I'm at a loss right now -- I really want to "blog", but I'm really not sure what to say. I've kind of been running on auto-pilot for a while now. There are, however, a couple of things worth sharing....
First, Rachel is being incorporated into a neurotypical pre-K classroom in an effort to (1) introduce social opportunities and (2) begin her transition to being mainstreamed when she begins kindergarten in a year and a half. The plan is to go slowly, increasing the time she's in their classroom gradually to get her used to being there. She goes with her paraeducator so she has that familiarity and there is no added stress on the pre-K teacher since she has someone specifically watching out for her. She easily incorporated herself into the classroom for 15 minutes/day. But they've made some accommodations to help ease this transition, namely allowing her to choose her own activities.
Instead of increasing the time in the classroom to 30 minutes/day, they are assigning her to an activity. No one was sure how she would react being assigned to (specifically) working with the blocks. She doesn't like working with blocks. She has no interest. When she has to use them for her trials, she will do what's expected, but will get through the task quickly and then she can work with something she prefers. Much to everyone's surprise, there has been no trouble getting her to accept this new requirement placed upon her. She's LISTENING to where she's supposed to go, playing appropriately, and not fighting either her teachers or the activity itself. LET'S HEAR IT FOR PROGRESS!!!!!!!
Second, we had an interesting experience yesterday. An "outsider" came to our house for a few hours and got a glimpse into our lives. That person is a friend of Daniel's. Yes, here we are, more than 3 months into the school year, and I finally pulled myself together enough for him to have a playdate at the house. He and his friend had a great time. They played Legos in Daniel's room, then they went downstairs to play, and then after Kevin came home from work, the boys went upstairs to play on the Wii. The only problem was that Daniel's friend was very uncomfortable around Domino -- every time she approached him, just to sniff his hand, he would run away, which of course led to Domino putting on the chase. Eventually, things settled down and it really did seem that the boys did have a good time.
But that led to a couple of changes in our normal routine. And, being so routine-driven around here, we weren't sure what to expect. But Simon was willing to accept someone coming into the house, and he played his normal games when we arrived home. Rachel accepted that her plaything (aka Daniel) was otherwise occupied when we went downstairs to play. It also led to a slightly delayed dinner (Daniel's friend wasn't picked up until nearly 6 and we usually sit down for dinner closer to 5:45). That was a slight problem -- the twins were both getting hungry and impatient. But again, overall, it went smoothly.
So, we actually did something NORMAL. And we did it right!!! Daniel had fun playing with his friend (and from what I understand, his friend had fun too). Rachel and Simon didn't implode because of changes to their "routine". I got to relax a bit because the older boys pretty much took care of themselves and it wasn't necessary for me to "entertain" them.
Where will the next "normal" thing come from? We're seeing them more and more often.
For my full blog, please see http://myfamilysexperiencewithautism.blogspot.com/
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