Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The week of Feb 8th

Saturday and Sunday

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

Woo hoo

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
  1. bath
  2. fill bathtub
  3. get inside
  4.  soap
  5. finish bath
  6. empty bath tub
  7. Put letters, numbers in basket
  8. Lotion
  9. Shirt
  10. Pant

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 !


Anonymous said...


Your posts are very enjoyable to read.

I used to try to shop during sooper bowl, but the game was too late this year to alleviate the crowds in the afternoon.

Snowflakes produce the same response here. It's for the best. People do not know how to drive in those conditions.

Quesadilla, mmmmm! Think I will go make some nachos to hold me over until dinner - only with my fake cheese.

Only reading here will I laugh at a child throwing out the baby.

I like Hanen method.


Floortime Lite Mama said...

yes of course !!!!!!! orator it is
thank you soooo much

Mr. Daddy said...

sheesh K, I think I got a little smarter just reading your post...LOL

As always it is a joy to hear your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

You write so well.

I like several of the ideas for increasing language toward the end here.

And yes, What you expect is what you get... sameness... real Coke... I love these things too. Some days especially.

Anonymous said...

Is there a book about Floortime that you recommend?

Vi said...

Hi, I'm contacting you on behalf of, a blogging site dedicated to raising awareness and encouraging discussion about the challenges of autism, aspergers and ASD. We are interested in syndicating your blog on Please contact for more information if you are interested in adding your blog to Autisable and reaching even more people with your story. Thank you!

Madhuri said...

Hi K,
How did you find a Hanen speech therapist for R?
I am also looking for hanen speech therapist for my son.
I live in New Jersey.


Floortime Lite Mama said...

could not figure out how to contact you ! SO I will just write here
We do not have a Hanen Speech therapist actually - our school SLP went and got certified for the Hanen training and then trained parents on "More than words"
I love Hanen -Its basically a Canadian program though they have many workshops in the US on their website - however there are many other options in NJ are there not - like Floortime? RDI etc

Madhuri said...

Hi k,
Thank you so much for your kind reply.
I am a big big fan of you. I follow your blog. I love reading your blog! You are amazing!
R is really lucky to have a mom like you.
I will visit their website to find out more about Hanen method.Thanks again,

Floortime Lite Mama said...

Very glad I could help
A big thanks -to you and to all those who take the time to comment with lovely words - it really makes my day

robin said...

How nice to be able to enjoy the Superbowl Sunday on the roads and in McD without the crowds!

My kiddos love to run and hug DH when he returns from work after a 2 week stint...I love watching their hugs and faces of happiness. It must be nice to be loved so much that you get that kind of attention each day!

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