Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Finding Missing Aircraft for Relaxation

Caring for GL wears on me over time. I relax by looking for missing airplanes. I'm a member of the Civil Air Patrol. One of our emergency services missions is locating missing aircraft. We were called on a mission Monday evening. We'll also be working the EAA Fly-In at Oshkosh this weekend.

Labels: ,

Monday, July 27, 2009

Breakfast is a Bowl of Cherries

Sunday, July 19, 2009

An Accidental Joke

When GL is angry, which is often, in addition to awfulizing (screaming "M'aidez! Help! I'm bleeding!" when he can't find his shoe) he runs around screaming random accusations at people. We do our best to ignore these and focus on the real problem (if we can find it) because objecting only makes him worse. But sometimes his accusations are so absurd we have to laugh. GL rarely gets humor under the best of circumstances, but laughs because everyone else does, which puts him in a better mood. Some of his classic lines become family jokes.

The other day, in the middle of a long harangue, he screamed a BB, "You cheated me for a pig!"

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I Want This Shirt

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Bible Stories with GL

After Jesus turned the water into wine, He told the servants "go take some to your Mother."

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bible Stories

GL has been reading a Bible story book for school. At the end of today's reading, he said in an announcer's voice: "This has been Bible Stories with (GL). Tune in next time when Jesus makes wine."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Rules

On a home school discussion list, one mom said she was having difficulty getting started teaching her 5 year old because he is "stubborn". I think he had just learned some bad rules. He had refused to start until his 5th birthday because "you can't start school until you're 5." The family had recently moved from a rural area to a neighborhood with many young children, and after playing with them, had begun refusing to do anything that was "no fun". Here's my response:

Although both my kids are stubborn, the one with autism is the hands-down winner. Part of his stubbornness is his absolute adherence to "The Rules". The problem is that he comes up with rules from who knows where, and expects us to know them. But when we state the obvious (e.g. you can't go out in the snow barefoot) he accuses us of doing the same thing. The key has been to teach him, where necessary, a new set of rules. It's useless to argue or reason with him, but once something is established in his mind as a rule, he does it automatically, and gets angry if we don't follow it to the letter every time.

So when we want to start something new, before we start or even suggest it to him, before he has a chance to even think of objecting or arguing, we say matter of factly, "This is a new rule. From now on, we will ______ every ______ (before/after) we ______." When we first started hs, (on his 3rd birthday) the new rule was, "From now on, we will have 'learning time' every morning after we eat breakfast." He's 12 now, and on Saturdays, Sundays, Christmas, the 4th of July, etc., he asks, "Do I have the day off from school?"

We started slowly, singing the alphabet and counting to 20. We made gradual additions: alphabet flash cards, memory work, counting objects, and once he had his letters down, Phonics Pathways. It took him months to get his vowel sounds straight (even his brother took several weeks) but after that, consonant sounds were relatively easy. I liked the way Phonics Pathways had them sounding out words so soon. Later, after they had been reading groups of words and simple sentences, they seemed to hit a wall, but Fun Tales helped them over it.

Some other rules we've had to teach:
Life isn't all fun. Get over it.
You don't have to want to; you just have to do it.
Different families have different rules.
What the neighbor kids have to do has nothing to do with what you have to do.
(Especially when one is bossing the other) I'm the parent; you're not.

This emphasis on rules may make me sound like a stick in the mud, but we find that it is only after the rules are established that fun is possible.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I lost 5 pounds this weekend.

After almost eleven years, I had my hair cut. Papa Bear finally gave in to my whining and took about eight inches off. I feel light -headed. It's a big change for a person who changes her hair style once a decade. I think I like it.

Monday, July 6, 2009

GL's first 911 call

This afternoon I took the laptop out to the porch, where I could sit in the shade. I'd been out there maybe 20 minutes when a police car pulled up in front of the house. The officer got out and asked, "Did someone here call 911?"

"Not that I'm aware of." I answered.

Just then GL came running out of the house, saying, "Oh,no! Oh, no!"

The officer asked him if he had called 911, and he turned and walked away. "He has autism." I explained.

We talked for a few minutes, and then he left. I went back in the house and played back the new message on the answering machine. Apparently, while MB was at work, BB was in the other room, and I was outside, GL picked up the phone and dialed 911. There was no indication why. He must have decided it was a bad idea and hung up without talking to anyone. They called back, he didn't answer, and they left a message saying there was a 911 hangup from this number, and if there was an emergency, to please pick up or call 911 again. GL seemed embarrassed by the whole thing, and didn't want to talk about it. I told him not to call 911 again, because when you call 911, the police will come, and left it at that. I'm not sure what else we can do, other than taking the phone with us when we leave the room.