Want It My Way!

Levels of Independence vs. Assistance

2015-11-02 16.51.01John in the red/blue shirts.2015-10-14 18.05.09

Adamant he wanted to wait OUT THERE.

On the parking lot side of the glass wall, with Mom inside the building.

He was proud he was out there, not needing anything.

What if he was sick and tired of always being told what to do and how to do it?

Secretly dreaming of ever-greater independence.

A balance of frightening risk and intrinsic reward, right?

Every day, I really try to give John more rope.

And rope begets more rope.

Peace be to you, little John the rebel.

Thanks to Alma Liotta, O.T.R., for the (hierarchy) Levels of Assistance (added graphics by me, courtesy of PowerPoint clip art).Levels of Assistance









Wait—Right Here—Don’t Move.

2015-10-13 18.27.51 Not a runner.

But we have practiced.

Each time, with a longer piece of rope.  An imaginary tether.   And, a watchful eye.

But tonight, John (in the turquoise shirt) said he wanted to wait “right here” while I went back to the car to get a stupid coupon.

Also, I admit that I constantly make changes to what John thinks he is going to do.

Anyway, I decided to trust him in that little island of pavement while I scurried many cars away in the parking lot.

It worked out OK.  2015-10-13 18.28.00

So, I hope this helps you with something else to try—to practice a tether of independence for your child.

Not that you needed something else to do.

Peace be with us,


Plan B May Be Better

Plan A Plan B BalanceJohn was mad because I was making him do his daily reading homework.  In the car as we were driving.

The window was partially open.

Not sure he really meant to let it fly, but the book was gone.  I couldn’t exactly see his face, but I think he was actually surprised his book disappeared.

First time he has chucked anything out the window.

So, he lost gymnastics Fun Friday Night as a natural consequence.  (He would have lost Wii Sports and Nintendo DS, but those were already gone because he was pinching his friends in specials.)

Then, something completely unplanned happened.

John’s teenager sibling wanted to watch Singing in the Rain because his high school was performing it the next day and we had tickets.

The two kids ended up snuggled together on the sofa.  John started laughing at the “Make ’em Laugh” genius of Donald O’Connor.  Then John tried toSinging in the Rain tap dance. First time.

Also first time he had ever paid any attention to a non-animated movie.

So, try this movie at your home.  There is a lot to engage a child with learning differences.  (Speech therapy, mid-line crossover, and lots of physical therapy with tap shoes on.)

Like for me, maybe Plan B will be better than whatever your Plan A was.

I know I can get overly focused on fulfilling the interventions.

Oops–lost my personal joy along the way.  Missing the important “in-the-moment” stuff that can happen.

“Bad choice, Mommy”, because joy is important too.

Your joy.  Your child’s joy.

Peace to us,



So This is What Toys Are For?

Buying kid toys has always been a prayer of purchase – a plea to the angels that if I buy enough of the right kind of toys, John would eventually play with them.

Like other kids.

So please consider this a reason to keep stretching your child’s comfort zones with peers as models of how to play with all this stuff.

John is finally picking up a Nintendo DS, a radio-controlled car, and the Wii remote (at home and at church).

ToysToys1And hogging them.

Don’t give up!  Keep stretching our kids.

Peace be with us,


2 Steps Forward. 1 Step Back.

2 steps forward 1 step backIt is slow progress sometimes.  But it is still progress.

A new skill.  Joy.

A set-back.  Fear.

When I step back, way back, and look at the bigger picture, it looks like this picture.

So, I better step back.

Feed the solution–the progress, the joy.

Starve the problem—the set-back, the fear.

Maybe this will help you and your child.

Peace be with us.


Monkey Child and Bathroom Words

Recently, John has enjoyed the thrill of saying bathroom words in the wrong places, including school, to Mom’s deep chagrin.

Further, John needs practice with fine motor everything.   He pretty much hates writing (printing), let alone the approaching cursive.

So, when John repeats something over and over (I label this “monkey boy”.  To his face.), he is told he gets to say “one good sentence, then write it.”

Thus, when school behaviors show John’s “bad choices” (a phrase I use every time it applies), out comes the paper and pencil with grip.2015-10-02 12.18.17-1

Ten…..oops..…nine good written sentences.  In this case, “Wee wee is a bathroom word.”  

Then a personal hand-delivery to his teacher with a verbal apology.

Special thanks to Alma Liotta, OTR, for this paper to best help John write less diagonally  (which I scanned and made copies of to use at home and at school).

Hope this works for you and yours.

Peace to us,