Leap-Frog the Problem

Sometimes I ignore it if I can

OptimismBiasThis morning was unexpectedly rough.

“The Optimism Bias”, Sharot (2011), says our brains are wired to be irrationally positive.

So, I expected things to go as happily planned.

But everyone started making bad choices.

John.  The dog.  And even Mom.

And things went downhill fast, but there wasn’t time to fritter away.

I learned the hard way that it is better to lead from the front (looking back over my shoulder) than (to try to) push forward from the back.

Sometimes I have to by-pass my son flopped on the floor and the dog who won’t do what he is supposed to do.

Leap-frog them.  In every way.

You see, I have an injury trying to heal, and over-using that arm/shoulder isn’t helping.

But I got mad, and, well, you know how that goes.   My demise.

I re-injured myself.Leap Frog

So, see if this helps in your house:  Roll around the roadblocks, and see if anyone follows you.

(I am lucky this works at my house.)

But it does take more time.  And Mom can’t be in a hurry.

Because it’s called auditory processing disorder.     Not “warp-speed”.

(It is also called “very very stubborn”, but that’s another story.)

Peace to us all,



Roll Over

Rethinking how I communicate with son, via Anat Baniel

Tonight, I was trying to gIMG_7471et John through the bedtime prep rituals, including trans-dermal vitamins.

I said, “Roll over”.  (Surely I said “please”.  Can’t remember.)

I was thinking like the past, “like a log”.

I needed to to squirt the vitamins on his stomach, not his back.  It is his job to rub them in.

John did roll, in a completely new way: a forward roll like in gymnastics.

I have been reading Anat Baniel’s book, “Kids Beyond Limits” and trying to re-train myself on new ways.   Anat Baniel Kids Without Limits

By minimizing praise and not bossing him around, not distracting him from any and all variations his brain and body are trying, moving in new ways is supposed to “just happen”.

It worked.

And all I was supposed to say was, “you rolled over in a new way”, celebrating inside but not on the outside.

Great book.  A must-read, and I hope it helps your world.

Peace be with us,


Even If You Are Sick,

No hitting anything, and something to learn.

Today, John has a lingering temperature.

Still, he pushes and tests the boundaries we have together.Fever HomeworkThumb

He doesn’t act sick when he tests boundaries.  I guess he forgets.

He hits the dog (a little hit, looks at me and smirks).

More than once.

So we work up to 5+5+5+5=20 minutes.

Timeouts in the bathroom.

Opiate on the mantel.

(I try not to have feelings about this intervention.  Just consistency.)Opiate Mantel Thumb

Still, today is the most important day of his learning.

Boundaries, consequences and consistency.

Same daily lessons for Mom.

Some days, I hate consistency.

Peace be with us.




Can’t Argue with the List

& Zero tolerance on whacking anyone or anything

Argue ListSometimes our kids hit.  Us.  A sibling.  The dog.

(Or is this just at my house?)

Last night was very sad this way.  Homework was involved.  Everyone ended up crying.

John ended his evening in a long time-out in the bathroom while Mom put her heart back together.

Today, I shared the deep & wide wisdom of Rosemary Slade, O.T.R.  We came up with this plan, and maybe it could help you at your house.

  • John and I made an actual paper list of homework items to be done.
  • John’s job was to independently mark off each item when completed.
  • So when John took a whack at the dog, 5 minutes timeout in the bathroom.  (No Mom words. Just into the time-out bathroom and loop the doorknob such that his little nose sticks out and 1 eye can see.   Good location so Mom can do her stuff while the phone timer runs out within eye-shot of John.)
  • Next time the poor dog got a whack, 5+5 minutes.
  • Zero tolerance on hitting anything or anyone.
  • Make the consequences hit the soft underbelly of all-things-electronic.
  • No hitting.  No yelling.  From anyone.

Things went quite well the first night, as we built the habits.

Now I have to be consistent.

Maybe this intervention can help at your home.

Peace be with us,


We Are Just Going To Stand Here Until . . .

A re-direct to try when you need a good choice

Just Stand HereWhen John doesn’t want to make a good choice (at home or out in public), it has worked astonishingly well for Mom to say, “We are just going to stand here until you are ready to . . . . . . . ”

And we just stand there.

In the bathroom, in the parking lot, going up the stairs at church, in the grocery story, wherever.

We usually are still for about 4.5 seconds, and then his wanting to move gets bigger than his stubborn.

It is a little miracle.

I share it with you.   Maybe it can be a little miracle with your young ones.

Peace be with us,



Closer, Closer to the Flame

You Can Improve Auditory Processing and Sensory Hearing

There was a time this would NEVER have happened.

But we have practiced and have earned the neural pathways to allow for this exploration in the dentist office.closer to the flame

You know this noise: the loud, whining, grinding, hair-raising screech.

So, curious, nervous, drawing closer to his brother and closer to the enemy.

Noise is the enemy.

The weapon of (slow) victory is practice of interventions building new neural pathways to carry the processing load.

Believe in interventions, believe in practice with your kids, believe in pushing sensory boundaries.

Peace to with us,


Evil Secret Weapon

Choices Too Loud for Even the Bathroom

With all our vacation “teachable moments in the bathroom” (because I was mortified by John’s bad choices in front of my extended family), quite by chance I found an ideal motivator.blow dryer

Extrinsic. Not intrinsic. But still dirty pool.

I just held up the blow dryer.

“Do you want to _______ or help me with this blow dryer?”

It was instant compliance.   With no effort or persuasion needed.

Maybe this evil idea could help you.  If you are OK with the dark side of it all.

Some days are just a bit more desperate.

Peace be with us.


I Hate Opening Birthday Presents

So Mom just saved them and put them under the tree. And waited.

Getting John in and out of birthday parties has gotten easier over the years, but getting John to open his actual birthday presents has been bloody murder.2016-01-02 13.41.39-1

So, this year when John just couldn’t be bothered to open gifts in August, I set them aside and later put them under the Christmas tree.

Not yet any thank-you notes, didn’t re-wrap anything.

Just stuck them under the tree.

(This was in my recent fortune cookie:  “If you put up with small annoyances, you will gain great results.”)

So this Christmas, John got into ripping off some paper.  Finally, on his 9th Christmas.

I took photos to prove it, cause I wasn’t believing it.

John hit his limit about half way through, so the rest of the gifts are still stuck under the tree.

Wanted to let you know that you aren’t alone in waiting for what should come so easily.

So we wait.  But we keep working on neural pathways, always.

Peace be with us,


Scared of Star Wars

But Mom Pinned Me Down

2015-12-29 21.27.25-1John avoids new movies of any kind.

Especially scary, loud, sensory ones.

Each new movie into his acceptance is major effort.  I have to pin him down—make him sit with me.

Eventually, he gets comfortable with it.

So, Star Wars is here, right?  During the holiday vacation at my sister’s house, we made the commitment on the Star Wars series.

A nightly family ruckus of pin-John-down-and-make-him-watch-a-Star-Wars-movie.

Each movie got a little less like a wrestling match.

I don’t know how much of the story line his brain was absorbing.

From a sensory standpoint, it was progress for sure.

We turned on captions/subtitles, and that helped everybody.

Not ready for the big theater yet.  Something to look forward to, some day.

Just surviving the family-viewing sofa was victory for now.

May the Force be with us.