Perspective Taking and Flexible Thinking...

I've been thinking hard as DS is growing up. He amazes us with certain way of thinking and acceptance and extreme flexibility and sometimes in an exact opposite way, that is quite frustrating. For instance, we had a guest, a distant relative of ours staying with us today. DS has a set routine in the morning - he wakes to two tamil songs and keeps his piece of paper and brings out his "Chuck" (favourite pillow outside the room). Today, since the guest was at home, he forewent all these things very voluntarily, since he did not want the guest to wonder!! So, looks like DS has an understanding of what is appropriate and what is inappropriate in changing cirumstances.

Anyways, since the 3rd RDA was done, we have been thinking about what is really required that would aid his independent living later on. I figure, there are two arms to it - one on the skills side and the other on the thinking side of it (loosely, Skills and functions). I've a belief that once the thinking side develops, the skills side would come.

I decided to do a mindmap of deriving it down further on how it could be broken down. The green-leaf indicates the action (RDI-Labs and encoding?) that would be required. There is another discussion we are having with a friend of ours, who is pretty much a pioneer in "thinking" in this area... How would Think-blocks help here ? (please click on the picture to see it better)

Of Winner and Unforced Errors !

Title has to be keeping in spirit of the Wimbledon finals :) - its been a roller-coaster ride for us. Some ups and some downs

Had enrolled DS at the Michelle Garcia Winner Center for Social Thinking for summer classes. Fortunately, DS got enrolled in what we've heard to be a tough list to get in to. This was one planned input that we were looking while we moved here - structured social thinking. So, we were glad that he got into it. A week later or so, we were asked if we were be ready to enroll him for the individual classes too. Even though it was expensive, we said ok, as a safe-guard. The first day at the group class, DS was disruptive enough to be asked that he moved out of the group program. Fortunately we had him in the individual class. And later on got an additional class in lieu of group. So, although not our best choice, it could have been worse. DS has been going to the individual Social Thinking class. Lets see how it helps.

After all the searches here for private schooling, we were not totally convinced of several private schooling that we saw. In the US, it looked like there are facilities to address children on the severe side of the spectrum and on the lighter side of the spectrum, but not for someone who is in the middle ! So, we went to the public school and the charter school. After several months of IEP process, we got our IEP done. The IEP proposes the special day class, with speech therapy (for speech semantics, we were told), OT assessment, full-day aid etc. We are told that its a good thing. DS doesn't want to go to school here - we need to figure out how to make this work; we are not sure if a full-day class is good for DS. We do want to focus on other things for him. So thats on wait and seel and then re-assess the progress he is making at school here in 3m time. If not, the alternative would be is to switch back to home-schooling.

On the charter school, the directory of Special ed, called me up and said that public school IEP is quite good and they cannot offer something similar to that. So thats done.

The other down we were facing, till about 2weeks ago, was DS behaviour was getting worse - he seemed more irritable and quick on the trigger. We racked our brains to find out what had been different from before when he was more calmer to now. We could not really put a finger on anything. We decided to do something (thats explained in the next para). As with many other signs :), we were in the pool with another dad-son. The dad was talking to me about another pool in the vicinity - and he said it was an organic pool ! That kind of triggered something in my head... So we started him on probiotics immediately after the pool session...

We are also trying to simplify things for DS - sometimes we believe there are so many things to be done, that we start doing all of them that we do none of them very well - I also think that ends up stressing the DS's system. So, it was time to step back and re-evaluate. We have decided through this summer, we would only focus on 3 main things - do the Math (which DS does not like at all - basically the math, that would support his independent living), RDI and physical activities (swimming, navel radiation etc).

Not sure if its the pro-biotic or simplifying things have helped him - he seemed to have calmed a bit more now; also have started asking as to why he cannot do a few things - like cooking or cutting or ...

We have another 5 weeks to go, before the school starts and we need to break the news about school to DS. Will update how that goes !!!