Taking the Scenic Route

Graduation Party Pictures

20th May 2008

Graduation Party Pictures

The other people there were my parents and Robert & Dori, our friends.

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Log in for a short protected post here:  http://www.xanga.com/Jennifer_Z/657769727/sprinkler-fun.html

posted in Graduation, School, Zach | 2 Comments

20th May 2008


I just can’t get over how much he is growing.  There is almost no “little kid” left any more.

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Zora was preferring nakedness during most of play, so I didn’t photograph that.  lol.

posted in The Kids | 1 Comment

19th May 2008

Master of Science Degree. Commencement

I didn’t want to wait any longer for other people’s photos to see if they had some better ones, so I will post some of what I have.   I will post more later, possibly a video.

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Attempting a family photo in a busy lobby.  Zora just woke up and Zane was ready to GO.

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posted in Graduation, School, Zach | 1 Comment

19th May 2008

Girly Girl

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posted in Zora | 1 Comment

17th May 2008

Candidate Quiz

The only thing that suprised me was that Kucinich wasn’t higher.  Usually he ends up on top of these things.

89% Chris Dodd
89% Barack Obama
88% John Edwards
85% Mike Gravel
84% Hillary Clinton
83% Dennis Kucinich
82% Joe Biden
75% Bill Richardson
44% Rudy Giuliani
33% John McCain
28% Mike Huckabee
24% Mitt Romney
24% Tom Tancredo
21% Ron Paul
14% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

posted in Politics | 1 Comment

16th May 2008

My treasures

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Graduation pictures coming tomorrow.  My camera didn’t do well (might have had something with little people who kept bumping me. lol.)  and I need to gather some pictures that Robert and possibly my mom took to see if there is anything better.  I want to post some videos too, and those will take a bit to do and I am tired.

posted in The Kids | 5 Comments

15th May 2008

Theory of Mind, outside the textbook

Zane at ST today:  one last leap before the semester ends.

It was his last session of the semester today.  Among the activities, they made ice cream and ate it at the end of ST.  Ice Cream is one of Zane’s favorite things, so this was a big hit.  I waited for him to finish his ice cream to ask “what did you do today” (he has a visual schedule that helps him relay what he did to me, and learning to relay information like that is a major point for ST this semester).  When he finally finished, he was not interested in the schedule, but wanted to ask for more ice cream.  We told him there was no more.  After pushing him to tell me what he did (met with mumbles and “MADE ICE CREAM!”), he booked it back down the hallway to the room. 

The Clinical Educator, the ST student teachers and I moved into the observation room to see what he was doing in there.  One of the students suggested he was going to throw away the cup and spoon, which he is a bit compulsive about, but I suspected he was going to try and make more ice cream.  He wandered around the room, the way he does when he is contemplating a plan, and decides to pull the bookcase out where the student had hidden the ingredients “out of reach”.  He stood there with the container in his hands, trying to decide what to do next I guess.  He started looking for either the other ingredients or the recipe, but stopped one time to look at the door.  I suspect he heard a noise and was trying to determine if it was the door opening.  It was suggested that he was hoping somebody was coming to help him make some ice cream.  I doubted that was what it was, but it was certainly possible. 

His student teacher heads down the hall to get him, and we watch him resume looking for ingredients.  We didn’t have to be told when he heard the door handle jiggle though….the kid startled and sprinted across the room, hiding the container, presumably pushing the case back against the wall (out of camera range) and was standing there with that “I’m not doing anything” body posture when she came into the room.   The small group watching in the observation room all cheered and excitedly exclaimed how fantastic that was, how wonderful.  Then we laughed at ourselves because only in the world of autism do people get really, really excited to see a kid be deceptive, sneaky, or lie.  Theory of mind, baby.  Theory of mind.  He is getting it.  One of those unteachable things, but he is getting it.


Along the same lines…earlier in the day

When I told Zach about the ST experience, he relayed a similar event from earlier in the day that he forgot to tell me.  We have the Leapfrog letter whammer on our fridge.  It is Zora’s, but Zane keeps trying to take it over to play with it, and hates it when she is playing with it.  After a battle, he had been banned from the kitchen while she was playing with it.  Every time Zach would get to his computer, Zane would go into the kitchen…Zach would get up, Zane would step back out, after a few times of this, Zane waited until Zach sat down, repeat dance.  Zach told him to go do something else, so Zane went to the computer, Zach went to his computer, and all was quiet for a minute and then Zane got back up and started heading to the kitchen.  When Zach got up to follow him, he stepped back out of the kitchen and ‘decided’ that he was going outside all along, and wasn’t going into the kitchen.  Now Zane is outside, Zora is still in the kitchen, and Zach heads back to the computer.  After a bit he hears a rustle and sees Zane sneaking back inside to the kitchen, gets up, and sends Zane to his room.  lol. The constant back and forth dance of Zane trying to sneak was amazing, and fairly new, especially on this level of sophistication.  It was pretty cool.


For those going Huh?, your happy your child is being deceitful?

Yes, I am.  VERY happy.  In order to employ manipulation and deceit, you have to understand how other’s will react to your actions.  You have to be able to form a theory of how the other person is thinking and plan your actions around that to get the outcome you want.  Autistics, as a whole, are very, very bad at lying, and in some cases, incapable of it.  (nor do they understand that others lie or are being deceptive in any way)  It is one of the core issues with autism…inability to be able to understand how other’s think or recognize that other people have thoughts. 


From a parents POV, the dilemma

I really want him to be able to continue to develop this.  This is one of the key issues of the difference between institutionalization and not, the ability to be able to tell when people are lying, the ability to decide when it is in your best interests to lie, deceive, or manipulate a situation.  It is a HUGE safety issue and I really want him to develop those skills. 

However, trying to find the balance of encouraging the development while teaching him that you should be honest with your parents/loved ones, ect is really going to be tough.  I have no clue how to do this.  With typically developing kids, the hard part is getting them to be honest when they should be (to us, to authority figures we feel are trustworthy)…they figure out long before they speak that deception is a way to get what you want.  (like Zora provoking Zane by hitting him, and then complaining loudly when he retaliated just to get him into trouble..until we figured out what was happening and she started getting into trouble instead of Zane)  There aren’t any books out there that say “How to teach your child when to tell the truth and when to lie” because for most kids “never lie” covers it well enough because they instinctually know that lying is sometime a better choice for their own safety and comfort (and your job is to tell when they are trying to avoid punishment, ect, and try and get them to stop doing it to YOU, just to strangers).

Some days kids make leaps that make you really step up the parenting game.  Today was one of those.

posted in Autism, Autistic Life, ST, Zane | 2 Comments

13th May 2008

Anniversary Date

Twenty-nine days late, we celebrated our Anniversary.  My mom came up and played with the kids (mostly in the backyard) this afternoon.  We went out to eat, and then did what everyone does when they are celebrating…went to a used bookstore.  lol.  It was so nice to wander around without having to keep little hands from pulling things off of shelves and darting off while you try and browse. 

x2008-05-13 003.jpgYou would think that since we are away from the kids we would browse the grown-up literature.  nope.  I spent most of the time browsing through the children’s section.  I probably put back 10-15 books that I wanted for every one I purchased.  Most of the books were around $2, with a few at $5.  All but one were hardcover books.  Sweet!

Although I would have loved to browse the fiction, my reading list goes unread at this point anyway, and I need to thumb through some parenting books on my shelf as my kids suddenly hit new phases that I am not entirely sure how to deal with, so it isn’t like I would get to read fiction anytime soon.  Considering I read at least 10 kid’s books a day (on a light day), I have motivation to try and add some variety to that.

posted in Anniversary, Books, Shopping, Zach & Jennifer | 5 Comments

12th May 2008


instead of saying “yes”, she says “dat” (that).  Every time.  lol 

posted in Language Development, Zora | Comments Off

11th May 2008

Zora’s Dedication

For those wondering “what’s a dedication?”, Mennonites only do Believer’s (Adult) Baptism.  So, instead of doing child baptisms, we do child dedications.  It is  really similar to baptism, except no water.  Basically, there is a long extended version of “Will you raise this child to be a Christian?” and we say “We will”.  In every church I have been to in the past, the congregation also has a litany where they promise to support the parents and the child as they grow in the church, but this church, apparently, doesn’t do that.  I don’t know if that is a Brethren thing, or just a “by church” thing, but I assume it is an individual church thing.  I was a little surprised because I was always under the impression that the church family was as much a part of the dedication as the individual family.  The rest of the dedication was beautiful though.

So today was Zora’s day.  (some of the pictures aren’t great because there wasn’t quite enough light and it wasn’t appropriate to use a flash)

On the way to Sunday School

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Singing “Deep and Wide” in Sunday School.  (they had the Moms there for a special Mother’s Day thing)

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The Dedication

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After the Worship Service we went out to eat with my parents.  They came up to see the dedication (and she took the pictures for us) and spend lunch with us, and they go to my brother’s house for supper tonight.  It was a nice lunch.  Good food, great conversation, and the kids did a MUCH better job of waiting with Grandma and Grandpa there.  A nice Mother’s Day for me. (although I do need to invest in some hair clips…I had hair clip failure today and felt a little like Cousin It today.  The sad part was when I got into my car after lunch and some of my hair got caught in the door.  I leaned back to see several full length hairs hanging from the door jam onto my lap with the roots on the end.  owie)

posted in Church, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), Zora | 2 Comments

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  • Zane is 20 years, 11 months, and 12 days old
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  • Zora is 16 years, 11 months, and 16 days old
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