Disneyland and Green Eggs and Ham

I know all kids go through phases where they play only one game, or sleep with one special stuffed animal, or play with only one toy. Autistic kids do that but to the extreme. Bryce is working on a couple new ones. We walk a fine line between being happy that he’s talking up a storm about something and wants to share it with other people and teaching him that what he’s totally excited about might be boring for other people. Since autistic kids don’t read facial expressions and pick up on body language, they have to just be told when it’s time to move on to another subject. Continue reading

Third Grade and Saying Good-bye to Mrs. Linda

first day of school collageTime marches on, doesn’t it?  As I typed in the title of this post, I thought to myself, I may not be ready to write this one yet.  It still makes me weepy inside to think of Bryce at school without our beloved Mrs. Linda.  We have been lucky enough to enjoy Mrs. Linda’s expertise and love for the last three years of school.  This year, they powers that be (ones I’m not exactly thrilled with at the moment) decided to assign her elsewhere and gave Bryce a new aide. Continue reading

He’s going to hate me for this someday…

Every Wednesday Bryce has PE at school.  They’ve been doing “Jazzercise” lately, and Mrs. Linda keeps telling me how good he is at keeping up with the moves.  For someone so awkward with his body, it’s a little hard to believe.  So to prove it, she made a couple videos for me. I know that someday he’s going to hate me for posting this online, but it’s so cute-I can’t help it :)

Got one more :)

 

Spring Break Schedule

Because we have two weeks of Spring break and Bryce is now home all day, I instituted a schedule with several blocks of “No electronics allowed” throughout the day.  Otherwise, he would be plugged into something for two straight weeks.  He has no desire whatsoever to be involved in anything else.  You have to drag him outside and then you have to do something to engage him or he’ll just wander around or find somewhere to sit and wait.  His lack of imagination can be so frustrating, but it’s not his fault.  His brain just doesn’t work that way.  However, he is a master imitator, so if you show him what to do, he’ll usually go along with it. Continue reading

"I have a new rule…"

I had to write this down before I completely forgot about it!  Today when I picked Bryce up from school, Mrs. Linda told me that he announced something to her as they were walking out for the day. Continue reading

Oh, dear, I’m in Big Trouble!

Bryce had us all laughing tonight.  It’s Jared’s birthday tomorrow, so we had the family over tonight for a little party.  Baby Abe (cousin) was asleep in our bedroom.  I completely forgot about that fact when I told Bryce he could go play on the iPod.  A few minutes later I went down the hall and I heard Abe fussing.  I went to get Jamie, and as I did, Bryce came bolting out of the room saying, “Oh, dear, I’m in big trouble!” Continue reading

Bryce’s Valentine Compliments

I know, this post will seem like bragging on my son, and I guess it may just be that. :) I posted on my Pinterest blog about the great idea of doing Valentine’s Day compliments for a class.  Click here to read that post.  I was so excited to get Bryce’s when he came home because I couldn’t wait to see what other kids thought about my son.  It’s not like he comes home and tells me who is nice to him, or if someone has been mean.  He’s largely clueless when it comes to social nuances.  So this was a peek into his daily life at school.  

You are smart.  You are a very good problem solver.  You always smile; your smile is always bright.  You’re kind.  You are funny because you have a silly laugh.  You are kind to everyone; you are very helpful.  You are very kind because you never say bad things about people.  You are kind.  You are smart.  I like how you read.  You are fun.  You are smart; you are nice to Mrs. Linda.  I like playing with you.  You’re cool.  You can answer so many questions; you are very nice.  You are a very hard worker, you never give up.  You are an amazing kid, you are that because you are smart.  You are really smart; you are a good friend.  You are very nice.  I think you are a very good soccer player; I like playing soccer with you.  

I had to laugh at the “nice to Mrs. Linda” comment.  He’d better be! He has no idea how good he has it!  :) Jared just groaned when he read “you are a very good soccer player” since he hates soccer.  I don’t know if any other moms read their kids valentines, but I sure did!  I’m glad to hear my child is kind to others and smart to boot! 


Bryce’s Point System

I was recently inspired by an Aspie mom’s (for those who don’t speak “spectrum” Aspie is short for someone with Asperger’s, a cousin of Autism) point system for her daughter.  We have had a basic chore chart for Bryce where he could earn stickers for doing his chores.  When he earned enough stickers he got a certain amount of money.  This worked well enough (when we remembered to do it) but he’s not really into stickers to start with.  He IS, however, a huge fan of numbers and math.  So I created a much more involved chart listing all sorts of things for which he could earn points.  Every time he gets 100 points he earns one dollar.  Currently he is SUPER motivated as he wants Wipeout 3 for the Wii.  He earned over 100 points the first day.  He just kept going back to the list to see what he could do next to earn more points.  Hopefully the newness will wear off just a bit, or we’ll go broke! I’m a little worried that he will lose motivation after he accomplishes this first goal, but for now it’s working well.  The boys also want to go to Disneyland desperately, so we’ll start saving for that next.  (Although that will take WAY longer than saving for a Wii game) I made things that are more difficult for him or more important for us a higher value.  Some things may seem odd (see: socks and sitting by Charlie) but he has obsessions and aversions we have to deal with, so this is one way to do that.  So far, so good- we’ll see how it goes!


Bryce’s Points

Before School:

Make bed………………………………………………………………… 2 points

Put breakfast dishes in the sink……………………………………. 2 points

Pack school snack……………………………………………………………. 5 points

Get dressed………………………………………………………………….. 2 points

Tie shoes…………………………………………………………………… 10 points

Brush teeth…………………………………………………………………….. 2 points

Comb hair…………………………………………………………………. 2 points

No arguing with Mommy or Daddy before school…………………….. 8 points

At School:

Focus on work and listen to Mrs. Linda and Mrs. Montgomery

Great Day……………………………………….. 10 points

Good Day………………………………………………. 5 points

OK Day………………………………………………….. 2 points

After School:

Play IXL, Stretch Math or Ticket to Read……………………. 10 points

Do homework without arguing or complaining……………………… 5 points

Play outside for 10 minutes…………………………………………. 10 points

Play with toys (not iPod, Wii or computer) for 20 minutes…… 25 points

Do a puzzle…………………………………………………….. 15 points

Read a book out loud to Mommy or Daddy…………………………. 15 points

Eat dinner without complaining (no saying, I don’t like this).. 5 points

Put your dishes in the sink…………………………………………… 2 points

Play a game with Henry (Chutes and Ladders, Old Maid)…. 5 points

Put pajamas on……………………………………… 2 points

Clean up room before bed (put away clothes, toys, shoes)… 5 points

Any Day:

Take off socks for 10 minutes………………………. 10 points

Go poop in the toilet all by yourself…………………….. 50 points

Play with toys………………………………………..30 points

Read a book………………………………………… 10 points

Scoop dog poop………………………………….. 5 points

Empty the trash………………………………….. 5 points

Practice piano………………………………… 10 points

Sit next to Charlie………………………………… 5 points

Study Master Club verses………………………. 5 points

Exercise………………………………………….. 10 points

Looking Back: How it all Started…

While looking through another “special” mom’s blog about her sweet daughter, I saw some pictures and read some comments that brought back a rush of memories.  When I started this blog, were were a couple years past the “beginning” of this journey, but I did write several Facebook notes as we were struggling through getting a diagnosis.  So this post may be a little long, as I’m copying each one of those here, to keep them all in chronological order.  It’s a little painful to look back on those times and remember the hope that it was nothing big-that the doctors wouldn’t find anything and he would just “grow out of it” as so many people said for so long.  But it’s part of who Bryce is today, and I wouldn’t change a thing. Continue reading

Bryce-isms

Last night, Bryce was taking a shower before bed when I heard him calling, “Um, excuse me, Mom?” (that’s how he starts every direct address-not sure where he picked up the habit, but it’s rubbed off my other two and now people think I have exceptionally polite children) :) I went to see what he needed and he said, “Something’s really smelly in here!”  Of course, my first thought was that he’d gone to the bathroom in the shower or something.  Eww.  So I pulled back the shower curtain and he said, “See, something smells in here!”  The shower was full of steam. I just laughed and laughed. Did I mention he’s very visual?  I think he’s been watching too many cartoons!  I explained that it was steam from the hot water, not a smell.  We can’t really see smells.  He then said, “Oh, and the water is too hot.”  No kidding 😉

After his shower, he was getting dressed (socks first, of course) and he turns to me and says, “Will you wax me?”  What?!?  He held out his hand, which had a band-aid on it, and said again, “Will you wax me?”  He wanted me to rip off the band-aid for him.  I obliged and then he yelled and pretended that it hurt.  I asked him where he learned the word “wax” and what it meant.  He just said, “AFV” (America’s Funniest Home Videos) with this matter of fact voice, like, Duh! I didn’t know where to begin with correcting that one, so for now, we’ll just stick to “waxing” when it’s time to remove old band-aids. :)

Guess who got Student of the Month today?