Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Little bits of August

Here are some of the bits of this past month that I want to save and remember


We are slowly settling into the cabin .

Most of the heavy lifting has been done .

Here is DH and me moving our bar – this is solid wood and it literally ( well not literally ) killed us to move this !

DH and I really love the cabin

On Sunday mornings we wake up to sunlight instead of the clock which feels most natural

What adds to our joy R is mad for the cabin and asks for "New cabin New house" all the time !

The name of our cabin used to be "Life is good".

Here is a picture of the first cup of tea I made and drank here and I want to remember this moment always

I love looking at the woods.

Sometimes drinking coffee and reading a book ( this last weekend was "Death of a Cad ")

Sometimes just staring at this

I think of all the dramas that have played out in these forests and how all of it passes .

I am reminded of the fact of my temporariness and the temporariness of all my woes and worries and I find it deeply comforting

We end up going every Saturday afternoon to be enveloped in the calm of these trees and leave the world behind


We were robbed

I left our garage door open for a little bit to let a bat out.

Someone came in and stole my wallet, GPS and DH's power tools

Our county police was super efficient and came in and took fingerprints etc but we have had no luck in recovering anything

I don't mind the things much at all – DH cancelled the cards immediately and the other things we can do without/replace

The worst thing is that my sense of safety in our neighborhood is forever gone .

I can no longer tell the story of how its easy to leave your house unlocked or your car out

The end of summer and the start of real life

 I have often mentioned how depressed I get when summer ends and school starts again

This year R is to get a mixture of Special Ed and regular ed.

I like his Special Ed teacher very much

Regular Ed feels scary as it has 17 kids and I don't think they get Autism

Changing the home therapy program

We are also thinking that it may be time to modify the mix of what R gets

DH has talked about this for the past couple of months and I am really seeing the wisdom of what he is saying – he is such a smart guy and has his own mind

We are not sure that ABA is the right thing for him anymore

I think one has to keep evolving the home program to the needs of the child

Yesterday I was talking to E about this and I told her how a program with discrete trial things like

"Dora is ….. ( and he has to fill in "a girl )" is not optimal on so many levels

First of all once he knows the answer there is no benefit in repeating it 20 more times

You could debate back that it helps with compliance

And I would say to that – that I am not trying to apply for the position of "least troublesome inhabitant of group home" but for R to live independently

The second thing that is wrong with a program like that is that its an open ended statement that should not have one right answer – example it could end with

"pretty", "Spanish", "a child", "a singer", "a dancer", "a friend of Boots "

What do you want then ? E asks patiently when I had climb off my soapbox

I want him to be able to answer questions like "what is your name" ? I reply

And then one day ..I want him to ask that question of someone...

Spontaneous and unprompted

Learning to Pretend

Pretend play has been just a great add to the summer program

The other day DH had to drop R off at my office so he could get a blood test and R found a wooden puzzle piece where he pointed to the bottom of the shape  and said

"is a trapezoid" ( which it is but I had to look it up )

Of course I am impressed that my 5 year old knows what a trapezoid is

But here is the really cool part .

He then put it on his head – pretended it was a crown and said – "King "

Yes you are R, Yes you are !


Alysia said...

Can I just say how much I love your posts! Even in the horrible (the theft) you find a way to make it ok.
I appreciate your take on ABA and the regular preschool/special ed preschool. My son is heading into pre-K and will be in an integrated classroom w/supports, but mixed with "typical" kids all day for the first time. They've also moved away from discreet trials w/him for the exact reasons you mention. I'm kind of a wreck about it. I'll look to you for positive guidance. Thank you.

I added your link to my site and am working on a "thank you SO much" post :-)

Anonymous said...

And you are the Queen Mum!

Your thoughtfulness regarding R's educational programs already shows benefit to him. I doubt you will stop questioning - beyond when he is spontaneously asking another their name.

The deep comfort you feel in being temporary is the base for your ability to lose possessions with alacrity. Hoping you will not any other heavy furniture to near-kill you! ;)

Also hoping your 'real life' is as good as the summer.

Rachel said...

I love that photo of R as a king!

So sorry about the theft... that just stinks.

Love how you love your cabin!

Trish said...

So glad the cabin is a place of respite and so sad about the break-in.

I laughed out loud about not applying for the group home resident position - way to keep the bar raised! I think just about any answer to the Dora sentence would work.

For my son's regular ed classroom, both the speech teacher (SLP) and the autism consultant were able to speak to the class about differences and such. They did it in a way that all the kids could relate their own unique strengths and characteristics and not identify Michael's disability. The speech teacher did hers with him in the room as part of an social skills lesson, and the autism consultant did hers with him out of the room to talk more specifically about why he didn't have the same disciplinary consequences as the rest of the class.

I would request that the school identify who is capable of doing this properly or find someone who can and then have that meeting with the class at the beginning of the year. If you have the right person, it is a very helpful and positive thing.

kathleen said...

Love your writing style..Sorry about the theft..understand about the woods..they are right outside my door as well and they give me such..peace.
Try not to worry too much (although asking that of any mom is kind of silly) He will be o.k. and school will be wonderful. There will be ups and downs..but after a while you realize that there are more ups..really. Your boy is lovely.

Niksmom said...

Know what I love about this (and so many of your other posts)? The sense of calm and serenity which comes through. Even about the theft; I'm sure it was stressful but you are able to take it in stride and relate it to us without the drama.

Indeed, King R is the ruler of many hearts! ;-)

Anonymous said...

You always have such a wonderful perspective.

Something I did to help Charlotte learn to answer the "what is your name question" is that I wrote on a piece of paper: "what is your name?" and then under it, "My name is Charlotte" and hung it on the wall. I did that with "how old are you" and something else that I can't now remember.

I think I reviewed it with her once or twice but mostly she would just read it herself (that was me taking advantage of her early reading ability).

About a week after I did that, we were at a store and the sales clerk asked her name and Charlotte answered. First time ever!

Since R reads so well, maybe that would help him. When Charlotte was 4-5 she learned the most from reading.

Kim said...

I just love your posts, your calmness seeps from the screen as I read. I am sorry about the theft :( but I do love the picture of R as king! So cute! The cabin looks so peaceful!

robin said...

Ditto what Kim said!

I love the pic of you and your hubby!

Li said...

The issue you described with ABA was a problem we ran into with speech therapy. Our son was learning rote phrases but not real conversation. He wasn't making progress on the give and take of everyday speech. What made the big difference for him was going into a mainstream pre-K and interacting with typical kids. That's when we saw the big developmental leap in language. He's still very behind in expressive language, but it's so much better than it used to be and he's above age level in receptive language and non-verbal communication.

I understand why you're nervous about the regular ed classroom, but it may end up really helping R to interact with more typical kids. Therapy alone isn't enough, in my experience.

Kris said...

I agree with previous commenters who admire your serenity. I am by nature NOT a calm person so I love to read your take on things like the theft which would have had me over the edge! (Sorry to hear about it by the way.)

Have you looked into RDI? It stresses declarative language which is experience sharing language (rahter than question answering or filling in the blank). It is the kind of language kids on the spectrum often have trouble with. According to RDI, 80% of our communication with other people is declarative and so it should be with our kids on the spectrum.

I love your perspective that you are not looking for R to be the least disruptive in the group home but rather to live independently. Amen to that!!

My son was also in a regular classroom with special ed support. It was scary at first (last year was his first year in a "regular" classroom) but it was good. Best of both worlds, I think.

Lisa said...

I have yet receive my invitation for the cabin in the mail :) K, serious I could drink tea and yap till the cows came home with you!
I only wish I lived closer!

Upsetting about someone stealing agh! that makes me angry.

Trapezoid and king!
R you are definitely king you sweet boy.

Love you K.

Þorgerður said...

I hope it all works out for you.
He is a truly cute king.

Lynn said...

So sorry about the theft...that sucks! I want to put in a plug for ABA (and I can't believe that I am doing so, because I was not a fan for a long time) and just say that it should be flexible to accommodate whatever your goals are. Our consultant is not a discreet trial type, so I think it has alot to do with who is running the program and how flexible they are. The only rote things we ever did with Audrey were her name, address, phone number, etc. Everything else is structured to encourage spontaneous language, which can also be done in an ABA setting. Audrey also knows what a trapezoid is...they would really make quite the pair!

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Debbie @
Lucas's Journey with Sensory Processing Disorder

danette said...

R is quite the handsome king :) Love the pretend play!!

Great perspective on the educational front, I agree those open-ended questions could have so many "right" answers that looking for the "expected" answer (expected by whom?) isn't necessarily helping much. I can totally relate to the anxiety about being in a regular ed classroom, I felt the same way about my twins (and feel the same way now about Bitty as this is his first year totally integrated with NT peers) but it turned out to be great for them and so far seems to be working out well for Bitty too. I do think the experience is beneficial for the NT kids also, as all the kids can learn from each other.

Sorry about the theft, that just stinks :(.

The cabin sounds wonderful, I kwym about the woods, we live near many nature trails and it is so peaceful to spend time there.

Anonymous said...

oh, how I love how this post ende!!! King. just perfect! I m so happy for you that you all love the cabin so much. that is our dream to have a cabin like that! it's sooooooo wonderful that r likes it too! (how I love to wake up to natural light, too!) love the pictures- especially the one of you and your husband. :)

Fickle Cattle said...

The bar looks great. I totally understand why you'd want to haul that no matter how exhausting that would be.


Anonymous said...

so sorry you were robbed. i know how disconcerting that can be.

hugs to your trapezoid king!

Anonymous said...

You have a wonderfully positive attitude about everything. Shines through in your writing.

Love that you're moving a bar into the house. Piece, quiet, nature, and a fully stocked bar. Life IS Good! (What's the new name?)

Glad you're enjoying your new place so much. And R too.

Brenda Rothman (Mama Be Good) said...

I know what you mean about wanting him to answer the question, then, yes, spontaneously ask someone else. Funny story ... we never worked on this with Jack. I always answered the question for him when others asked. And wondered if it would come. Eventually, it did. On its own. Because of his special interests! Yes. He has a burning desire to know what cars others drive. So he can talk cars - his favorite subject. So he, yes, HE developed a strategy: tell his name to the bagger at the supermarket, ask their name. Ah, now you have an opening, ask them what they drive. He started this at six years old. Isn't that cool?!

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