[I just got my computer back from Apple Hospital, so finally I can quit half-assing work on my 7-year-old, 12″ iBook, workhorse that it still is. ]
It’s been a good day all around except for the ridiculous allergies we’re all dying from. Mary’s parents, sister, and her two kids are visiting. All that and the weather today has been the kind of achingly good spring weather that makes people love North Carolina, except for that whole pollen from hell thing.
Anyway, since I don’t have time yet to post anything terribly interesting while my main computer is restoring from backups, here’s a preview of a few of the major things I’ve been working on topic-wise.
* Book Review: Daniel Isn’t Talking by Marti Lembach – It was the first ‘autistic novel’ I’ve read. What a wild wide it was.
* Turning my two-year-old into a one person case study of an autistic toddler – I’ve joined the parental practice of everyone comparing their autistic children’s traits. In the “normal parent” world, people compare in hopes of proving their child is smarter than yours. In my conversations with other parents of autistic kids, it’s a genuine dialogue about discovering each child’s strengths and weaknesses and comparing notes on how we’ve helped our kids grow. It also gives you a brilliant insight into the diversity in the autism community.
Anyway – I wanted to offer my (very lengthy) description of J-Man using as an outline the most typical (and stereotypical) characteristics for those on the autism spectrum. Maybe you’ll see something in there that helps you understand your child better and you can offer comments on suggestions for us as well.
* How we currently use the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to help us since J-Man uses very few words. If you don’t know what PECS is, you will soon. (or you can click that link)
To give you an idea of where we’re headed with this site, our plans are to add some of what we hope are useful resources to parents going through a variety of issues related to autism, apraxia, sensory processing, speech delays, and so on. We’ll try to keep these as practical as possible and give you our honest opinion about how well various paths and practices have helped J-Man and us.
We’ve been at this in some form for two years. One of the therapists said we’re getting to where we could teach this stuff at Continuing Education workshops. I tell her, we’re just really motivated parents. Maybe we have something interesting for you, and I’m sure you do for us.
We’re working on the technical parts of how to actually show you on video or photos some of what we do during the day with him therapy-wise. We’ll show some of our therapy gear and what all we do with it. This may help the visual learners see in action what they read about in books. That may turn into a shameless excuse to show off his speech progress!
Our big adventure is that we’re going to turn our formal dining room (which we use neither for dining nor anything remotely formal) into a learning and play area for J-Man. We’re basically going to turn it into something like a therapy room you’d see at a pediatric therapy office.
This is going to be fun, and our therapists are brilliant at coming up with entire therapy kits without ever leaving the dollar store. We intend to build something brilliant – mutli-sensory, structured, de-cluttered, but full of free, crazy, creative stuff and so much fun any kind would love it – all on a tight budget that hopefully others can work from for their own houses and kids. We hope you’ll find following that project from beginning to end as fun and useful as we hope for while doing it.
Of course, I’ll be fixing some of the design borkage on the site, increasing the width of the content column, fixing the tag cloud, getting a better banner, and much more.
More to come. We’ll be resuming our normal schedule shortly.