The WEGO Health Activist's prompt for today was to make a list of 10 things you couldn't live without. I took it upon myself to tweak it a bit and worked with my son about the things he really likes or loves. As you know, with autism, communication can be difficult so this list we compiled took a while. I'd ask him what he likes and he would either show me or give me a few words. I have come up with reasons why he likes these items/things through observation. First the list that he gave me then a list of items that I have observed.
1. Trampoline and Swing. Whenever he gets anxious I remind him of the trampoline and he will jump until he feels better. Most days he will wake up and jump all by himself. His swing is outdoors and believe me, he can swing for hours. How do I know? My upper body gets sore because of all the pushing!!
2. Angry Birds. Well, all stuffed animals. We have hundreds of stuffed animals all over the house. This is a fact. There's something about their eyes that he enjoys. He also loves to be 'buried' under them then he breaks out, roaring like a monster! This can go on for hours.
3. iPad. My husband bought an iPad in November and since that time, it is known that it is my son's property! He has many games downloaded both educational and not. When the new Angry Birds Space came out, he eagerly presented the iPad so we could download it for him.
4. The Kitchen! OK, mostly the appliances in the kitchen. A future chef needs it all. He is currently into making a verbal list of ingredients, repeating them until we have them all together, then gets out the blender and makes shakes. Sometimes these shakes are delicious and other times....he takes one sip and says yucky! Yesterday we made one with coconut, lime juice, a banana and some sherbet. I sounds tropical but tasted disgusting.
5. Wii & 3DS System. He plays Super Mario Brothers with all 4 Wii remotes at once. Not kidding.
6. Legos & K'nex. We used to have these in the house but if not carefully watched, he would scoop them up and throw them all into the air. Stepping on these in the middle of the night hurt so all Legos and K'nex are either at school or at his after school program.
This is what I added to his list through observation.
7. Holidays. He enjoys all holidays and doesn't mind the change at all. He really gets into Halloween, Christmas and Easter the most but does love his hearts, shamrocks and American flags.
8. Teachers & Therapists. He will wake up in the morning and know what is the usual thing to do for that day. Many times he asks for his therapists. Every Wednesday he asks for Miss Lacy and Miss Christina. When he asks for Miss Allison he gets to swim. When he wants to go to school, he asks for Mrs. R. and Mrs. Mallery then says Mrs. Rohn.
9. Freedom to use his imagination. I realize that with ABA therapy it is all about discipline. I get that. I also want him to be able to use his imagination to work on playing. So, with this in mind, I do allow him scissors and a big pile of paper. I don't demand him to cut on the lines, just to let him cut to see what he comes up with. When he was little and didn't like to color I gave him a pile of chalk and encouraged him the color on the walls, carpet, basically anything to get him to increase those skills. Many thought I was crazy but chalk wipes off....no big deal.
10. His Family...especially his sister who I believe is his Best Friend. He loves his family. I see it. He actively seeks his sister out all the time. It's a love/hate relationship sometimes but they speak their own language. She connects with him like no one else. Besides, there has been so many educators/therapists that we have been in contact with who became who they are today because they have grown up with someone on the spectrum. My daughter may be in training for her career. You never know.