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Monthly Archives: April 2013

My wife and I had a conversation the other night about how ‘literal’ our boys see things and view the world.  We have fabulous friends up the street who have an older boy (11 yrs old) who is autistic and they have him mainstreamed.  She has shared some of the growths . . . struggles . . .triumphs . . . and challenges they’ve had along the way.  Sidenote – this is a really amazing family and I’ve noticed how thoughtful and considerate they are of others . . . great examples for me!  🙂

GGGGOOOAAALLLL!!!!

GGGGOOOAAALLLL!!!!

Anyway, our daughters are on the same soccer team and they’ve started the spring schedule with two tough games and really got smashed both games . . . . . though they did win today 5-0 so it’s either hit or miss with our team.  Our friends mom, A mentioned that her daughter (let’s call her “C” for this post) felt ‘deflated’ after the past game.

On hearing that, the autistic 11 yr old mentioned that, “yeah when ‘C’ (sister) was a baby, she was pretty chubby but she isn’t chubby anymore, huh?”  Interesting how he understood ‘deflated’ and thought of it that since his sister is running around and exercising, she is losing weight  versus how the moms were talking about it in terms of spirit and morale.

Found this on google - had to chuckle at it

Found this on google – had to chuckle at it

Got me thinking a lot about communication nuances and  what it’ll be like when the boys get older  and we have those types of nuances come up in their social conversations.  There are simple ones now that come up that we explain and I’m not sure how much of it really comes across to the boys but I’m sure we’ll have some fun ones along the way.  I was extremely impressed that our 11-yr old friend had, on his own, thought through what “deflated” meant and how it could possibly relate to this situation and had made a very good inference to it’s meaning.  That was fantastic to see!

Have any you’d care to share?

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Man it has been a BUSY 24 hours . . . . it’s 10:30pm on Saturday Night and we still are waiting for one more person to arrive before we can hit the sack!  It all started last night with a ‘team and family meeting.’  We are on a Ragnar Relay Team (12 crazy individuals running something like 250 miles over a 36 hr period) and had the first get-together last night which included kids and families.  It was great to see the boys running around playing hide and seek with friends. . . . .  late night and it just kept coming from there!  Here’s how today turned out:

8:30AM: For the past two months, we’ve been meeting with students from the education dept at BYU – participating in their studies of families with special needs children.  Today was our final meeting and we are grateful for their help and advice over this research period.  The three ladies were fantastic!  Awesome ideas . . . great social stories and charts . . . . pictorial to use as well . . . . fabulous!

9:30AM: Out the door!  The boys had their first soccer game of the season and my daughter was at her game a city over!

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Boyz sporting their UVU Fair T-Shirts!

11:30AM: Leave straight from soccer to the Autism Awareness Kickoff at Utah Valley University (read the press release here).  There were festivities, food, games, and the highlight was a blue balloon launch at the start of the baseball game this afternoon.  We stayed for two innings of baseball (and almost watched a mom get hit on the head with a foul ball).

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Some ‘friends’ at one of the booths . . .snakes, turtles, lizards and other fun pets!

2:30: Somehow, we ended up leaving the game with one of the boys’ school friends with us so . . . . . even if it isn’t ‘spring weather’ this weekend, we ended up at the park for an hour.

Light It Up Blue!

Light It Up Blue!

3:30: SmashBrothers Tournament on the Wii begins!

5:30: Dinner and the arrival of five neighborhood kids that we are babysitting tonight 

7:00pm: School friend goes home

8:00pm: Take other neighborhood kids home

9:00pm: Kiddos in bed – begin cleaning the house for an unexpected house guest staying the night

9:30pm: FINALLY SOME FREE TIME!

 It was a really awesome day.  It was nice to ‘be busy’ all day.  The kids all did well at their soccer games – my wife said the boys game went so well. . . . . the other coach needs to take a few chill pills but she said that the boys really did ok . . . ran after the ball . . . got a few kicks in . . .cheered each other on . . . AND NO BREAKDOWNS!  I’ll post more about soccer in a future post and the struggles we’ve had but at the same time, the amount of growth we’ve seen in the boys.

The UVU Fair was great – we ran into the boys teacher and school facilitator . . . their teacher this year has been extremely helpful in coaching me on different ways to handle things with the boys, something I definitely have learned from and appreciate!  We ran into past teachers who have worked with the boys, facilitators at past schools / programs that have seen their programs blossom and EXPLODE (which we are extremely excited about).  We found out there are pictures of the boys used in pamphlets and some posters at one of their past programs, Kids on the Move,  and we were happy to hear that.  Here’s one of the pics.

Kids On The Move

Models! 🙂

I don’t think any of them read the blog (or even know it exists) but I’d like to tell them all how lucky we are to have them in our lives.  “Paul,” who was also instrumental in setting up the Peter Pan Ballet Performance we went to a few weeks back, bear hugged the boys and picked them up and had them laughing and cheering . . . . . seriously awesome stuff.  Time for bed!  Hope your weekend was great as well.

I came across this story when reading Teri Harmon’s blog and let’s just say, this is awesome!  First, to have a program specifically targeted at kids with special needs.  Also, the article goes into detail on some simple suggestions on how to get your child with special needs reading more ~ check out the story here or by clicking on the picture.

Finally, the librarian, Carrie Rogers-Whitehead also received the Librarian of the Year Award and Distinction in Utah!  CONGRATULATIONS and thank you so much!

Utah Librarian Creates Special Needs Reading Program

Utah Librarian Creates Special Needs Reading Program

My favorite time of night is when the kids go to bed!  Disclaimer ~ it’s because not only do I finally get to breathe, but I also get to listen to Gorgeous (one of da boyz nicknames for their momma) play on her cello or piano.

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Gorgeous & her Cello

The kids love music, Twin A especially, sings along in the car with a number of songs he hears on the radio.  Recently, we’ve had a few occasions at night where one of the boys has an anxiety attack and they ask for mom to play piano so they can fall asleep.  I thought that was particularly sweet.

He's so excited

He’s so excited

They always pound on the piano with us but today, they got to play on the cello!  Gorgeous got clever and started playing the “Imperial March” from Star Wars.  As you can see from the pic above, Twin B was in HEAVEN!  Fun afternoon.  Thankful for a talented wife.  🙂