Daily Archives: April 12, 2010

Our First Conversation

After my first post this morning I was surprised with something I did not expect,  Daniel and I had our first at length conversation today! Here it is for your reading enjoyment.

Daniel: Go get fans, mom.
Me: You get the fans, Daniel.
Daniel: I have to get a chair, I have to get a big chair, mom.
Me: Ok, get a big chair.
Daniel: I can’t reach, mom.
Me: Ok, I’ll get them.
Daniel: You have to play.
Me: I have to put the chair back.
Daniel: I want you to play fans with me, mom.

For further background here, Joshua had fallen asleep on my lap so I could not move. I also forgot that David had moved all of Daniel’s fans to the top of the closet in the play room. I thought they were still in the hall closet which was right behind where I was sitting, once I remembered they were a lot higher than I thought and in a completely different room, I had to move Joshua and go help Daniel. I did not want any accidents! I still let him drag the kitchen chair into the playroom but I followed to make sure everything went ok. He moved it to the closet, rearranged it and adjusted it just so, to reach his two containers of fans. He was a couple of inches off, so he was asking for help when he said that he couldn’t reach, so I got them for him and that is the story. I put the chair back and came and played fans and he shared with me about all of the different colored fish he had in his spinning fish game (which is considered a fan in his book) and he counted them for me. He continued talking to me and then heard David come down for lunch.

He ran to him and said “I want to hold you Daddy!”.

He is now playing play doh with Ariel and they are talking about play doh and all kinds of things. It’s like the verbal floodgates just burst open today and I just don’t know how to take it. It is a very good feeling. I have known for a while that he has all of these words running through his mind but they do not seem to come out through his mouth but today they are coming and he is a very happy little guy. He is talking, laughing and adding his two cents to everything.I do not take it for granted because I know that tomorrow he may not feel like talking and that is ok, it is just really good to have confirmation of what I felt, he has a lot to say and he will say it when he needs to or wants to. He also made his first self-portrait today and then a picture of Ariel. He drew eyes, a nose, a mouth, and legs! I have been asking him to do this for at least a year now. So there you go, whenever he is ready. :-)

It’s a good day.

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What Books Can Do

I am amazed at how verbal Daniel has become lately, he isn’t just verbal, he is constructing sentences that are expressing exactly what he feels or is thinking. For instance, last night I was unaware that he was acting like a cat because he had been in the shower, so while I was helping him get dressed, he said “I am done being a cat, I am just being Daniel”. Or like this morning, he came up to me and said “I want the gate down, I want to play drawing game on the computer.” It is just fantastic! He has been saying a lot more things too, I just can’t remember them all right now, but it is so awesome. These things may not seem like a big deal to some, but there was a time that I could count how many words Daniel said in a day. So it is a pretty big deal that I cannot remember everything he is saying, parents with children on the autism spectrum, that have been non-verbal or are, know that this is beyond expression.

I am very excited to see what he does next.

This leads me to what I think has been huge helps for him, the homeschooling that we have done and the many books that have played a role in helping me mesh a plan for us as family. I believe all the different factors have made life for Daniel much better and he seems a lot more happy and he is definitely more involved. Before I list the other books that I have been reading, I want to share another experience. I have always read to the kids and for a while I felt that I did not read enough, so last month I decided to start a monthly calendar tally of the new books we read, not the re-reads they don’t count, and every day we put the number of new books we have read on it. Then at the end of the week we see our total and at the end of the month we see our grand total.

I found a take home sheet from a school for parents to be more involved with their child, they suggested 5 books a month.

You have got to be kidding me! Five books a month, I thought to myself, I read that in a day if not more. I know I am a home school mom, so I have more time than other parents but still only five a month, that seemed to be very little to me. That is what prompted me to make a monthly calendar, I wanted to see what we average on our new book reading spectrum. Last month we read 62 new books, not including the re-reads, with the re-reads we were well over a 100. This month so far we are at 52 new books. We have already jumped up because the kids love this. So we are reading new books and doing activities along with the books and making up our own stories, talking about the characters, we are all really getting into this and I think that has helped Daniel want to be more involved in all of this as well. Not to mention giving them larger vocabulary to add to their repertoire, Daniel has increased verbally since I started this. The difference is that I got them actively involved in the book picking and activity process. Before I was telling them what we were doing, now we all participate.

I just thought it was interesting and I plan on continuing my experiment to see if it is just a word spurt or if Daniel truly has decided to take on a more verbal role. We’ll see. :-)

Here are some great resources I have been reading.

http://www.amazon.com/Color-Autism-Toni-Flowers/dp/1885477570/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271072662&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/OASIS-Guide-Asperger-Syndrome-Inspiration/dp/1400081521/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271085676&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Books-Grow-Childrens-Everyday-Challenges/dp/0974802573/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1271085896&sr=1-1

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