Sunday, November 24, 2013

Swoon top and backing; autism

I've had a busy week organizing the Swoon blocks, sewing the top together, and sewing the backing together. I just finished the backing!

I had an amazing evening when I decided to organize the blocks. Since the quilt is for my son S., I asked him to help mommy with his quilt and "put the quilt puzzle together." he giggled and came running. He has Autism, like this quilt is celebrating, so the first amazing thing about the situation is that he came over to be involved. And that he stayed engaged and paid attention!

Actually J. came running too and wanted to help. Not bad help to have both of them, considering it's already difficult for me to get up and down with this growing baby belly.

They helped me lay the blocks in the 3x3 grid on the living room floor. S. had to count each one. It was so amazing, because both boys looked on, and moved blocks when I asked them to. When I asked S. if he liked a combination, he nodded yes or no. He followed directions. The first time he moved a block, I asked him to smooth it out so we could see the whole block...the next time he moved one, he automatically smoothed it out and lined it up on the grid. When I thought we were done, I asked him if he thought we were done, and he said yes. I asked him if he liked his quilt. "yes!"

I told them, "let's put numbers on the blocks so I know where they will go later and sew them together." and S. ran around the quilt, putting the notes in order on the blocks in the grid, starting where I told him to start, and doing the order by himself.
The picture is little J. holding up my chart of the colors, and placements, sitting on the blocks.

S. wandered away while I took pictures, hence little brother J. is in the pictures!

I called him back, saying we had one more decision to make. I laid out two lengths of the reds under the blocks, to try sashing. One was the solid red background, and the other was the red puzzle pieces print.

I asked S. which one, and he pointed to the puzzles. Then I decided to try just the puzzles:

(Here's little J being the picture hound again.)

And asked him one more time "do you like it?"
 "yes!" he said.

So to recap, it's a miracle in a way with what we accomplished together, with his Autism.
1-- he helped make decisions.
2--he pointed to his choices
3--he helped move things around, following directions
4--he stayed on task. He was engaged and interacting nearly the entire time.
5--he answered questions with words and gestures.
6--he demonstrated his knowledge and skills when asked to, and also voluntarily.
7--he gave me fist bumps and high fives, and even a hug when we were done. His smile is beautiful!

It makes me smile and I am really thankful, for all the progress he has made in the last few years. There was a time when we despaired if he would ever be able to do any of those numbers up above. He was almost completely nonverbal until nearly four years old. He gave me his first real kiss, knowing what it meant, sometime after his fourth birthday. He was five when I first heard "I love you" from him.  He is such a blessing and a sweetheart.

 (This morning, He climbed in top of the bed while I was trying to wake up, and cuddled right next to me, saying "I love you" clearly, looking right at me. I hadn't said it first! Then he kissed my cheek and cuddled in for a hug.) These times are so precious.

So I haven't taken a picture of the completed top yet. Oops!


  1. Glorious story! It warms my heart!
    Thank you for sharing!

  2. Gorgeous quilt and even better story. It warms my heart this cold and rainy morning.