Practicals - Trying it out !!

We are kind of on pause mode for RDI - will restart it in May after our assessment with our consultant. In the meantime, we are also looking at what other things would be required for DS to be relatively independent.

Two weeks ago, i was assembling something - looking at the instructions. I was thinking it would be key for DS to develop that ability; even if were to keep a job later on. He reading the map kind of strengthened my belief that DS is ready for smaller "instruction manuals". DW and I are working on possibilities of giving out "instruction sheet" kind of thing to him. For e.g., cooking something would be the title and the 2-3 instructions around it; For eg, it would look like:
(1) cut vegetables
(2) heat wet vegetable
I call each one of the above as compound instruction which has sub-instructions in it (or micro instructions, if you are hardware engineer) - cut vegetables would break down to take out the vegetables he likes, possibly clean it, take the cutting board and cut them; and so on. So, it would help him not only to learn about instructions and also pause and make him think.

The other one is fractions. We are tending to use that more at home; give him a bunch of discrete and countable things (eats generally - like pistachio etc and tell him to give half to others; or 2/3rd to others, when there is 3 of it etc. The hope is that he gets the concept after which the learning could be easier.

Jokes a part ?

We were on car, riding out, during a weekend. I was saying something; and DS remarked "I'm confused". I responded "No 'kan'fusion or 'kaadhu'fusion" (kan in our language implies eyes and kaadhu is ears). He stopped for a couple of seconds and laughed out loud. So, did he really get the "joke" ?

Second incident: again in the car - since I was new to the place, I had the GPS in my car; so he started to mimic the instructions; more like reiterating; if the GPS tells me to take a right in 0.5 miles (there ! decimals and fractions again), he'd tell me to take a right. Once I had switched the GPS off and was driving; he asked me to take a right and grandly announced that "I'm the GPS" and had a laugh !


DS did a couple of good things in the past two weeks.

The toilet seat is an issue for him. He hardly watches if its down or up. Last week, I showed him the seat (slightly soiled) and had the conversation around that being a guest-room toilet and guests visiting our house and how they would feel when they see such soiled seats. I think he understood it; for a day later, he called us and said, that he had taken the toilet paper and cleaned the sides of the toilet and he wanted to ensure it was clean. Of course, we were quite happy and the next thing is to get him use the anti-bacterial soap to wash his hands, which isn't as tough; since the time we introduced the diet ("due to germs in his tummy"), he pretty much ensures that he is clean.

The other good stuff was that he had found a car-wash in our apartment map. DW and I had not given that any attention; and he had twice talked to me about a car-wash in the apartment complex; i did not pay specific heed to it. Last week, I had to travel; apparently, when I was away, he tool the apartment map and figured out where the car-wash was and went to spot the place; along the way he had also used the maps-on-the-board ("you are here" kind of thing) to find where the car-wash was. When I returned back from my travel, he told me that he did find the car-wash and told me where it was !

This is good; so when motivated, he could actually read maps, which means he is able to map the abstract (maps) to the physical (locations)...

That kind of gave me an idea on something else.

Status update from here !

We have been here for more than 5 weeks now. DS has been slowly getting on the other side of the fence. From where he started with (in India) that he would not enjoy the US at all, he has slowly transitioning. He likes the parks, likes the food, likes the walk, likes the drives etc. he loves the fact that he gets organic chicken and choclates with organic sugar - now he wants to go to the beach in summer and swimming pools and ride bicycles in the park.

Our experience with DS has been that he doesn't want to try something new - because its unexpected on him. So we kind of modelled a few unexpected things that he likes - like suddenly springing a surprise by going to an Indian restaurant to eat his favourite dish; or eating chicken at KFC (we made exception to his diet). And we are trying to encode that 'unexpected like' vs "unexpected dont-like'; and those two balances out and he gets more 'likes' than dislikes. He likes stuff, once he experiences it; The challenge is to get him experience it and take that first step !! But then, thats the core deficit, right ? Resistance to change...

[Also, this kind of reiterates that we need to continue on the RDI bandwagon!]

On the schooling front, we are looking at a complete mish-mash. Since he is quite receptive to descriptive (science, geography, english) knowledge, we do not want under-achieve on his learning. Whereas, in Math, due to white & black nature of the subject (he could either be right or wrong with the answer and he hates to be wrong), we are taking it a bit slow - so we are looking at a combo of curriculum. Part of california curriculum for his subjects, a bit of Enki movement, continue with RDI (restart formally with our consultant from April). We are also looking to follow-up our science lessons with a visit to the zoo etc. Last week we were at the Monterey aquarium and although it started off badly (due to a faux pas I made), he seemed to have gotten into some of it. Same needs to be done with Math/fractions - may be pizza would help (and an excuse for me to gorge some !)...