I usually buy even if we don’t need them (like, I’ll go ahead and buy a few yogurts even if we have ten at home). It’s not quite as appealing to take her to the store now because of this.

When I take her to Hobby Lobby, she is controlling of where we walk and what we look at. She didn’t do this before.

She wears a butterfly necklace all the time. She won’t let us take it off for any reason, not even for bed or bath.

She enjoys watching YouTube on the tablet. She usually selects a video, watches it for up to thirty seconds and then clicks another one. Sometimes she will watch a whole video but that’s rare. The videos she watches are kid songs and pretend play.

She is bored almost all of the time. She is seriously under-stimulated and I’m working on helping her with it but I really don’t know what to do because the novelty of activities/things/shows wears off extremely fast.

She is more aware of her little sister and usually allows her to sit or stand next to her as long as she doesn’t touch her. She asks for “baby” when she hasn’t seen her in awhile (if Isabella is napping, for example). She still screams at certain times in reference to her but overall she is doing better.

Things make her break down in very offended tears about once a day, sometimes more. The two main things that cause this are YouTube videos (we don’t see a pattern of the kind of video yet) and Isabella crying.

She greets us when she hasn’t seen us in a while. She looks away and waves, says “hi” and quotes a show by saying a string of unintelligible sounds (not words). She does not look at us while talking.

Thanks for reading. See you next month!

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