What a Wunderful Week 06.11.12

Big decisions are always fun to make but add in autistic kids, schooling and ‘their future,’ and the decisions seem to take on more precedence and importance.  We have ABSOLUTELY LOVED the current school our boys are in and have felt extremely grateful that they have been in the program for a year.  However, the school is more than 30 miles from our home and the early mornings, long days and strict schedules we adhere to so the boys can be ready for school have been tough on us.  Tonight was no exception (my wife is an angel).

We were approached by another school that had two positions open up and. . . after much debate, discussion, and observation, we have decided to move them.  Both schools are top in their areas and are very very strong programs so we feel blessed to have two great options for the kids.  While we love their current school and will miss the teachers and staff tremendously; a 7:45 versus 6:00 morning, a bus that picks up and drops off at our doorstep, and 25 minute commute versus 60 minute commute for the boys will be nice!  Plus, their OT and speech sessions will be held individually in the new school where right now, we have to take them to other schools on their “day off” for those sessions.  VERY GRATEFUL for those options and a wife who had started looking into these options two years ago.

It's a Wunderful Life, Angry Birds,

Crashed afterschool with his Angry Bird

Accomplishments: If you read last week’s post, we talked about the Angry Birds pictures my wife had the kids paint.  Well, I have a goal that when I teach piano lessons, I get the boys away from the TV or iPad and on different learning activities.  I’ll consider it a success that for at least half the lessons on Thursday, they were painting and played on their own without the use of electronics.  Rome wasn’t built overnight.  🙂

We’ve also seen great improvement in their writing skills, especially Twin A.  His teachers gave us a sample of his writing and said they wrote the word on a separate piece of paper and asked him to write it on his own.  We did that today with him and the picture below was the result.  The work on ‘pincher grip,’ the IKEA chalkboard, and all the writing is starting to pay off!  By the way ~ boys go in and out of playing with things but the IKEA chalkboard is a definite must have!

Occupational Therapy, Writing, It's a Wunderful LIfe

His writing is really improving!

One of the reasons we moved was to be closer to family.  One of my brothers and his family will be moving to Hawaii (yes yes – very unfortunate move for them) in a few weeks so we’ve been trying to spend all the time we can with their cousins before they move.  The boys did extremely well at the zoo, especially since we didn’t ride the popular train at the beginning of the visit but waited until the end.

It's a Wunderful Life @ Hogle Zoo in Utah

Hanging with their cousin on the train at the zoo

Tip of the Week: This is an example of an exercise from a recent speech visit.  The goal was to get the boys to say something that is the same and another thing that is different.  This is something we really need to work on but it’s coming along!  We did cats / dogs, different types of balls, vehicles, etc.  Really easy to make on our own – get a bunch of pictures and throw them on powerpoint but here’s an example of the cards we used in the session.

It's a Wunderful Life, Speech Therapy

What’s different? What’s the same?

Have a great week!  Thank you all for your comments on my help request last week!  Results and updates to follow shortly!

  1. I’m sure I’ve read it somewhere or maybe even asked before…if so I apologize! I read, study and blog autism so much I forget where I’ve been! May I ask the age of your children. I am working with my 4 year old grandson and we simply do not have the incredible academic options here that you have. Things are progressing much better than I had hoped 3 months ago…largely thanks to people like yourself and sharing what their children do or are working on, and adapting it to what I can do with him myself. I would be lost without information you share, so thank you!

    • Yes the boys are four and I am glad to hear that the last three months have been a lot better. I remember you mentioning that you have limited options s are doing more things out of your home. I have some speech worksheets we got that I will scan and post. Also, as I understand how and why certain things are done at their school, I’ll post them so they will help you as well

      • thank you…your boys are 4 and doing so much more than Connor! I only just got him to start using the crayon…and they color in the lines! WOW! Any and all help is very appreciated! I love ‘our’ boy more than words can describe…

  2. Autismum said:

    I wish I could play piano my son loves music. I was just about the proudest mammy in the world when he started tooting along with the horns in Otis Redding’s Mr Pitiful the other day. We’re making him an Otis choice card for when we go on You Tube

  3. gail said:

    I am so happy for all of you for the shorter commute and the new school.

    I’m more convinced than ever that we live close to one another because of the train. I am in Essex county!

    • Essex County? NJ? We’re a few hours west by plane so unfortunately no. 😦

      Thanks for the comment – we’ve got a few weeks left at their current school and have very mixed emotions. We’re excited but really love their current school and teachers.

  4. Lisa said:

    Good luck with the new school! Sounds wonderful!

    We do similar exercises with my son. Google pictures works well, too!

  5. This post as well as many others is why I nominated you for the “very inspiring blogger award”.Congrats to you! I appreciate the way you always remain positive, share wonderful tips and provide a voice to so many dads out there that also have children with Autism. Your perspective is very valuable!

    The rules for receiving “the very inspiring blogger award” are tell seven random things about yourself, thank the person who has awarded you for this award by linking back to them and pass the award over to other bloggers and let them know you’ve awarded them.

    Have a great weekend!

    • That’s very nice of you – Thank you very much! Hope you had a great weekend!

  6. spdmama said:

    Making changes are SO tough. My 5yo with Sensory Processing Disorder has an incredibly difficult time with transitions, let alone a change to those transitions. But I finally reached my breaking point in time spent in the car. Sometimes you have to find the right balance between taking care of your kids and making sure that you take care of yourself too. Good for you for finding a way to make that work.

    • Thanks for the comment! I think the change will knock the boys time ‘commuting’ down probably by 45 minutes a day, if not an hour. Plus, door to door ‘delivery’ (sorry for the term) will be nice versus waiting in a parking lot. I’m glad things came together for them. Thanks for visiting!

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