Thursday, May 17, 2012

"My Beautiful Mess"

Never underestimate the value of a Happy Meal toy. 

That's right, I said it.  You know those little, sometimes annoying toys, that come with your child's Happy Meal?  Well, we had a moment last night and it was all because of those toys.

It was 8:30 last night and it was time to start chilling out.  I went downstairs to the playroom and got all comfy on his 6' round crash pad.  That thing is awesome.  He decided to join me and came down the stairs.  He took a second to look around and made his announcement.  "My beautiful mess."  I said, "No way Mr.!!"  He said it again.  When you hear 'my beautiful mess' that means he is going to make a mess.  Why he thinks it beautiful?  No idea.  So he goes into the other room and brings out a bin of random toys, takes off the lid and dumps it all over the floor. 


*Side note*  When he was little and non-verbal, all of this toys were sorted into groups, then I took pictures of the groups so he could point out to me what he wanted to play with.  As he grew it became difficult to keep everything together, so when the pictures went away, so did all the grouping.



With 1 bin on the floor, he headed back into the side room and brought out a total of 3 more.  All 3 had the same ending....dumped all over the floor into a large pile.  When he sees this, his beautiful mess, you can see he gets overwhelmed or confused so I started playing with one of the monkeys from Madagascar.  He thought this was funny so he picked up Shrek.  Shrek made his way over to my monkey and kicked the monkey's butt clear over my leg.  He started laughing hysterically. 

OK.  With circles of communication starting, let's continue!!  I picked up Fiona and then Shrek kicked her butt and so on and so on.  He was laughing so much his sister decided to join in.  Before I knew it, it was 9 o'clock and time for bed.  BUT we were all getting along so we stayed up a bit longer. 

Moments like this didn't happen at all when he was younger.  Now that he is maturing, he does engage more.  So, all of those random toys you may end up throwing out over time?  Keep.  Somewhere in a bin, keep them because they are priceless when they encourage your child to communicate.  I can still hear him laughing right now.

Random Happy Meal Toys +

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Organize Your Summer Activities

Summer is fast approaching!  Not sure about you but the second my kids are together they start fighting!  The easiest way for me to stop the fighting is to keep them going.  Between my son attending ESY and an increase in his therapies, my typical daughter being active in sports and wanting to be in all sorts of camps, and let's not forget about getting together for playdates, summer can fly by in no time.  I'm going to share how we organize our summer activites.  This is the third year I have done this and it helps....believe me.

Step 1 - Get 3 sheets of poster board from your local Dollar Store.  You can buy 2 sheets for $1. 



 
 


Step 2 - Create June, July and August calenders.  Make sure you have a black sharpie marker to make the calendar lines.



Step 3 - I put all 3 months up on the dining room walls with blue painters tape.  I'd show you the roll of tape but the kids used it all up.  Here is a picture my daughter made of me using the blue tape.

 
There you go!  Your entire summer all in one place.  Organizing summer activities this way makes it simple to see where you need to schedule something or if you are available.  If you see a blank day, fill it in!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stronger

You almost got me again.  I admit, you had me down for a while but it was less than 24 hours this time.  Let me tell you again.....You Will Not Deter Me.  You Will Not Get Me Down.  I Am Strong. 

Yesterday we received a copy of an evaluation completed on my son.  Hard to read.  Hate to read the reports.  They are mostly negative.  I am a positive person.  The glass is half full and I prefer to keep it that way.  Sometimes, I have moments.  I'm human.  Honestly thought the report was going to come back much better than what it read. 

So many people, through GJOP, think my son is an aspie.  In thinking about it, probably because of my outlook.  I prefer to look at the good and the positive.  He indeed has classic autism.  Negative thoughts drain you.  But yesterday, they did get to me. 

Significantly Below Average - 0.1 Percentile Rank - Delayed - Frequent Redirection - Unrelated - Off Topic - Lower Extreme - Off Task - Exhibits Several Behaviors that Impact His Ability

You get the idea.  If you are a parent of an ASD child, these words are used repeatedly in every single report you get.  They are used several times and I CAN'T STAND IT.  I stumbled upon a blog called I Couldn't Imagine from Our Life in Pieces and it was a reminder, a wake up call actually. 

So, without further ado, I'm telling you, all things negative, to stay out of my way.  You will not stop me or take another minute of my life.  I'm a parent of a special needs child and he needs me to keep going and to be strong.  I see significant improvements and I will see to it that he continues on this path.  He is intelligent, strong and a fighter.  You'll see.  One day, you'll see.