“I Did a Good Job . . . . !”

Shiny, Dancing Eyes

The task sounds so simple to most kids:  Wash your hands. shiny dancing eyes2

Except when it isn’t simple.

For some kids, it’s a complicated process.

And too-many re-directs from a hovering adult kills the joy.

So this morning, as I was watching, I tried NOT to think about the clock.

I just watched him as he kept glancing at me in the mirror, each step of the process.

You could tell he knew he was doing every part right, and the joy was building in his face.

Then, he turned toward me and said in a #3 voice, “I did a good job washing my hands!”

I also got a huge happy hug with that smile.

Last thing he said scootering off to school 20 minutes later was “I did a good job washing my hands!”

Just in case I had forgotten.

It was a face of joy.  Joy as from the angels.

Watch for your kid doing such stuff?

Peace be with us.



“You Are Miserable Because You Are Stalling”

An Intervention for Kid Accountability

My son has a daily list of things he must do.

Then he earns electronics.

Sometimes John stalls in magnificent ways.Stalling

I continue to learn new ways to remove myself emotionally from his poor choices.

I use these words, “John, you are miserable right now because you are stalling.”

Of course, electronics is at the bottom of his list.

And now, the basketballs are up in the window.

For anyone who has been in our house, it is a kid house.

A therapy house.

Everything bounces, wiggles, rolls, moves.

Balls are frequently in the air, or about to hit what would be a forbidden surface in a “normal” home.Stalling1

But now, the balls are on the list, and up on the high ledge.

And Mom has to hold her ground.

Maybe this work in your home?

Peace be with us,


He Wants It That Badly

2+ Hours in a Large Sensory Overload Box

Recently, John spent hours in a small portable Mario Brothers heaven/hell,  for the joy of being with his neuro-typical peers.

Then on to all the other stuff that goes with a little boys’ birthday party.

Including catching pollywogs from the creek with a paper cup.

He even ate a whole piece of pizza.  (A big deal!)Mario Bros

Doesn’t sound like much for many kids, but it was a super sensory stretch of time.

And he wanted to because there were other kids there.

And out of his mouth came some of his very best sentences ever.

So, continue to encourage your kid community for invites to parties.

New sensory neural pathways can grow every day, if we give them a reason to stretch.

Peace to us,


“So, Do You Get to Keep the Rope?”

Advocacy in Unexpected Places

Rope“So, do you get to keep the rope?” he asked me on the way out of the Township Development Standards Committee meeting.

I was there, with son John in tow, because my neighbor complained about John’s therapy climbing rope in a front-yard tree.

I started my 3-minutes at the hearing by saying,

“This is a sad affair.  My neighbor’s wife is a retired special ed teacher, and I don’t understand this.”

I went on to briefly discuss John’s interventions, mid-line crossover, primitive reflexes, building skills for the classroom, my role in community learning projects, and why I couldn’t give up on his interventions.

I said we had only 1 branch on the entire property which supports his (physical, educational) learning.

I finished by respectfully reminding the full room of two national laws protecting the rights of the disabled:

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 2004, Part B, which discusses physical learning and physical education.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Amendments Act, 2008, which discusses how the law can be “interpreted broadly”.

(I have been prepping for John’s annual ARD, so the laws have been very weighty in my vertical learning curve these days.)

After brief discussion, they gave me the conditions of the temporary approval of my “improvement”.

So, on our way out, when asked, I got to tell him, “Yes”.

He nodded in approval, and I took it for a vote for Underdog John.

John did quite well during the meeting, and got excited when he saw his house, front yard, and rope up on the big screen.

He shook hands and thanked the men at the door as we left.

And, of course, he just had to make a poor behavior choice, so I had to make him “do it right”, with a small audience.

Oh well.

So, maybe this helps you when you face yet another unexpected teachable moment.

As John says, “practice brave”, and speak up.

Peace be with us,