At 42 Degrees

At 42 Degrees

Friday, November 28, 2014

Understanding Thanksgiving,...

Non-traditional Thanksgiving this year,...via an icky cold-Mama can't shake which made cooking a traditional(home-made) turkey and dressing dinner not exactly feasible,...but as Isaac doesn't 'get' holidays yet our lapse in tradition didn't faze him,...and he was happy to eat out at a restaurant, especially since we ordered catfish for our little fish-loving guy,...I mean surely the pilgrims ate 'fish' on Thanksgiving Day too!!!

Thanksgiving Day Isaac enjoyed his catfish and french fries, while everyone else had turkey and dressing with all the trimmings. While he was at it, Isaac managed to charm our waitress as well with his cheery, "Hi," and "Tank you!" - when she refilled his drink,...and for a four year old he did GREAT in the crowded restaurant. Of course his tablet and having big brother Teddy there helped, but Isaac showed a lot of maturity by sitting in his chair and paying attention when the food arrived,...because he was anxious to get his plate,...which arrived last to his chagrin as he wanted a plate, everyone else,...which is for us a big social development,...

Does Isaac understand Thanksgiving is a special day? No, I am afraid he doesn't, not in the sense of a typical four year old would,...with the understanding of the pilgrims and turkeys as significant,...but Isaac colored a turkey at school, and was very proud to say, "I color," while showing me the brown crayon scribbles. And we both admired the colorful feathers which were glued on, no doubt by the teacher as they were too precise for a four year old, and Isaac has a 'thing' about glue, but the entire point is Isaac was proud of his turkey and he exhibited recall, 'I color," which is HUGE as it is still a rare occurrence. 

At the restaurant Isaac folded his hands and prayed with us, his family when we gave thanks for the food,...his ringing, "AMEN!" - drew smiles from us, and others,...

Unprompted, Isaac knows to pray over his meals, even snacks are lisped over, "Tank you, food, AMEN!"  - Is this by rote or by understanding? Impossible to tell, but Isaac is very courteous to say, "Tank you," - for any consideration, also unprompted, I might add, so perhaps he grasps more of the essentials than he is able to communicate to us. 

With apraxia and autism holidays are more complicated, the sense of trying to communicate what is 'special' about the day or tradition to your child,...and frankly it is a consideration I would not have bargained for, children are usually so excited by the prospect of a holiday, but that's not the case with Isaac, our little guy lives for the moment,...

Understanding Thanksgiving takes on new meaning when trying to translated such sentiments to your child,...and as I thought about Isaac's Thanksgiving,...trying to connect with his understanding, which is so hard to gauge, I have to stick to concrete facts and that's not such a bad thing as the facts are indisputable as Isaac spent Thanksgiving Day with people he loves,...he ate a meal he likes and was thankful to receive. I mean half the restaurant must have heard that, "AMEN!" - and as usual, Isaac manages to simplify essentials into a nutshell,...if he understands that thanksgiving translates into love,...and no doubt Isaac felt loved, he was so happy and content,...

Although I keep repeating this phrase, I can't get over the fact that Isaac experiences the world in a different way,...and he makes sure we do as well,...Such as, everything we thought we knew, like traditional holidays are place in a different light, and usually pared down to the very essentials: thanks, love, family and food. Our Thanksgiving this year was non-traditional, but yet it had all the essentials,...and that's all that really matters. 

Thank you Isaac for helping me to understand what Thanksgiving really means. 

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Old School, New School,..

Having 20th Century parents,...Isaac is exposed to old school learning such as coloring with crayons and having an art easel,...and of course the alphabet on our living room wall. 

But Isaac is a 21st Century kid,...and let's get real, plastic easels, in his book, are more for jungle-gym climbing than art,...and ho-hum coloring with crayons is no where as exciting as using a coloring app on his electronic tablet,...

So many instant options,...colors, patterns, and of course, endless coloring pages,...with animation to boot!

Those little fingers are very skillful tapping out his commands upon the screen,...

And while Isaac will quite often work alone upon his coloring pages,...he's very open to sharing the fun,...and no worries if you make a mistake upon the page,...because Isaac can and WILL fix the error with a swipe,..."All Better!" 

Coloring with crayons is not a favorite activity for Isaac,...we try, but a degree of Apraxia also affects Isaac's grasp which he has occupational therapy at school to help correct,...and that is fine and well, but as physical coloring has not been easy for Isaac, we've been delighted he's been able expand his creativity with the coloring apps even as we continue with (old school) coloring to strengthen his fingers.

Play-dough and kinetic sand are different stories,...Isaac LOVES to play with both, especially the kinetic sand, which is really very cool as it feels very silky and clumps together so obligingly well. 

Arts and crafts have not been a big draw for Isaac, yet,...we've tried various projects, but with not a lot of success,...there are sensory issued to deal with painting and gluing, and magic markers seem to be another ho-hum to Isaac, so far, but lately we have had success with little foam crafts from Sunday school at church. 

No surprise that Isaac is not able to complete his Sunday School crafts at church, too much going on, but his teachers always give us the craft-kit to take home,...and I keep them at my desk, and when Isaac visits with me, has worked very well to take out a kit,...and put together the Bible verse and illustration, which are usually pre-cut and sticker foam pieces,...very cute,...and very social as Isaac helps me take off the sticker-back and place all the components in place, I narrate the Bible story or attribute that the Bible verse encourages, Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread,...which was from our latest project. 

No doubt being a 21st Century kid, Isaac is going to prefer new school methods in this instant age we live in,...but as a 20th Century mother, I have hopes,...Isaac will be able to appreciate old school methods as well, there is much to say about the benefits of each to enrich our lives....

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Friday, November 14, 2014

When We Don't Feel Well,...

Sniffles have arrived this fall,...and croup is making life difficult for our little guy as he hasn't felt well, although he's a LOT better now, or I wouldn't be on the computer,...because when we are four years old and don't feel well, and are non-functionally verbal,...we want to be held as we don't know why we don't feel well and we can't express,...exactly what hurts,...thus lots of guessing for us: head, throat, sinuses? Guess, guess, guess,...and we know when our little guy doesn't want popcorn or diet Coke,...he's SICK!!!

This is the most icky side of autism when you have a sick baby and limited communication,...
it is a very helpless feeling,...and not a test,...this is the real deal,

Lots of hugs, lots of kisses,...and tag-team holding our little guy to soothe.

Mama's here, Daddy's here, Teddy's here, and Michael too,
we can't make the boo-boos go away,...not quickly at any rate,
but we're here,...we hold, and hug, and soothe,
it's all we can do,...and thankfully by Isaac's reaction it seems enough.

IEP meeting was this week, 
and our little guy is making progress on his education goals,
and of course before Isaac's cold took hold,
he help us be good citizens,
only those voting ballots were soooooooooo complicated,
according to Isaac, who was not amused by how long it took to for us 
to fill in all those little circles.
However a giggling Isaac did like getting a sticker at the end.

School lunches are going VERY well,...
Isaac has been enjoying the variety ,
and his teachers have commented, with surprise, upon 
the variety of healthy foods,
Isaac will consume,
from legumes to turkey to apples to corn and peas,
and a corn-dog or two,
Isaac is at least eating his lunches,
and breakfast too,
Isaac LOVES oatmeal,
I make homemade instant oatmeal,
quick, easy and very cheap,
(There is a how-to on the sidebar pages)
Isaac eats it every day,
he likes it with sunflower seeds and raisins,
and I can make it the exact consistency which he'll tolerate,
like the three bears it has to be, "Just right!"

We're glad Isaac is feeling much better,
thankfully he's rarely sick,
and we're very thankful Isaac is at such a good preschool.
IEP: Individual Education Plan,
is a lot to take in,
so many people are working together to help our little guy
be the best he can be,
and learn all these essential skills.
We are eternally grateful. 

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!

Friday, November 7, 2014

What Really Matters,...

 End game for autism charities,...mean a little guy playing miniature golf at the zoo at NIGHT!!!

Can't hear the giggles,...but Isaac LOVED the BOO-at-the-ZOO,...presented by KultureCity a local charity for autism awareness.

It was a great night,...thanks to all who give so generously of their time and money,
our little guy had a BLAST!!!!

Of course,...Isaac has a blast just about 365 days a year,
he is one happy little guy,...

Fall Festival time and Isaac was a quasi-superman/ClarkKent,
those glasses were only worn during this photo shoot,
then Isaac declared the glasses were 'all done' 
(Note: our dog Oreo wanting in on the fun!)

Did Isaac know he was dressed as superman?
Did Isaac care that he was dressed as superman?
Did we care that Isaac didn't care that he was dressed in costume?
All that matters is that Isaac had a super-good time,...and he did!

In his own way,...of course,...let's get real,
Isaac is Isaac
he experiences the world is a different way,
and makes sure you do too!

In case you have ever wondered,...quasi-supermans like french fries and chicken fingers. 

Super heroes have super powers which set them apart.
Autism and apraxia set Isaac's development apart,
and those diagnoses make us examine the world in a different manner.
Like fall festivals and trips to the zoo.
Same, but different.
And we're getting use to approaching celebrations
from a different perspective,
or rather from Isaac's perspective.
How much does he understand?
We don't know because he can't communicate to that degree, yet.
But Isaac communicates his joy,
and excitement,
and curiosity.
He LOVED the fall festival,
He LOVED the Boo-at-the-Zoo,
He LOVED noshing on chicken fingers and french fries!
And that's all that really matters.

Until I post again,...may God bless and keep you!