Dreary weather and overscheduled and busy
Really little accomplished in terms of playing
We were out and about in the Smokies on Sunday and had a really nice time.
Not in the mountains but in the McDonalds there- LOL
R is a little carsick and we are all very tired though it was also Superbowl Sunday - the roads were all empty
Mcdonalds with its -what-you-expect-is-what-you-get food was such a welcome relief.
Plus real Coca Cola ( not the diet stuff ) always makes me feel better
When I am stressed or tired - I love sameness
Little wonder that Auties love schedule and ritual ( as ordinary life must feel pretty stressful )
Not just the food and the open space, but there was a left over Sunday newspaper -
I jumped on the jumble word and DH pounced on a crazy Soduku which had 5 sections
R ate 8 nuggets and we were all happy
I am usually very good with jumbles but this one eluded me and is still nagging me - TORROA
I had a work lunch at a Mexican restaurant where while I ate only half of the Chicken Quesadilla - it was an ode to Cheese ( and fat ) and has gone straight to hips
Thankfully Weightwatchers is starting on Friday and hopefully I will get some of this blubber off
I had gone to work REALLY early so I came home ON TIME
I was chatting with DH downstairs when R hears my voice and came running down the stairs - I squeal with joy and twirl him around and around till we are both were dizzy
I tell him I am simply mad for him and in return he holds my face and kisses my cheeks and forehead in that enchanting way of his
Really he is a dream come true
R and I play for almost 1.5 hours before his therapist came - we jumped on the trampoline and played with the dollhouse in the playroom
R makes the father doll stroke the mother dolls hair and he puts their son on the potty.
As always, he throws the baby away and I am glad we are not planning to have any more children - as R's feelings in this subject have always been perfectly clear
We are having trouble going to sleep again and I think it may be time to try Vitamin M !
I talk today with a mum for over an hour - she is a friend of a friend and has got a diagnosis of ASD for her child and I get a lot of satisfaction in helping her find out resources and give her some advice regarding her son
I have got myself back in the mode of playing with R in the evening rather than all of us vegetating in front of our screens - interrupting - just for kisses and cuddles
Now, I think its time to move our interaction to the second portion of floortime which is not just following the child'd lead but challenging them to build greater circles of communication
Something that Stanley Greesnspan says in one of his podcasts is that
“if when you are doing Floortime with your child and you can predict the response that your child is going to make then you are not really doing Floortime…..if you can predict it then you are basically doing rote patterns of play not really Floortime… and the child is basically responding from a memory pattern.... not really creating a new interaction ”
which is the case when we are doing tickle /babysandwich games etc
So here is my challenge to myself for today evening - not just create the time and space for joyful interaction ....but also challenge him to build more and more circles of interaction
In the evening
This was interesting - we did do about an hour of Floortime - we went to the playroom and played - did little bits of pretend play and I followed his lead and tried to deepen the plot.
Example, when he would pick up the plastic ice cream cone - I would use a finger puppet to beg for some icecream so R would feed me.
If he would play with the teapot - I would become Elmo and use the Elmo doll to ask for a cup of tea
The only problem was that his attention would keep wandering to the next shiny object
From the bowling pins to Thomas the train to any new book ...............his interest would wander to the next shiny object
How should we lengthen the engagement with one activity ?
I really think some of it may be to actually redirect his attention back to what we were playing with and I will try this today
The ADD aspect of Autism is interesting .
It is my belief, that many Auties appear to have a deficit in attention - it actually does not- for R stem from a true deficit in ability to pay attention
But rather that he pays attention to the things he wants to pay attention to( like the computer ) - not the things that we want him to pay attention to
He was also sleepy and tired in the evening ( he has not been sleeping well at all ) and I finally broke down and gave him a 1/3rd dose of Vitamin M ( melatonin)
He was out like a light at 8.10pm
R slept through the night and and woke up almost 9.5 hours later.
As he went to bed early - DH and I were thrilled to get some TV to watch by ourselves
As though to thwart our pleassure in the evening - House MD and The Big Bang theory - our faves were unusually boring
I had a couple of meetings cancelled in the morning and asked DH if I could come with him to the Hanen program
The training however only lasted for less than an hour!
A few flurries of snow are enough to put the city in a state of panic and the school was sending kids home early
Really liked what I saw though .. some examples of how to modify your routine to enhance language
Frequently the trainer says - auties dont really understand words- but simply use contextual cues to understand what is happening
For example, they may not know the word "bed time " but are aware of what we do each evening .
So, when you say bed-time - along with all the activities around bed time - they guess that bedtime is happening though they do not know the meaning of the word
The solution is to - take some routines that we do everyday - use simpler and the same language each time
- fill bathtub
- get inside
- finish bath
- empty bath tub
- Put letters, numbers in basket
Another thing we learned was how to get more complicated and abstract concepts across in regular language
Like when we offer snacks to R
We could ask "which snack do you want"? and offer choices while labeling them hold our one chip and say - chips?- and remove it and hold out a pretzel and say pretzel ?
After getting the answer teach the words few and many - by asking "Do you want few chips or many chips?"( also giving a clue with a hand gesture )
If he says many reply "you must be hungry?"
Hmmmmm..... very interesting and I am excited to try all these ideas out.
I must say being an Autie mum is increasing my own intelligence !