It’s a Wunderful Life – February 13, 2011

SNOW!  It’s finally snowing today.  Let’s hope we get enough to build a snowman this week!  I mentioned in my last post that the boys have made great progress in their thumbsucking – they’ve gone a week without their thumbs!  Also, I’ve spent hours at night reading blogs from other parents with autistic children – thank you for sharing your experiences!  Helps more than you may know.

This is what we used the tube for last year. . . . . maybe this year as well

Opportunities: So, thought I’d mention a struggle point this week.  We’ve had a busy weekend with friends and family coming over and visiting.  The boys have been doing a lot better with people in the house and ‘sharing’ their toys but our first night was tough.  The boys have a few cousins who are younger than them and we had more breakdowns than I expected.  I heard a lot of “he’s a bad guy” and other fun phrases.  🙂

Accomplishments: On that same note, the following night we had a friend and his kids over and the boys did so much better.  The source of fighting most times is their waterfall train track and if anyone plays with the track or their Thomas trains, the boys usually take note.  However, last night the boys were actually playing cooperatively with other children around their train track.

I think part of the reason is our friend who came had an angry bird shirt on, as did one of his kids – our boys LOVE angry birds.  Within five minutes, there was an ‘angry bird fight’ with stuffed angry birds flying all over the house.  I think that made everyone immediately comfortable and set a fun tone for the evening.  The boys were also surrounded by older children last night which I think really makes a difference.

Cake Pops!

Tip of the Week: The boys are working on their ‘pincher grips’ and writing skills.  I’ve posted a few of their OT lessons in the past but this is something that we picked up that the kids LOVE.  What kid doesn’t love chalk?  I was looking at a chalkboard easel at a big box retailer for $60 over the holidays and just couldn’t stomach forking over that much for an easel.

Well – we were at Ikea that other night and promised ourselves that we wouldn’t buy anything ‘extra’. . . . it’s amazing how that never works out.  However, the ‘extra’ we found was an easel FOR A QUARTER OF THE PRICE we would’ve paid at the big box retailer.  The easel features a chalkboard and a whiteboard on the opposite side.  Along with the easel, we got some chalk, dry erase markers, and a roll of paper (you can see it at as an extra on the page).  The kids are in heaven.  Here’s the link – THANK YOU IKEA!

Now those are some happy kiddos! 🙂

What’s great is we also had their OT appointment this week.  They don’t go to OT as often as Speech so it was a nice chance to test their writing skills and development.  I was EXTREMELY happy to see that for the most part, they are holding their pens properly, with their pincher grip, and the results are below.  For those of you who have autistic kids – I think you’ll agree, seeing something like this is extremely rewarding.

Great Job Zooming and Zapping!

All in all – a fun filled week!  Great news on the thumbsucking and glad that the toy sharing went better on our second night entertaining.

  1. Your blog is the first blog of a family with autism that I have read, and I am surprised at how much I enjoy reading what you write. You have a way of looking at the world that you live in that makes me smile. On sharing toys…usually this is something Jess does well at (no idea why….maybe just lots of practice) but she has had trouble sharing her doll Little Girl. I finally realized that she sees Little Girl as a part of the family and doesn’t want other kids playing with her….so in that case I have made an exception and protect Little Girl….the doll seems to help her interact with the world. I figure as she gets older and needs Little Girl less, we will address it.

  2. Thank you for reading/liking my latest post, To Live Boldly. How refreshing to read a Dad’s perspective on parenting children with autism! While it definitely brings some tough times with it, I know that my journey is so much richer having traveled this adventure with our son. Many blessings to you and your dedicated family! I look forward to checking-in again to see how your boys are progressing:)

    • Thanks for the comment and good luck to you as well! I agree – this has made life a little more interesting and I know that I’ve changed as a result. . . . .luck to be on this journey

  3. Grainne said:

    Your boy’s are amazing!! Such a great blog…My little man is 7 now, and just in reading this one post alone, I can see SO many similarities. My Colt looooves Thomas…has since the day he figured out how to unclench his little hands.

    Looking forward to reading much more. 🙂

    • Right back at you! You know, I let my boys watch some Thomas / Cars videos on YouTube and they stumbled on a few of kids making stories with the trains. It’s been great to see because now, they create their own stories and worlds for their cars / trains and it’s been interesting to see their make believe play. . . . well, fights right now but still. 🙂

  4. The train thing – it’s kinda crazy. Noah’s speech therapist says it is very, very common for boys with autism to love the color blue and trains. Noah loves both, but does not seem to fit on the autism spectrum, just plain old Down syndrome. Anyway, the ST says, Well, most boys love blue and trains, but kids with autism seem to take those two things to a whole new level. Love the OT focus of your blog. I’m interested in the way the therapists are integrating physical, speech and occupational therapy these days. I’d like to work on putting together some materials to fascilitate that at home, and you’re giving me some super ideas!!! (Does anyone really say super any more?) Blessings to you.

    • I didn’t know that about the trains and blue. I think we’re lucky to have the therapists and also, school that the boys are in so I figured that the more info I can share the better all around. Glad you like it. Thanks for visiting and I’m so glad I found your blog ~ great stuff.

  5. Merri Lewis said:

    My boys love easels as well! I also have twins, but they are boy/girl, now 9 years old. My boy twin, and my 6 year old boy both have autism. I’m so happy to have found your blog. Thank you for the comment on mine so I could find you!

    • Thanks for visiting! Sounds like we have ‘similar’ experiences – best of luck and wishing you well!

      • Merri Lewis said:

        Thank you! I also have a new baby, 6 months old–big surprise and quite a joy!

  6. MB said:

    My son struggles with the pincer grip as well, but he does not have autism. He has Sensory Processing Disorder but he’s come a long way with OT. We aren’t sure if we’ll keep him going or not, but the last 2 years, he has come really far. Just so sad his OT is leaving! But I’m sure the other OT’s would still help him progress too…great post.

    • It’s such a tough call on what to do. Especially when there is progress being made. Best of luck in your decision!

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