Long time no post about what's going on here... ah, life has a way of living on you. Hehehe. I love my life! It's been great in the last few months, and I can only hope and expect that it will get better.
I'm going away in a few days to the Option Institute (http://www.autismtreatmentcenter.org/) for the Start-Up program. Can I tell you how excited I am about this? I haven't travelled in SO long, that so many things have changed... can I bring my stainless water bottle on the flight? What is this e-ticket? 24 hour check-in on the Internet? I'm really looking forward to this adventure.
I've met up with another mom participant of this program, and we're going to meet in person on Sunday. She's as excited as I am. We'll have lots to talk about on the drive to the Institute. We're very hopefully that what we'll learn will greatly affect how we're helping our children (her with her Little L and me with my Little R). I also think that it will just encourage me to be a more optimal parent. I'm sure that I'll be able to apply the same knowledge to Little S.
Speaking of Little S, here's what she's been up to:
-going to school and LOVING it Monday to Friday
-telling her brother off (he has learn to cover his ears and to close the door on her)
-drawing/writing with clear focus (she's learning cursive writing at school)
-no longer saying "moke" for milk, but actually saying "mailk"
-loves choosing her own clothes in the morning (rather, forcefully denying other clothes she does not want to wear)
-still cries a lot, but I'm teaching her ways of asking for things such as this evening she said forcefully "give me the apple sauce!" I told her, "this is how we ask for more: 'may I have some more applesauce, please?'" With that, she toned down and repeated my phrase and nodded. We do this in other languages too, and it's very interesting to hear the tone become gentle.
-sings a lot in Mandarin, French and English
-seems to have a leadership demeanor (she told an older girl at school to go back into the classroom)
-loves reading books, and if it's not in the language she's expecting she angrily waves her hand in a "stop" gesture
-has an amazingly focused memory (if she tells you she wants something, you could distract her all you want, she'll come back to it)
-saying fewer words than 6 months ago, but seems to be improving with his receptive language skills in both English and my language (now, I focus more on speaking to him in English in the playroom)
-looks at me with meaning (for example, he wants something, or he's sharing that something is funny)
-can put on his rain boots without any help
-opens the car door and sits in his booster seat all by himself
-likes going into the driver's seat and "driving" - avoids me by going between his seat and the driver's seat
-likes kicking off his footwear to stand on our front of the house support beams
-will close the door behind him when he needs to have a bowel movement
-squeezes out toothpaste, pumps too much soap, eats hand lotion... etc.
-climbs up on a chair that he pushes to the stove area to cook, find food, and eat/lick the freezer and refrigerator
-climbs on furniture
-screeches and screams in public (freaks some people out) sometimes, also runs off and tries to climb the portable stairs
-learning how to use scissors with help from an adult
I feel that we're connecting, and that he trusts me more and more every day. He's comfortable with me. Now, I need to take it to the next level: how do I use his motivation to help him learn? I'll have lots more to tell once I come back from my 5 day training course in Sheffield Massachusetts. It will be part school and part retreat for me, a place to calm my mind, spirit and body.