Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer plans

Finally there is summer.
No more lunch boxes, no early rising. Getting too school on time is done with for a while.
It is just me and the husband who have to be anywhere on time.
No more search for matching socks.
It does not matter when we go to sleep there is no night anymore.

The boys run around in shorts and I shiver just looking at them. They play outside with water pistols and do not mind the breeze.

Sturla does not like it much when he his clothes get wet he takes them off, gets cold quickly and shivers.
He laughs and points to the naked buttocks of his brothers when his they strip themselves of the wet clothes. He would not have done that last summer.
I make a point of laughing with him and his brothers run shrieking for towels to hide their nakedness.
So much for scandinavian open mindedness.

He plays the piano still and there is steady progress. He loves seeing himself on the camera.

He is sweet and calm mostly again but more opinionated than before. It is a chance to learn I tell myself when we disagree. There have been no heavy tantrums for a while and for that I am grateful. He manages to come back after a while.

We practice pronouncing, fa fo fo af ef áf óf and so forth and he adds log off....
Fox means refur he says out of the blue....
...let us focus on Icelandic I think. But wonder how he picked that up.

I have yet to find a fix for expressive and receptive language disorder.
But we are working on it as hard as we can.

We are working on imitating six words in a sentence and it is hard for him to discern between all the small words that glue the sentence together. He confuses af and að and the consonants and many others and I wonder if we will ever bridge that gap.
How do you know... is another program we are working on.
Matching features.
Naming from categories is being revisited.
Theory of mind. It is my opinion that theory of mind should be redifined as a language skill rather than empathy or an understanding of another ones mind. Sturla does not lack empathy, he lacks language.
We are adding to vocabulary practicing words for object placement and naming parts of objects.
We are counting above twenty and stopping. Count to eighteen, count to 22 and so on. I have not worked much on math skills but school is calling soon.
I make a question game with his brothers to work on attention and mix questions he knows and does not know the answer to. He rises his hand when he knows something and I reinforce him to pay attention and remember the answers his brothers give.

He has started to write all by himself and now he can complete simple written assignments.I add that into his play book which he can use independently for about 30 or 40 minutes with a bit of praising and reinforcing.
I am working on vocabulary through the books he reads making him match words and meaning encouraging him to ask what words mean.
I need a clearer focus on how and what i should be working on there. Reading comprehension is on the top of my wish list...right there with language per se.
Conversation picture descriptions and story telling are ongoing programs that I visit every day.

I tape him as he picks his nose and describes the delights of snot.

His brothers play with him every day for long periods of time and his play skills are coming along though never as fast and far as my dreams.
We play games outside and add to his repertoire of structured games and we play inside.
Eye contact is a never ending story but it has improved.
Wh questions are still an ongoing project, needing to be linked into reading comprehension.

It is a lot to juggle and I am never satisfied with myself.
There is always room for improvement.
I am tired and find myself dosing off during the day any strange time at all.

But it is summer and we spend a lot of time outside. He goes looking for crabs and makes houses for larva he finds. He rescues stray bees that come into our house and thankfully the wasps are not out yet.

We drove to the westfjords. Visiting hot baths and high mountains old houses and some family.
The boys roll down steep hills and we see seals and the weather is beautiful.
I just want to pack our bags and stay outside for weeks.
It would be lovely to come home with the autumn winds.

We are going to France in august for three whole weeks. The boys have not been abroad for six years. Sturla is exited and keeps telling me how he will stay at the beach and swim in the ocean and then he gets cross and demands that we go straight to the airport.

He will be in school next fall. With a one on one aid full time.. She is experienced a special education teacher and a therapist though not an aba therapist. That is something hard to find here, I think she is very capable and I frankly would rather have a capable experienced person as an aide for him than some newbie or someone with a superficial understanding or knowledge of aba.
We will continue our work at home as long as we can or as long he needs.

I know it will be hard for him.
But I will not think of that now it is summer and we have travel plans and playing plans.
There are no autumn winds blowing yet.


  1. This all sounds sooo great!! I love that your days are so long and all the summer plans you have sound wonderful! Your learning programs have always inspired me no end, but this time just that little bit more! The matching features, naming categories and how do you know sound particularly interesting.

    That is the part where our old ABA program said we were much more advanced than we were. Since I terminated that program, I've been working mostly on reading/writing skills and play skills with his sister as our mini guinea pig. Do you have any favorite websites, like home school or maybe even ABA websites that help you build up a program? I'm using some flashcards for the WH- questions, but they still seem to be quite confusing for my little guy.

    I know a little bit of the basics, and I know I will learn more in future, but right now I feel like I'm not doing enough to expand his knowledge and understanding. It's great that my little guy has started reading and can consistently copy words and even writes some on his own, but still, I shouldn't just be focusing on that. Sorry for the really long comment and questions, I've just always really admired your knowledge and way of doing things.

    Anyway, I hope you all really enjoy your summer, Sturla is *so* stinking cute suddenly demanding he wants to go to the airport!!

  2. You can email me anytime if there is anything I can do.
    I have a consultant that keeps me in line :) otherwise I would quickly fall apart. But we are using the ABLLS and they have site where you can track the programs and progress. I bought the big ABA book and that is a huge help. Also we use several other books and i like to go back and forth in them.
    WH questions are hard for us and I have been working on them for a loooooong time. I am still very careful in blending them together. But work in progress has a fine description on them but still we are finding them hard.
    Why because is taking long for us as there is so much creative language that has to be mastered. We started with very simple cause and effect and he learned to recite by heart over thirty causes and how to phrase them and we are still in the generalisation progress. The how do you know was a program I added to address causative thinking from another angle. We will be on it for quite a while yet.
    If you are working on WH question be sure he can answer a bulk of one sort at a time and then mix only one kind ata to time make sure he does not confuse them and then another one etc.
    Like if you teach what is this and then where is it. WE started mixing wh with pictures of familiar people and asking who is this where is he what is he doing how is he feeling. And then generalizing and then we went on to why because and time concepts and how questions and he has not mastered mixing them yet. We probably went to fast in the beginning so the foundation was not strong enough.
    Rethink autism has a one week free trial subscription if that is helpful.
    I regret not teaching sturla earlier to read. reading opened a lot of doors.
    Reaching out, joining in has great programs for play skills and independant work and the play book is great as he can occupy himself.
    I know it is hard be on your own in this so if there is anything I can answer feel free to contact me.

  3. Thank you so much for your response!! I feel really lucky, my cousin just came to visit from New York and I had ordered the ABLLS book from him. That book set isn't available in the UK (or if it is, it's a ridiculous price!)

    And yeah, I think that was the problem with our old ABA program, just cause he was able to retain stuff pretty well from session to session, I think they overloaded him with stuff because he was getting all confused. Like when I'd ask him to tell me things that could fly, he'd tell me "bird" and I'd say what else? And he's start talking about big birds, birds with feathers, birds with two legs etc, but he just wasn't getting it. Today was the first day he was able to do it! I told him "kite" and then he told me "bee".

    Yeah, I'll definitely look into the ABLLS and also try to make sure his foundation is strong before moving onto other stuff. Thanks for all the recommendations, I'll definitely look into them! And thank you so much for offering to help, that's so sweet! Hopefully this little in between stage shouldn't be too long, I'm really hoping he'll be in school by September! Had to go into town today to get some papers notarized! Slowly, slowly!!

    I hope you guys have a great week!!


  4. Great update! I love the description of how your summer is going!! Your recent trip sounded awesome! How exciting to go to France too! I hope all goes well and you take loads of pictures to share!

    1. Thanks...we talk of nothing else these days, anticipation is killing us .

  5. What a wonderfully pleasant update. You are amazingly dedicated in your work and play. And your days sound so nice, it makes me wish I was there. Keep up the work, it will pay off down the road, even if it takes some time.

    1. It is all about patience, right?
      drop by when you are driving thru :)