Monday, September 20, 2010

Bits of September that I want to remember

My birthday

I am having a lovely day – though I started grumpy

R has been unusually( unusual even for him ) clingy lately – DH has been calling him “psycho-son”

Maybe its school starting

But he clings to me a lot and weeps piteously if he cannot find me

DH and I were watching a movie late in the night and then I chatted with my mum dad and sister at midnight ( as they must wish me a very happy birthday  at midnight )

R gets in to our bed and keeps my awake by a strangle hold around my neck

Not just this, he wakes me up at the crack of dawn and then insists with much tears and weeping that I, and only I must come down with him to turn on his DVD and hunt for the number 5 –

 DH – prince among men - offers to come down with him - but that will not do

So I wake up grumbling

And then just as quickly remember that even though I have not slept and I am very tired - its because my parents and sister want to wish me at midnite and becasue I am one of my son's favorite people

And my mood changes as I realize how much I have to be grateful for

DH grills what he calls namby-pamby sausages – ingredients like sundried tomato and unpronounceable cheese etc – but this is the sort of thing I love ( while his fancy runs to things with pork and words like cajun etc ) and we finish up a lovely lunch with a plate of oranges

Then my parents and sister call . They are celebrating my birthday and have got a chocolate cake with icing and “Happy birthday K” written on it and with much fuss cut it over video camera

DH has got a lovely watch for me – it’s a scuba diver watch ( this is a sort of joke as well – as I am wont to never take my watch off and am always ruining them by swimming in the pool with them ) and I love it

We were planning to go to the country fair but I am so happy here in the woods. The beautiful Autumn sun spilling all over the front porch hat it just seems the best place to be and we dont go

All in all I have a lovely time

DH ices cupcakes - R favorite thing in the world right now is birthday party ( which he says with a strong southern accent ) and so we have a great time

It seems quite appropriate in fact that when the day ends the last remaining cupcake has this written on it


We have had some of our close friends come by this month  and spend weekends with us and this has been lovely

Much wine/liqueurs have been drunk , lots of chatting has happened and we have slept very little

Still its been a lovely month

We have spend a lot of time in this lovely chair hammock

Highly recommend getting one

Building Blocks

R has suddenly started showing this most amazing aspect of pretend play  - thanks to his Pretend play therapist

Its easy to imagine a doll is a person ( example female doll can become mummy doll ) - what his therapist calls representational pretend play

To imagine blocks are things is far more sophisticated .. so his teacher is teaching him to pretend for instance that the different blocks are different musical instruments

To try and use the blocks to create something different is a higher order skill still

Here is a camel – made by R - complete with hump

It seems to me like he has captured the very essence of a camel

I see it clearly – the stubbornness , the slowness and the inscrutable nature of this desert creature in the lines of this creature( I know camels well having lived for 2 years in the Rajasthan desert and I tell you that this is a likeness)


I have not had many good Floortime days this week

I did try to get some play going with the Thomas sets on our patio

Sometimes I think I have more fun with this even than R does

I spend a lot of time in my imagination when playing and have a lovely time

I am surprised to find another grown up person who also does this

This discovery comes from the books I am reading these days.

Currently I am finishing up “Sunlight on the Lawn ” by Beverly Nichols - an author who lived and wrote mostly in the 1930’s and 1940’s .

I feel such a kinship with this man -dead now for several decades

He describes a phenomenon called “Shrinking yourself  “

Shrinking means that you imagine yourself to be very very tiny

Yes that’s it

Imagine yourself to be very very tiny in wherever you are right now ..right now I can easily imagine myself tiny and swinging from the lightknob of my table lamp

I know it sounds very boring

But try it sometime and you will see what I and this author so delight in

Here is what Mr Nichols says in his book written in the 1950’s when he goes to see a dollhouse

Certainly on this occasion confronted by this wonderful dollhouse.. I was glad to be a shrinker .. because in a very few moments I had shrunk enough to step inside and set foot in the hall

In terms of shrinking in his garden he describes as “there are drawbacks to being a shrinker in the garden of course .. there is always the danger of being stunned by a dewdrop and in wet weather one is apt to sink too deeply into the moss”

I suppose its growing up reading all this fiction of the fairies .. look at tiny people who live in the tree

When you are playing with a train set and you shrink yourself like I do – you experience the trains in quite a different fashion .

There I am right there talking to the stationmaster after I have stepped out of the train

Then I will go to my little cottage and make dinner

I and R and Dh will eat soup and bread on a liitle table- that is actually a little round stone

And R will go to sleep using a large leaf as a blanket on a bed that is made from two feathers that a peahen abandoned and DH ferreted away for R

And this entire cottage will be in the hollow of a tree !

So you can expereince Thomas the train in quite a different way

This here is the wonder of writing and reading for me

The sense of connectedness with another – unbarred by space or time – another who lived in the world of imagination like I do

Declarative language

Has begun in earnest

This is really not the easy thing for auties at all

Most auties learn language through manding ( Verbal behavior term for asking for things – this is an essential first step because this is how they understand why they should communicating – because by communicating their needs they learn to want to communicate )

But most language is declarative - we make an observation and share it with another

We lament on a political figure and another shares our feeling or disagrees.

This is the rythm of conversation

But Auties frequently never get there

R - I am happy to tell you is starting

So he will be watching a movie and suddenly observe -" the man is digging" and look at me  and I will jump with delight - "yes he is digging a hole"

Or  I will be peeling a banana and he wil lobserve
"mama peel banana"
and I will throw back the ball in an attempt to a conversational circle of communication "would you like to peel the banana"holding it out to him ( which he will do creating a good deal of mess )

This is all simply amazing and something I would not have thought possible last year

Thank you god


Seems to be going oka y so far

His daily reports all seem very good and say "wonderful" for his behavior that day

he also did his first homework the other day

Finding four objects that start with the letter M

He needed a lot of help

How does a child do homework who does not really understand the question ?

Finding objects that start with the letter M is not the problem

Understanding that - that is what he is supposed to do - is

So for instance if I had modeled the Q & A

So I would have said "Find 5 objects starting with A  "and  then I had found the 5 objects and shown him

And THEN asked him to do the same for the letter M - I am sure he would have been able to do it easily

I am coming to realise what a huge role language has in a language based education system

What a portentous fact that is !

Still  I will trust that R will overcome this ..just as he has overcome so much before


Lynn said...

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY K!!!!!!!! I hope that your day got better as it went along and that you were able to get a birthday nap at least!

Sounds like R is making great progress...I love his camel. I will have to try that shrinking technique, because I need some serious inspiration for my pretend play schemes!

Rachel said...

Happiest Birthday dear friend! I wish you a wonderful year and I wish to hug you in person!

I love your sense of creativity! I'm sure that is where R gets his zest for things!

And his southern accent... Lord could that kid be any more precious?!?! Please, oh please get that on video! :)

Have a wonderful week!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!!! Had I stopped reading at your cupcake, I would have had a smile on my face, but I kept reading and now the grin is even bigger.
I love your posts. Always.

(I'll be trying the shrinking technique tomorrow...)

robin said...

Glad you had a great birthday and that R is going well in school. We have a similar kind of hammock chair swing but ours is canvas (with another little thing just for your feet) that we keep outside (it's waterproof) for a couple of years now. It's SO comfy!

Big Daddy Autism said...

Happy Birthday K! It seems you have much to be grateful for on this day.

Christine said...

Lovely post, full of good things! I particularly like the declarative language part! Go R!!!

Anonymous said...

Many happy returns!

You are most loved in real life and here online.

I've had too many birthdays for remembering every blog I read this week - sometime I read a post where the conclusion was "it was just a phase". Hoping R's clinginess is just a phase. Barbara

Mr. Daddy said...

Happy Birthday a little late K,

As always you put a smile on my face and bring joy to my heart reading your posts...

It is truly and honor and blessing getting to know you...

Trish said...

What wonderful strides R is making! I have such a hard time being imaginative but Michael is stretching me. :)

Happy, Happy Birthday to you!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday K!!

A lovely post, as always. The Happy Cupcake was just perfect.

Anonymous said...

happy belated birthday, k! it's amazing to see/read about R's gains in language. HAPPY, indeed!

and thanks, again, for perspective. next time i wake up grumbling, i'll remember to be thankful for the myriad blessings in my life.

Þorgerður said...

happy birthday. :) What lovely september you have had

Kim Wombles said... I've given you a much deserved blogging award! :-)

Brenda Rothman (Mama Be Good) said...

Happy Birthday, K. You have a gift of clear sight as to what is most important.

As to the education system being so difficult (where the goals are so off) for our kids and others ... so true.

danette said...

Happy belated birthday K!!!

Loved reading about R's language development, he is doing so well! :)

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