“I’m Gonna Win!”

A Little Friendly Competition Really Works

2016-11-10-19-50-06Getting out of the house on time on school mornings has recently become so very much easier.

Because John wants to win.

I just yell, “I’m gonna win!”, and walk out the door to the car.

Keep in mind, this is a DEFCON-5 intervention.

For those mornings when nothing else works, and Mom is about to make a bad choice.

I get my stuff into the car, sit and calm down.

So far, depending on the morning, I have backed up, driven around the circle cul de sac, and (even) pulled back up into the driveway.

I watch to see him running toward me, some form of emotion on his face.

(Only the second time was sad and worried.  The first time, he didn’t believe me.   Now it has evolved into a laughing game, so not sure who is out-smarting who….)

I say something like, “where were you?”, “oh, I missed you!”, and “I forgot you!”.

With either a sad or happy face.

And please remember:  we had to work up to this level of freedom.gonna-win

When we are (finally) ready, I get out of the car and lock the front door.

And we are gone.

Next thing is to teach him how to close and lock the front door.

I use this process of “I’m gonna win!”  also with piano lessons and any other time my pile of re-directs fail to get “fast” going.

Another thing:  we practice “fast”.   A lot.  Sometimes successfully.

Perhaps this can work at your home?

Peace be with us,

Gayle

 

I Lost My Kid

And It's In The Dark of Halloween

lost-dark-halloweenSome kids are runners.   John was more a wanderer.

Once, our neighbors found him several streets away.

So, for years we have practiced skills to help John become a boomerang.

He might go somewhere (independence) and still could find his way back.

So, the other night, we were Trick-or-Treating with little friends in a nearby subdivision.

In the dark.

Mom wasn’t wearing any of her glasses.

And she was distracted taking a video on her camera.

John was roving from house to house with several of his peers.

I blinked, and lost him.

I stayed calm enough, knowing that if there was anywhere in the unfamiliar dark to get lost,

it would be in that area with those friends.

I wandered around, asking.

About 30 minutes later, I found them.

On the front porch of the house where I had lost them.

Perfectly logical:  they had gone inside the boy’s house.

And that’s where I had lost the trail, because I was distracted and all turned around in the dark.

John didn’t act the least bit worried or even glad to see Mom.

I am sure he was loving the independence, never giving me a thought.

So what did I learn?

  1.  I should have discussed a plan with him in case we got separated.
  2. He has good instincts to stay with friends.
  3. Wear my glasses in the dark.

He was exactly where he should have been.

At the last place we were together with his peers.

Mom was messed up, not John.

Maybe this might help in your world.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

 

 

 

 

When Birthday Presents Are Too Much

Stretching Kid Engagement

birthday-presents So, we made it through John’s 10th birthday party.

First time in his life that he wanted to blow out the candles at the party.

We had 27+ children at our local Main Event for bowling, pizza, cookie cake and arcade madness.

And then there was the pile of gifts.

One month later, these gifts are still sitting on the table, yet to be opened.

So, I could put them still unopened under the Christmas tree, like previous years.

Or we could have a post-party party.

Have the kids over to the house, to help John open and then play with whatever is there.

So we did.

And the funny thing is, the kids had so much fun in the front yard, the back yard, upstairs, downstairs, swimming and eatingbirthday-presents1

that nobody wanted to stop what they were engaged with, to open his presents.

So, maybe this idea may work for your gift-resistant child.

Invite everyone back for further-connection play.

Maybe the gifts will still end up under the tree.

(Epilogue:  it took a second post-party party to finally get them all opened.   Fun, no matter how you look at it.)

Peace be with us,

Gayle

 

Sacred Things: Blue Stripe and Ralphie

"I Hope You Earn It"

Blue StripeJohn has two sacred things these days.

The first is the blue stripe on the taekwondo belt he earns by great behavior choices.

The blue stripe that is lost (ripped off like a bandaid by Mom) for poor behavior choices.

There are other colors of stripes earned, but blue is very special.

Here is the corpse of such a blue stripe, no longer on John’s belt.

It is an intervention of last resort, and hard to earn back.

The second sacred thing is a movie (A Christmas Story),

but he sort of socially stims on the “Daddy is going to kill Ralphie” part, blurting it out in public out of context.

After too many warnings, I hid the movie.

Months later, I found it and brought it out of time-out.

2016-07-18 21.48.48

Eyes of a hawk, John spotted it like the opiate it is, and begged for the movie again.

I said OK, after his list was done.

And then, suddenly, it was past bedtime on a school night.

I said, “turn it off now or I will hide it again.”

Wow.  It worked.

My favorite re-direct when John is nagging (perseverating) about something he wants:

I say, “Earn it”.

Short and sweet works quite well under this roof.

Maybe something here may help you.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

 

Swallowing On Purpose, Part 2

Bigger, More, Diversity and Practice

swallow-2First, a bit about capsule sizes:  #5 is the smallest, working up through #00, then on to horse-sized.

If he can swallow these vitamins and nutritional supplements instead of Mom mushing everything up sugar-laden juice cocktails, then I will get more sleep.

Oops, I mean . . . . . . . John will grow in independence.

And travel will become far less stressful and more  normal.

Whatever normal is.

Also, some of what John needs to swallow tastes wretched; I know because I taste everything myself.

So I re-package it inside tasteless capsules.

I have mentioned the help of Rosemary Slade, OTR, and daily practice.

John has grown in skill: moving through #5’s, #3’s and round uncoated tablets (slightly smaller than an M&M)

The oval tablets I cut in half.swallow-more

Because John has started resisting the “sugar-laden juice cocktail” with all the stuff in it.

Thus causing an exhausting power-struggle.

Now John has grown into swallowing a pile like this (second photo) twice daily, with water in a cup with a straw.

Hardly any juice, less power struggle.

And increased oral motor skills and swallowing ability.

And this morning, I added two (far bigger) #0 capsules.  

John said “too big!”

I said “try, you are a big boy!”

And then they were gone.

Try this with your kids?

Peace be with us,

Gayle

Building Banter Via Drive-Throughs

Creative Compromise, Longer Tethers of Independence

2016-06-30 18.04.53-2John wanted Burger King (they have paper towels in their bathrooms).

I wanted McDonald’s (they have chocolate dip cones).

So we were bantering back and forth in the car.

I was using every variation of voice, tone, pitch and silliness I could think of.

John was mirroring these that back, and creating some of his own.

Huge grin on his face.

Finally, John offered a creative solution.

“First Burger King, then McDonald’s.”

(Like he’s never heard, “first this, then that” ever before in his life!)

His solution just popped out of his mouth, and I hadn’t thought of it.

(To be honest, this was not the first time we have gone through more than one drive-through to appease everyone.)

I had to say “OK!”

And I didn’t get out of the car at Burger King.

I pulled up close to the door, and like we often do to stretch his independence,

John went in solo, and came out solo.

Big boy, intrinsic motivation stuff.

So maybe this might give you some ideas to try.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

Take Kids on Errands

Stretching the Social Teachable Moment

2016-09-23-15-35-51-1See that pink paper in John’s friend’s hand?

That’s the birthday cookie cakes receipt.

I could have picked up the bakery goods myself.

Instead, I chose to wait until I had a car full of boys.

It took only 15 minutes to run the errand, which turned into a grocery story ice cream party when we coincidentally met other families running errands also.

A rich social experience followed, which would never  have occurred if I had been an efficient mom, doing errands when solo.

And then, the only place in the car to put the two birthday pans was in the back, on top of that flexible cover that pulls out like a window shade.

And there they stayed for hours, sliding around while we did other stuff.

Not so pretty anymore, but the kids didn’t care the next day.

Perfection is for adults.

So, think of ways to include your kids in errands.2016-09-23-21-32-35-1

They learn how to do things.

Also, I emotionally connected the kids to a big part of the next day.

They got the cakes from the counter out to my car.

Gaining skin in the game.  The cake game.

And these same kids were the ones who ate the cakes the following day at John’s birthday party.

Twenty-seven (27) kids for bowling, pizza, cookie cake and arcade chaos.

More opportunities for emotional bonding.

Liquid gold to John.

Maybe this can work in your world.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

 

2016-09-23-21-54-23-1

Your List Or My List?

DEFCON 5 - "You Have Lost Your Freedom"

My frustration was growing.  John was making decisions that kept me his prisoner, not allowing me to do my mom work.

No intervention I was trying was working.

Your List or My List

And I was getting mad (never a good thing).

Then I remembered something that had worked in the past:  Take him with me when I do my work.

So my To Do list became his list.

John went with me:  doing laundry, dishes, clearing the table, readying for tomorrow, etc.

He hated it.

He begged for HIS list.

He begged for early bed-time.Your List My List2

Who wants to do mom-work?

I told him if he got out of bed, he got to help me more.

He didn’t.

I wish I could say that John never tested me again on this.

Several days later, we were going somewhere fun for him, and all he had left to do was read for 30 minutes.

He stalls on the reading, right?Your List My List3

I eventually realized I wanted him to do what he wouldn’t do, so he could go have fun.

And causing myself great stress about it.

He had no intrinsic motivation.

He didn’t care, but I cared for the loss of social time with other kids.

Once I stopped trying to please him, I got my peace back.

I had been co-dependent.

We started with the dishes, wiping off the table and counters, moved on to paperwork, mail and laundry.

When John ran away from me to another room, I told him he would have to earn me not holding his hand like a little baby.

Each time John ran away (of course he is going to test my boundaries), I retrieved him by the hand.

We went on the the next thing.

Slowly, relaxed, without any intervention agenda or renegotiation.

Just getting my mom work done.

The sheer boredom drove him nuts.

I would say “my list or yours?”, “how do you like my list?”, “when you do your list, then I can do my list.”

And we worked in the sinister 30 minutes of reading.

And then I put him to bed.

My disappointment wasn’t the issue, and I tried to remember that.

He made the choice.

I wonder when he will try testing me on this again.

When he does, I must love him enough to hold my ground.

He’s only going to get bigger and older.

So, maybe this can help at your home.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

Swallowing On Purpose

Pills Down The Hatch (that means the "food tube")

Swallow2 Swallow5What we call bio-medical (bio-med) usually involves nutritional supplements.

These seldom taste yummy.

Lucky if they are liquids, crystals, capsules or some form that dissolves easily. Other options are tablets you have to crush.

Many of us have played with this alchemy for years.

I have been known to add flavorings just to get the kid to drink the stuff in the cup.

I have shoved little chewable tablets into his Juice Plus gummy drops.

And then as time has gone by, encouraged him to stick three in his mouth at one time.

Working on that oral defensiveness : )

Another trick I have found after years of practicing is to just plop the tablets into a smidge of water in the cup, letting the cup sit overnight in the fridge.

By morning, most tablets are mushy enough to stir and then slurp up a straw.

Oh, but, swallowing on purpose little hard pills?

For John with his oral defensiveness:  Never.  Never.

So we got some basics from Rosemary Slade, an expert in feeding issues.

Making John know this swallowing thing was going to happen, like it or not.

Here are some photos of things we tried with Rosemary.Swallow8

And we added it to John’s daily list.

“Swallow three pills” every day.

If it didn’t go down the first time, we kept at it.  He would try to spit it out or gag.

I said, “try again”, and he pulled another mouthful of water from the straw.Swallow6

Using a straw works far better than an open cup for us.

Maybe something about momentum and suction.

Some times it takes several attempts, and as practice will do, he is getting good at it.

And quite proud of himself.Swallow1

The trick is getting it on the list.  Doing it.  Every day.

(Later, some time has gone by, and yet John was able to swallow a round little Colace.  We are still working on our toileting, and that is a story for another day.)

He remembered how to swallow pills.

We also practiced closing the ziploc baggie, which is more 2-handed, crossing mid-line, fine-motor difficult than you would think.

Maybe these ideas can help your world.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

 

Each Moment I Interact With My Child,

Where Do I Start From?

In our workshops, we talk about finding half-and-half balance in doing all we can for our kids versus accepting them as they are; and how easily that can get out-of-whack.

Slide1 HeartBut recently, something happened and I had to re-think this.

So, here goes:

At the beginning of each interaction with John, where am I standing?

Do I begin on the line, a foot on both sides, waiting for something to happen?

Am I outside looking in, getting ready (for what?), or on the Intervene Now half, with a bias?

I was forced to look at John’s reactions to my re-directs, and I was in the wrong half.

I am trying my very best to begin each time we interact standing in the “I accept you as you are” side.

Like “innocent until proven guilty”.

To back off.

To give him more rope and more peace.

For this isn’t an hourly, daily or weekly decision.

It is a second-by-second, constant state of choice, and I must be very self-aware.

If Mom is an intervention, nagging buzz-kill, then where is the joy in his decisions?
heart4hello

 

 

 

Restaurant Circus Tricks and The Napkin Dance

My Kid Had Me Over A Barrel And It Wasn't Pretty

Napkin Dance5 Napkin Dance One vacation morning this summer, John whipped out his worst restaurant manners in a long time.

I re-directed him (using the least prompting I could muster) to Napkin Dance 2order his own food, ask for his own straw, help with check-out procedures, and to curtail the rowdy napkin tricks.

(Later I asked him to re-create the napkin dance for you, and here’s three photos of what we got.)

How hard can it be to just stick a napkin under a leg until you need it?  And why does it always include the topic of wieners?

We opted for a big-boy flat plate, not the bowl that is easier to corral the food.

He got up and ran around with the dang napkin, doing what I called the napkin dance.

And finally, at the end of our “performance”,  he had the natural consequence of sitting quietly for four whole minutes, earning the right to ask to be excused.

He did it.   So now I know he can do it again.Computer Time3

Peace be with us,

Gayle

 

Whoa!

Stand Still!

20160709_215402 (1)John was all movement, and not near the physical space I needed him to be.

Suddenly, I found my foot on his, like in this photo.

Like “Gotcha!”

It worked.   And I didn’t waste worthless words.

(This foot-on-foot didn’t seem to make him rebel, like he does when I grab him.  John is not intrinsically motivated when Mom grabs him.  Just saying.)

Another variation of temporary captivity (yet another opportunity for John to practice emotional self-regulation) works well for us when teaching John how to brush his teeth.

You see this photo of me sitting on the counter and John facing the mirror.

I ask him if he can see his teeth.  (If he can’t, then I can’t.)

I guide him by his chin.

I wrap my legs around his trunk, so he isn’t going anywhere.2016-07-13 21.40.09

I let go when it’s time to spit.

Want to try this your kids?

Our kids who are still learning to love dental hygiene.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

Come Out When You Are Ready

Yet Another Use For a Bathroom

If I were going to give John every opportunity to exercise his own decision-making,

to cultivate his intrinsic motivationCome Out

(when he is motivated from within himself, not because I bribe or coerce him),

how might that look (for example, on vacation)?

How about this:  him on the inside, me on the outside.

And I say, “Come out when you are ready.”

It worked.

And, funny thing, it has started a habit now for him that he elects a time-out,

a time to self-calm.

In the bathroom.

And he is now locking the door.

Good or bad, most of our biggest adventures involve bathrooms.

Maybe this will be useful to you.

Peace be with us.

Gayle

 

Rainbows

How Long Do They Last?

The rainbow I saw recently lasted 13 minutes.   I stood there and timed it.

Rainbows1

I know others in the local area saw the rainbow also.  Their posts shared unique thoughts about what the rainbow meant to them.

When we have a rainbow moment with our kids, what does that mean for you?

How long does your rainbow last?

My rainbow moment (with John here at taekwondo) lasted 15 seconds.  The joy of a child who is in the flow.

Don’t listen when fear or discouragement says “no!”

John says “no!” all the time.

It doesn’t matter.

Rainbow 20 secs Taekwondo1

I validate his feelings, and we wait a moment.

Then we do it anyway.

He has a deep neural pathway of saying “no!” that we are un-learning and re-learning.

Try this with your child?

Peace be with us,

Gayle

Museum

And Picasso Looked Like "Pizza"

museum2 museum1museum3museum7
museum9museum8museum10The Fine Arts Museum, huh? Something Mom chose selfishly instead of the Kids Museum.

So, I was happy with the self-indulgent adventure.

But John wasn’t.  And I made things worse by making him pay attention to the paintings.museum4

In the classics, he counted the beards. museum12  In the modern art section, I pointed to different paintings and asked him what he saw.

At one Kandinsky, he said “1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 eyes”.  And a Picasso looked like “pizza” (as colorful as it was, I would have added “veggie”).

John also described some paintings as women, green hat, trees, brown, yellow, and so on.

At one of a river, he started singing “Row Row Row Your Boat”.

To help him with “quiet body” and “hands off the exhibits”, I made John carry two books and/or keep his hands in his pockets.

I let him be leader as much as possible.

He seemed drawn to the white marble nudes—so maybe a little sex education thrown in for free.

(We haven’t done much of “the talk” yet but when we do, we use proper terms.  His gazes tell me he is increasingly aware.)

We made it fine and dandy through the ever-changing lighted tunnel museum11many times (with and without other people), the cafe and his first-ever panini-style grilled cheese.

We made adventures of all the museum5escalators, even going up backwards while holding his books for motor-planning fun.

I even got lucky with a little bonus cuddling while we read together in the cafe.

Guess he was tired.

Please don’t feel alone if you fear taking your child into such a place.  It may work out just great.

If not this time, then the next time.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

The “I Would Never Drive Away and Leave You in the Store” Game

So Let's Keep This Learning Tether Growing Longer

John was horsing around in the bathroom.

I was ready to leave, done with shopping.

So, I asked an employee walking by if he would please tell John to come out.Never Leave You Store Game

He went into the Gents and said instead, “John, your mom has left the store and is driving away”.

I was standing right there, and didn’t correct his bad joke.

I truly thought nothing of it.

I waited for a while, paid the cashier, and waited some more.

Eventually, another employee of the store asked if he could help me.

I said I was still waiting on my young son, blue shirt, in the bathroom.

“But I saw him run out of the store” came out of his mouth.

Guess you know what I did next, right?

I found John safely by our car, far out in the parking lot.

Waiting.

We have since talked many times about how I would never leave him in a store.

About being “lost”, and where he should wait for me.

He knows how proud I am of him deciding what to do.

How scared I was.

How happy I was he was safe.

So many lessons to learn, and to share with you to discuss with your kids.

So you can practice, and be prepared for something similar.

And so to extend the teachable moment, the next time in the grocery store, we played a new game.

The “OK, go to the bathroom, and then find Mom wherever she is in the store” game.

And it worked great.

So, from fear to a ever-longer tether, right?

Maybe trying this, in tiny steps forward, might work with your family?

We play this game every time we are in a store.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

 

(Clip art courtesy of PowerPoint Clip Art Library)

Shopping Cart Return

How far away can he go?

ShoppingCart1ShoppingCartJohn wanted to return the empty shopping cart to the right place.

It had been a very good shopping adventure.  John had driven well.

He had helped load it all onto the conveyor belt, and helped load stuff into the car.

As good as it gets.

But now he wanted to take the empty back.

OK.

But he didn’t go the the closest clump (the thin white circle).

Nor to the next closest cluster (the thin white oval).

He kept going.  I have no idea what his selection criteria was.

I just kept praying for all those parking lot angels to kick in.

He eventually trotted back, fine and dandy.

A tether extended.  Risk rewarded.

And most importantly:  Practice.

Try this with your kids?

Peace be with us,

Gayle

You Are Going to Need That Shoulder

(so don't do what I did)

So you are often sitting in the car, in the driver’s seat, right?need that shoulder 1

You reach back into the back seat to do many things, even lift heavy items.

Probably over-use your right arm and shoulder.

I did this far too much.

Don’t!

You will give yourself shoulder trouble:  rotator cuff, frozen shoulder, etc.

And then you will spend months in pain and rehab, more money than you wish, and possibly endure surgery.

Instead, let the kids do it themselves or move to a smarter body position.

Warning!

Do this in your car.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

Oh, Poor Choice! You Now Have to Cuddle!

Forced Cuddling, Part 2

Today John wasn’t happy with my forcing him to watch a new movie.

How horrible could watching Ice Age for the first time be?

(Maybe your child is afraid of new movies?)

Anyway, he wanted to swim and I made him watch for 30 minutes to earn swimming.Forced Cuddling 2

He wasn’t happy about this, and made a really poor choice, in rebellion.

So I created a new intervention, rather than using an existing one,

(like peeling off a Taekwondo stripe).

Very precious thing, that stripe.

Rather, I made him sit in my lap watching the movie for another 30 minutes.

Yes, it did make me sit down (not so bad, right?)

And we watched a new movie, and I made him cuddle with me.

I even set the timer.

Mean old mom.

Maybe this might work at your home, for all kinds of reasons.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

“You Have to Cuddle”

("and if you wiggle, I am adding more time"

One of the lost kinds of parent pleasure with kids of learning differences are too few moments of cuddling.cuddle

So we now have a new intervention, “Forced Cuddling”, to build those neural pathways.

We started with 4 minutes.

I said, “Wiggle, and I am adding a minute”.

John stopped wiggling.

Then it became a fun exercise in silliness and negotiating minutes.

John got to laughing and having some moments of happiness and joy.

The way it was supposed to have been.

And so did mom.

cuddle 1

And we are building neural pathways for his future.

Try this at home?

Peace be with us,

Gayle

Rainy Day Dodge Ball

For all our unexpected predators

The house of John is often a field of battle.

Especially on rainy days.

Especially when other kids are playing with him.

John has become an unlikely predator on the dodge ball courts at Sky Zone.

Rainy Day Dodgeball

And at home, it’s fair game also.

Any kind of moving play is OK—-more than OK.

Encouraged.

So, put your fancy stuff somewhere safe.

Bring out the Nerf guns, small balls, jumpy toys, bouncy anythings.

Game on!

Because mid-line crossover is anywhere you can find it.

Occupational therapy done right is so fun the kids don’t know it.

And joy in movement means learning and progressing.

Try this at your home?

Fancy vases are for someone else.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

“Please oh Please Let Me Bite This Cone”

(a prayer from oral sensory fear)

It almost looks like biting the cone.

But not quite.  And Mom was nagging him to try.

bite that cone

For the cone is wet, squishy and far too scary.

So, it is possible to be almost 10 years old, and still fear a squishy ice cream cone.

And yet there is hope.

John loves to practice brave in the bathrooms where those blow dryers lurk.

And he can now eat a grilled cheese sandwich and a cheese burger.

So, some day soon, the squishy ice cream cone will bite the dust, and another tiny neural pathway victory will be won.

On the road to sensory integration normal.

Whatever normal will be.

So, keep encouraging your kids in this kind of stretch.

And if you have no idea what I am talking about, count your blessings.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

 

Box

(The Joys of)

When you get a big cardboard box, what do you do with it?box2

Remember this old-fashioned idea?

And I just left it sitting in the middle of the room.

Eventually, John must have thought it looked like a comfy reading place.

What do your kids do with a box?

Do they earn it?

Or just keep stumbling over it until they decide it is valuable?

Some of the best ideas are the old ones.

If it is a little bit boring (or isn’t electronic), that’s OK.

Kids need to be a bit bored before their imaginations kick in.

Peace be with us,

Gayle

box3

“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.

Gayle

 

“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,

Gayle

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,

Gayle

“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,

Gayle