Saturday, April 21, 2012

Days of Spring

As if to compensate for an unusually dreary grey winter, we have been blessed with the most beautiful Spring

 Riot of color everywhere

How many shades of pink are there?



And these

In the cabin , the newborn forest is a beautiful color that R calls yellow-green

As spring will turn into summer the forest color deepens but now its this color

The lovely thing about the forest foliage is that it changes the color of the light 

I have been so enjoying my walks lately ( though R seems to have developed some separation anxiety once again and I sometimes find him not wanting me to go )

Outside Time 

When I run out of ideas with what to do with R - we just spend some time outside in mother Nature's sensory playground

Picnics are his special thing right now and we are taking this chance to make him pack the picnic basket , decide activities  plan where to go etc

We try to get him to make lists of what he would like to do

We go for lots of walks

We go to the parks

Social Thinking 

Since DH has been to the Michelle Garcia conference, it has really come to focus for how we need to teach R to pay attention to our thoughts

Here is R sulking ..

I think we screwed up his picnic- because DH wanted him to answer some questions

R loves to interact but completely on his own terms 

For instance, if you ask him question he will be silent Then he will try to distract you with a repetitive game like this -

R: Cabin go higher higher 

Then I have to say( complete with hand actions )  : Higher higher up higher higher up and down 
( replace cabin with other things  and go on like this ad nauseum ) 

Plus I knew he wanted Doritos - but because he did not pack them in the bag- I did not remind him

The point is to make him more responsible for himself

R sees the world completely from his own perspective( he is not selfish at all- if anything he is incredibly kind and cannot bear anyone being sad  - just he is not interested in anything that is not interesting to him )

DH has been working on this by simply asking this question

"What is Papa looking at ?"

This is a difficult question for him as he rarely pays attention to what we are paying attention to

Yet I do think he has the ability to think from other's perspective

For instance, he used to always set up furniture to steal candy .. but he would leave it there . Leaving proof of the crime

Now I see that he drags the furniture back :-)

Stretching Interests 

I have been using the Floortime technique of stretching interests ( like if he wants to go to walmart - I get him to pay attention to everything - our navigation system , what we see around us, the row number of where we parked, locking the car, etc ) These R-preferred activities are where he really has an openness of mind .

In these preferred activities - he  will answer questions in a functionally  ( he could not do this a while ago so we are very grateful for this )

But if its not on his agenda he will not answer the simplest question !

And he will sulk if we try to make him

With his therapists, he is much better

They are working with him on word associations and some of his association are really interesting and are giving us a peek of his very interesting thoughts )

Mrs G is even teaching him to play games - for example one of her games is that she will choose two cards - one card is an alphabet, while the other is the task to do. The other day she chose "H" and "Name a means of transportation"
Guess what he came out with

Not helicopter

But "Hang Glider"

He has also started getting interested in other topics like time, Seasons and weather.

( for some reason he belives that DH controls the weather and is very furious and does his angry dervish dance -  when DH does not make the clouds go away )

Autism Awareness

This is the month of autism awareness.

I have mixed feelings about autism awareness .

On the one hand - you cannot deny how wonderful it is when  a bunch of cafegoer defend a family with an autistic child that are in a restaurant and surely that is a result of awareness 

On the other hand, I am very tired of hearing how much autistic children "cost"... the word "burden" that comes up constantly...

While I do not  deny the difficulty that autism brings to life - I  also know that life can be very beautiful with autism in it

I worry that with what is being written about autism in the media - when a parent hears the word "autism" for their child- the imagine a child with a blighted life that will also blight theirs

I wish I could tell them about the amount a love and joy that an autistic child  can give you

I wish I could  remove the images of a child rocking sadly in a corner and replace it with an image like this

I simply cannot find words to describe how much we enjoy his company and how charmed we are  by his sweetness.

The other day I took a walk while he was with his therapist. She left the door open and a little later  he followed me on the path that he and I take on our walks.

When I returned home, I and DH ran out in a panic

I knew what he must have done( tried to follow me ) so I retraced the path of my walk

Sure enough he was walking down the route - he was distracted by the swing on a house and had climbed into it

I shouted at him in fury and he walked back with me tears running down his eyes

Later that night after he had undergone the consequences ( no screen time and no candy ) - I told him at bedtime about how scared I had been and does he know what could happen

He dutifully said "Car will crush . a monster will take"

I told him  "and  mama  will be very sad and keep crying"

R put his sweet arms around my neck and said "R no go to the road.. mama no sad"

With a child like this how could I be?


AutismWonderland said...

Great post! I especially loved the part about removing the rocking image a child.

Our children are pretty amazing :)

I guess that's why we write. In our way, we are removing those images one post at a time.

Kris said...

Why is there that image of the child rocking in the corner? I blame "RainMan!" and fully admit that was the image I had of autism before Alec came into my life and showed me that ASD has nothing to do with a child rocking in a corner.
As usual, I loved your calming, comforting post with all the lovely pictures. You so eloquently express the bond between you and R which always reminds me so vividly of the bond between Alec and me. Whatever the general public thinks about autism i can honestly say the bond that Alec and I have is unlike any other, even the bonds between my other children and me. Autism is not all sadness and despair. I wish the media would let people know that during Autism Awareness month. Parents of newly diagnosed children do need to be told that is is not the end of the world like I thought it was when Alec was first diagnosed. Even though he is mildly on the spectrum, for some reason after I heard the word autism I was sure he would regress into complete disability and parents need to know that is not true in most cases. I agree with your comments about Autism Awareness month.

Yuji said...

I love this post from beginning to end!

My son is the same in terms of wanting to interact, but only on his own terms. I like all the things you are doing, from teaching him to be responsible for himself to seeing things from the perspective of others. It's not easy, but I think it does pay off over time.

Your son is such a sweet, sweet boy. I feel the same way about Autism Awareness month... autism is many things, but the sweetness of our kids is what I'd love for people to be aware of.

jazzygal said...

Lovely post. I really like that you didn't pack the Doritos! That is something that I am only now insisting on doing...previously I couldn't stand the tantrums. Actually, it;s a long time since we had tantrums of that magnitude but the memories stay with you!

yes, they DO have the ability...we just have to teach them that they and then remind them!

Well done :-)

xx Jazzy

Anonymous said...

the post is beautiful.... I loved the pinks in the beginning of the post. the flower at the end was most pretty


Mr. Daddy said...

"I worry that what is being written"

"I wish I could tell them"

"I wish I could remove the images"

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”
W. Clement Stone

K Your worries are wasted energy, and your positive attitudes are already making your wishes come true.


Keep up the good work.

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”
Francesca Reigler

Looking for Blue Sky said...

I always feel calm when I have finished reading your posts, and you always put so much time and effort into them :). I loved the flower photos, and I Always love reading about R, who sounds absolutely adorable. Not sure how I feel about autism awareness month, I wonder can it annoy people outside of the autism community, I'd rather raise awareness at local level, by bringing children out into the community and not hiding away at home x

SoCo mom said...

Good to hear from you again! Such a thoughtful post, as always.

I hear you on the stretching interests and the panic that happens when you turn around and can't find your guy. Glad it all turned out well.

Bright Side of Life said...

K, what a beautiful post. The flower pictures are stunning, so vibrant and alive.
I always enjoy reading about your life with R, you are so calm and gentle. You are also so right, life with a child, who just happens to have autism, can be a rich blessing. Our children are what they are and we love them passionately.

Menthe Blanche said...

Colors of first pictures are incredible, nature is beautiful. I'm happy to discover your blog and thank for your visit ;)

Þorgerður said...

Beautiful pink spring.
"...mama no sad" makes me tear up, how sweet he is. No you can not be :)

Rachel said...

That moment of fear is overwhelming... it must be akin to separation anxiety multiplied! Rather like a child walking away in Toys R Us, no?

So glad he was safe. (Yet my heart is still hammering at that last portion of your post!)

Adore the pictures of him... in various emotions!

I'm conflicted by "awareness" too. But here, it's rather "famil awareness" - and there is no sense of anything missing.

Much love to you.

Anonymous said...

Loved your post as always. That picture of R with your husband brought tears to my eyes. SO sweet. I have "issues" with awareness too. I feel like the typical autism awareness isn't "our" awareness. That isn't the kind of awareness I want to spread.

Anonymous said...

those gorgeous pictures made me feel joyful and light.

so sorry for your scare. i just love your boy and the way you share the blessing of him with us.

danette said...

Love this post and the sweet images of R that you share :). I feel much the same way about awareness...

It's great to catch up, missed hearing about what ya'll are up to!

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