Where Amazing Happens !

Btw, thats the tag-line for the "National Basketball Association" (Professional Basket ball league here)...

Where Amazing happens is also in our lives ! Day to day, where DS amazes us with his repertoire. As springs sets in, there is a lot more sun and today DS and I decided to take a walk to the park nearby and then walk around the apartment. And here is the story...


As we were walking past the tennis courts, there was a kid with his dad going home after their games. The kid was munching an organic bar. As we went past them, I told DS that the kid was eating the energy bar, just like the one we bought him (organic, gfcf, sugar-free)... DS appeared not to hear, but after few steps, slowly turned his head and looked at the kid, looked elsewhere and then turned his head back... I looked at him puzzled and asked, "Kid..."

4 months ago, during Thanksgiving Holiday (late Nov):

DS wanted to go on a local train and we went on the locals. As we were going across town, a family of three got on the train and took a seat in front of us - mom, older child about 7 and a baby. DS, not so socially aware, stared at the baby and his antics. I told him that its not ok to stare like that; and btw, if you know DS, he doesn't like two things - when the voice is raised and if we correct him unexpectedly. And he felt silent after that in that ride. Later on, I kind of explained to him about the whole thing and told him sorry that I had to correct him unexpectedly.

Back to Today:

...I looked at him puzzled and asked, "Kid... what did you do ? Did you see that ?". He said, "yes I did, but you told me long time ago not to look at strangers "straight on their face", which is why I did that slowly after looking somewhere else"...

My heart swelled with pride !!!

ps: Rest of the walk, we talked about social rules vs police laws; what a society is, what are unwritten rules etc, and how he behaves differently when there are guests at home and that is nothing but he following some "social" rules himself... etc etc etc  etc...

Movie Magic

I had posted on this line, in one of the parent support forum, where there was some discussion re ails of visual media (TV).

We have used the visual medium effectively to develop (and in the process of doing it) some key skills in DS.

We have movie days every friday - where we bring in known Tamil movies. Ahead of time, we tell DS the story of the movie. While he is watching, we try to work on his comprehension and see if that could be improved; we also freeze the movie at certain place and ask S to identify what the character feels and why does s/he think so ("he is happy because he got a job and i can see from his face, since he is smiling; He is angry, because the other person cheated him and I can find out because he shouted" etc)... Also, it is helping him look at the story-level rather than details ( which would earlier be - "he opened the left door of the car, drove through trees to go to the shop and on the way he crossed a dog and an auto" vs "he went shopping for his wife")... The movies has become a tool for us to teach Emotional Intelligence !!!

DS has now begun to want to dance as the heroes do - it gives him a good SI input. We have also seen some of the SI exercises prescribed for him form some portions of the dance-moves in the songs. So, its easy to get him to do those SI moves. He now wants to tape his dances and watch them - I believe they improve his self-awareness and his own view of his body and balance. I'm hoping the recording would help him see the differences between what the movie actor does versus what he does (in terms of performance/moves)... I hope that would lead to DS's better understanding himself.

Additionally, for him to watch movies on Friday, he needs to pay out "3 Poker chips" - so he earns those throughout the week doing work. And he is learning some basic accounting. Also, some negotiations, since he wanted us to make movies a bit more in-expensive, particularly when he doesn't have enough poker chips (or happy sticks)...

We have also used his favourite movies (he has seen) to teach the concept of history, based on their release date and the timeline on a white-board and what else did happen in that specific year. We plan to teach the "history of movies" now... We use the upper-half of the timeline for movie-history and the bottom-half for some other history (like cricket, India etc).

Growing some Non-chalance

DS and I used to have some standard exchanges. 

He would want to know as to where we (DW & I) went or what we did, in his absence (particularly his mom, since he doesn't like her to do something that he too likes when he is not around). To his question,  I would ask him why - as to why he wants to know. He'd say something that is quite standard - "I'd like to know", to which my standard response would be, "thats not the real why, so tell me why do you like...". After couple of repetitions of such back and forth, it would get to him and he'd show his stress in his face and by his "stimming behaviour" - ie clasping his palms tightly...

Yesterday, after a couple of "you tell - no you tell - no you tell first" between us, he said, "ok, don't tell" and walked away... There is a Buddha lurking in that DS :)

Yay !

Mental Fortitude...

Yep, those are big words ... Lets just call it mental strength...

I'm discovering that DS has great mental strength. Once he decides, its pretty much easy for him to stick to it. I know folks would say thats typical of such kids. Somehow, I think everyone has their temptation and would want to do things that is forbidden :) Here are couple of examples.

  1. I had written about DS sleeping alone. However, he sleeps in the living room; and in there, the sound of the rain on the roof and the wall mounted AC is pretty high. So. he does get scared of that sound (and it has been raining quite incessantly for the past few days). So, I had asked him last night that since its raining, would he want to sleep with us, partly due to my own issues. But he was quite clear. Nope, like last night, I'll sleep in "Thatha's room" (the room, that my parent's used when they visited us). For the past two nights he has been sleeping there soundly...
  2. Last weekend he had an invite from one of his class-mates for a birthday celebration at a bowling alley, that he really loves to go to and bowl. But he hadn't told us about it at all; the invite was amongst his books in his bags. When DW saw that on Monday morning and asked him, he said he didn't want to go, but didn't really explain really well. However, later on during the evening, when DW talked to him using the "Rahul story" (which DS has taken to, with his own version of character called "Red Thala"), DS had explained that he didn't go to the party because he had several dietary exceptions already in the recent past - 'boys day out' with me (at Chinese joint), eating out the local Komal Vilas, eating at a friend's place; and he simply didn't want to eat cake at the party which they would ask him to. And to avoid the temptation he simply decided he would not go !!!! Amazing !!!!!!!!!!!
Given this, I believe he has great mental strength. So, I believe this was a good time to talk to him about "melt-downs" (or temper tantrums)... So both of us talked to him about "meltdowns" and why its normal for people to have it and how people react to it differently when they have one. For the past few days, we are playing the "True/False" games around a few melt-down 'facts". Eventually, I want to lead it to a point where he does know melt-downs are pretty normal and he will need to find a way to handle it in a way it does not perturb people around him...

Like Floyd says, "the Child is grown, the dream is gone...", only in this instance, the dream is still out there and it might very much come true ! 

Clarification Please ?

Ok, I'd like to know... The funda about sleep-place. What was it, again ?

Is it that, DS should not be sleeping with us ? Would that mean  that I can go sleep with him, in the room where he sleeps !?!

Ah ! Thank you !

(and yes, I know about the letting go, funda !)