Connections, again.

I had written about "Making the connections" more than a year ago...

Much water has flown under the bridge and we have hopefully better understanding of the situation now. As DS grows (which is in itself scary) and evolves in his thinking and showing "normal" thinking in certain areas, I believe that our model of "making the connections" have changed a bit. Earlier I had thought the progression was
1) Physical/Factual to (2) Emotions to (3) Abstract to (4) Connections to self.

However, now I believe the order is changed... Its
1) Physical/Factual [senses] to (2) Abstract [thinking] (3) Emotions [feeling] to (4) Experiencing Self...[sync and sink]

The 4th one is tough one to explain. This is something that the whole body feels - its like feeling happy, when one sees a bright sun-shine reflecting off the pool with crisp cool air enveloping you. That is where the body+mind are in sync, I believe. I think this level is required for to be able to develop empathy and sympathy...

Re-Schooling !

DS started school last Thursday (21-Aug-08) in a public school. We were quite apprehensive. We decided to put him in the public school, for two reasons - the whole IEP process looked quite good for us (after having heard horror stories about it) and secondly, it would be a good good break for DW. Also, looking around at private schools here, I was very particularly impressed - they seemed to serve at either end of the spectrum and not someone in the middle. Let us see how the experience goes. One thing we are doing consciously this time, is NOT to ask DS as to how his school was - strictly "no" questions regarding school. Secondly, we have also sensitized him that people outside the house would ask questions about School (and also of things that he does not like) and because they do not know about his thinking and its quite normal for them to ask such questions. So, now DS has learned not to freak out when such questions are asked of him. So the Winner classes seemed to have helped him. He has the idea of "others" thoughts and his own thoughts and can make a distinction between them... Touch wood...

Anyways, in the meantime, his class teacher wrote to us: "... was totally fine last week. He participated in every class, had comments on all the work and actually did a lot of work. He seemed to be having a very good time, but every time I asked him if he was having fun, he quickly changed his expression and said “NO”! I have given him easy work so as not to stress him out..."

We have also requested the teacher not to 'test' DS for the first few weeks, so that his experience and episodic memory of the school is pleasant to start with.

Oh, btw, he liked the bus trip to the school - he likes to read the road names and find out where they are located vis-a-vis directions... He was telling his friend in India over the phone about his bus trip to the school and back...

Oh, btw^2, DW does not know what to do with all the time she has in her hands !! :-)

Mirror stories... (1)

I had written about the Mirror stories earlier. Here are some that we wrote that made DS bring out his own version of Mirror stories (Bala the bus, the helpful one and Bicky the ball, the sad one).

Mani the Mountain (the patient one)

Mani, the huge mountain (near Simla) has been alive for a long time, many thousand years. He was large, strong and importantly, very patient. He had a strong inner strength that helped him to live through all the troubles patiently, knowing it would be better at the end. Many times, he has buffeted with strong rains, heavy snow and hot sun. But Mani was strong and patient. He was burdened with lot of trees, buildings, people but he was patiently carrying them. People bore holes through him to build tunnels. During heavy rains, part of his skin fell in a land-slide. But Mani stayed patient relying on his physical and mental strength. Whatever happened to him, he continued to remain patient and calm, since he knew his inside very solid and very well grounded.

Vasavi, the waves (the angry one)

Vasavi was the daughter of the sea. She had a brother, named Vasan. When young, Vasavi lived with her father, the ocean, farther into the ocean. As she grew up, Vasavi became curious and wanted to go near the shore and she did so. As she peeked at the shore far-away, she found a nice fruit that was very tasty. She saw a mango tree at the shore and she flowed towards the shore. As she reached the shore, she found that she could not reach the mango tree. Then she stepped back and rushed to the shore with a great cry (sssshhhhhhhhhhhhhssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh) and she found that she still could not reach the tree. Since then she has been trying, greatly angry at times and rushing in more strongly as tides and sometimes Tsunamis, but her anger wasn’t taking her close to the tree and to reach the mango. She still tries to do that to this very day angrily.

Vinoo the wind (the mischievous one)

Vinoo was the wind. He was the cool one. Depending on his mood, he blows hard or gently. But mostly he is the mischievous one. He like to play small jokes on people and have fun and laughter. Sometimes he would blow so hard that people would stay indoors and hold on tight to their things. Sometimes he would stop blowing, that people would start sweating and start complaining. Vinoo would hear all this and have fun. Sometimes, when he blows, he would move their things from one place to another. He had particularly more fun when he would blow papers from someone’s hand suprising them with a sudden gust. As people would reach the paper, he would let go another gust and move the paper to a bit more. After indulging in some mischief like this, he would finally let people have the paper.

Mirror stories...

Thanks to Harvest Mom's (and Enki backgrounder), we have some understanding of mirror stories. The intent of it being tell a story (on nature) and let the story be the trigger for reflection; and not have the story be prescriptive (like a social story)...

I've modeled my concept of mirror stories around the above and wrote about:
Mani, the mountain (the patient one)
Vasavi, the waves (the angry one)
Saami, the sands (the lazy one)
Manju, the (mango) tree (the kind one)
Vinoo, the wind (the mischievous one)

Since these are made-up, i'm trying to correlate these with certain things that he likes and has good episodic memory on... (like Mountains would be Simla; Waves would beach in Chennai, Mauritius etc)

I did Mani, the mountain and Vasavi the waves yesterday again - end of the day setting, most relaxed etc...

DS came back with his own last night - Bala the Bus (eventually, Bala the bus, the helpful): the essence was Bala, the bus (he has gotten the alliterative concept :) ) is a bus that goes from here to there; in his story, a car breaks down and the bus comes along and take the people in the car... at this point in time, we named it as "Bala, the bus, the helpful one".

My question, since last night has been, if mirror stories are reflective in nature, does his story on Bala, mean one of the two ?

1) He is seeing himself as Bala the bus who wants to help others or
2) he is the car and when he breaks down he is expecting Bala, the bus to come and help him ?

If he thinks he is the car... then may be he is scared/lost... not knowing what to do...

I plan to enact Bala, the bus with TBs and lets see what comes out of it; I'm also wondering if its a good idea (in the RDI approach) to encode this in some-way - that if he is the car, he should look for Bala...