Thursday, September 28, 2006

Educating Skitty...

Yesterday was my first full day off from dropping off & picking B up from school. C & I have evolved a system where Wednesdays, formerly his day off, were my day off from the school routine. Now that he works 2-3 Wednesday mornings/month, he's set it up so he can still come home & take B to school- bless him! Waving goodbye to the guys has it's up-sides & down-sides, though. Without the momentum to get me out of the door it's hard to know when to start my day. On days when I've got the motivation, however, it can be a wonderful thing to have so much uninterrupted time. Yesterday was one of the days when I had to create my own momentum, so I looked at the clock & decided when I had to be out of the the house & doing errands... & then did it. I was preparing to host my small handspinning guild for our monthly meeting & had decided to have a temaki sushi party instead of the regular-type refreshments. So I hit a couple of asian groceries, finding some fun goodies for B as well (I'm always on the lookout for pokemon snacks & omake- little toys). C needed a bunch of sculpey for Sunday School, & I decided to hit the anime store, too, since I was out that way... I got home just before C did, ate a quick lunch, & realised that I'd better take a nap to get rid of a nagging sinus headache, since once B came home from school it would be a downhill run all the way to night-time. I was up to greet them home from school & visit over snack. B had taken his new Skitty pokemon stuffie to school in his belt pack, but I guess B's buddy JR kept annoying B to take Skitty out to play all day (B's pretty good about only taking the stuffies out when it's free or lunch time) so we all agreed that Skitty should stay home tomorrow. Then I took B to see his psychologist for a regular appointment while C got his boat trailer inspected for the trip home from the club in a few weeks (we store our boat in the garden all winter :). Dr. M hadn't seen B since school began he & was eager for the low-down. It was nice to have gotten a handle on the homework thing so that we could report progress on that front. He was also delighted, as predicted, by B's OT's new system to help teach B to self-regulate (using a car's engine as a metaphor). B had brought Skitty to introduce to Dr. M, so I left them to their meeting with B making the introductions. He was ticcing noisily during the time I was in there, but was considerably calmer when he came out. On the way home in the car B was explaining things to Skitty... we heard a siren & B told Skitty that that was a police car or fire engine & that the police's job is to "reinforce" the law :) He also went into a long explanation of the penal system (I suspect B's fave sitter, Ck, was the source of this info, since he did a criminal justice unit in high school) & ended-up blaming George Bush for the mess our economy is in (he did relate it to the penal system...). It was an illuminating monologue to overhear... I have no idea what Skitty made of it :)

I had told B I would sit & watch the second disc that came with the new Lucario pokemon movie after we got home, & even though I was pressed for time (getting ready for the temaki party) I really wanted to do it, so I put rice in the steamer & B & I settled in to watch. I'm really glad I did, too. It wasn't nearly as good as the usual pokemon movie short, with more violence than usual, & the characters' voices weren't the same! B was pretty upset at a couple parts, which we chatted about as they occurred, & when we talked about it again this morning I told him I was wondering if the story in english hadn't deviated a bit from the original japanese, since the actions sometimes didn't seem to fit the dialogue... We were both a bit shell-shocked after that bit of tv... it really reinforced my determination to watch tv with B whenever possible, particularly new videos. It took some processing to make us both feel better. Good thing the Lucario movie is so great, & also that B wasn't just sitting there so absorbed in the movie that he took it all in without thinking about it. B moved on to play the bionicle game (first time that day) while I prepared the rice & fillings for the temaki. C & B ordered a pizza to keep the kitchen from getting too crazy while I was cooking. After they ate B went quietly back to the computer to play while my spinning friends arrived.

We had a nice, relaxing time eating sushi together :) B pretty much kept to himself (he did say hi as people arrived), except for one time he went rushing through to show dad he has a new loose tooth :) When we finally got the the sitting & spinning part of the meeting B was just about ready for bed. He was back on the computer & C was trying to get him upstairs, but I could hear a note of panic in B's voice & went in where the computer was (just off the living room where we were spinning). He was at another dead end & couldn't figure out what to do next & was beginning to freak out, saying he'd never finish the game & he'd fail his mission... C & I quietly told B, over & over, that he was too tired to think of the solution, that he'd be fresher the next day, that he's hit a wall before & been able to "think outside the box" & find the solution, that Rufus was more important than the game & he wanted to go to bed... B was just this side of a meltdown, but he finally allowed himself to be led upstairs. C came down a little later & said that B was nearly asleep & doing ok. Relief. The cool thing was that I didn't feel terribly pressured by having these friends in the house while B was having trouble. I knew that they'd understand if I had to take care of him for a bit, & after B went upstairs to bed we settled in to our spinning & chatting once more. It was a very nice evening :)

This morning our sunny weather spell turned back to a rainy spell & B was still sleeping when it was time to get up. I managed to rouse him, & he got dressed ok, but dawdled something fierce over breakfast. He had a lot to talk about. He was fretting about the all-school meeting tomorrow (Friday) & the solutions we'd tried to dream-up with Cherie the other day. B was ranting about doing useless things & not understanding why anyone would require him to do them... I mentioned matter-of-factly that I thought this was one area where the Aspergers was not being a help. Sometimes I think it's useful to help B get a more global perspective on what's bothering him, & how his neuro-differences are part of the whole of his experiences. Part of the issue seems to be B's difficulty understanding the importance of doing certain, seemingly senseless, things at school, such as recording his homework in a log book (he knows what he has to do!) & sitting in on community meetings, which he finds boring & sensorily overwhelming. I explained that one aspect of these requirements have to do with altruism- doing things for the good of the group, & one part has to do with learning to do things that may not be relevant yet, but will be in the future. It's hard for a 10-year-old to understand how learning to write things down now will benefit him in college... & also hard for him to understand that by enduring these meetings he's showing his support of & interest in the larger community. I also understand that B has sensory issues that make it painful for him to sit in large groups of people. So we decided to propose to Cherie that he attend the weekly floor meetings (less kids, less noise) & try to cope by reading a book, doing a sudoku, or some sort of distraction that can allow him to be present, but that I just get him early from school once a month when they have the all-school meetings, which are just too big & noisy. Cherie was just fine with this compromise & B seems quite invested in it as well. I can handle picking him up an hour early once a month, so looks like we have a plan...


At 9:11 PM, Blogger Kristina Chew said...

Charlie had sushi too.....I know what you mean about not knowing what to do with yourself if someone else puts B on the bus. When Jim puts Charlie on, I am grateful to be able to get work earlier, but as soon as it is 8.35am and I am sure Charlie is gone, I have to call. I listen to music so I don't try to call earlier----


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