Slowly does it!

The beauty of school holidays is that the extra free time offers up so many opportunities to engage with Nick. We can do an activity together, however, slow it right down and ensure that we have a shared experience.

We are attempting a brand new jigsaw puzzle that Nick chose during our last shopping trip to the supermarket.

As always, when engaging with Nick, I am very mindful of how I talk/share information. I don't want to tell him what to do; therefore I use declarative comments to encourage him to think about what is going on. I pause frequently to give him time to hear/process and react to any information.

Some examples of declarative language in the following clip:

"It looks quite difficult"
"Right, we have got all of the pieces"
"Oh, where to start, Nick!"

This next clip shows that Nick is referencing my face and body language in order to obtain information. I wonder if you can spot where I use my head and eyes to indicate where the puzzle piece belongs. Also note how quickly Nick picks up on that clue! :)

We finish the puzzle and Nick decides that he wants to pack it away. However, I am keen to chat about our experience and make the activity even more meaningful.

Some examples of declarative language used;

"I am just going to look at the picture for a minute, before we put it away"
"I like cars"
"I can see the colour... red!"

Now it is time to pack away. Nick's role is to pass me the pieces and it is my role to put them away. I can't resist throwing Nick a little curve ball by changing our regular pattern and throwing the pieces back to him.

There we have it ~ a little bit of mother and son time. No stress, no rush, no pressure. Slowly does it!

Reasons to be cheerful ~ July 2014

We are on school holiday at the moment. Nearly two weeks down and one more to go!

Autism + Nick ~ this must be the first school holiday that I have felt totally relaxed about hanging out with my boy for three weeks with only the occasional break for myself. I made a conscious decision to slow right down. No therapy appointments for my boy. No big plans to do this and do that. Just days in which we meander along, popping out to do the odd errand AND stop off somewhere for a cappuccino for me (and the occasional milkshake for him). We are also catching up with old and new friends!

Yesterday brought forth some lovely memories of my home country. A friend and her family are traveling throughout New Zealand; and I am following their journey with great interest and reminiscing about familiar places. The picture below is of my home in the Marlborough Sounds. We lived there for many years and I couldn't have asked for a better childhood. Mind you, my poor mother got a bit tired of having four girls and homeschooling! :-)

I was really thrilled to catch up with a very old friend who played a big part in our lives for eight years. Julia started working with Nick when he was two and she helped us out until she needed to give up her private tutoring business to look after her elderly parents. I am so thankful for all the people past and present who help us travel the road with Nick.

If you would like to link up with #R2BC, 
please click on the following picture! 

Reasons to be Cheerful