Taking the Scenic Route

Kid’s Creativity: Zora around the house

27th July 2008

Kid’s Creativity: Zora around the house

(the last installation today)

Zora drew a “Bee” in sidewalk chalk yesterday. The wing is the blue part. Apparently there are eyes in there someplace too (she pointed them out), but I can’t remember where…someplace on the left side.

This afternoon she was “helping” me and I just thought I would share the cuteness

“Zora, don’t touch” (apparently she thought that if I was looking through the camera I couldn’t see what she was doing. stinker)

And, this evening, artiste at work



“Zane in bath”

posted in Art, Crafts, Zora | Comments Off

27th July 2008

Kid’s Creativity: Zane at Camp SSTAR

Zane made a tie dye shirt his first day. I saw them making them in one of the news videos, it looks like they folded them up and then sprayed them with paint/dye of some kind.

When I picked him up, this is not the shirt he had. He brought home a shirt that said “Zach” on it and he wanted dh to put it on because it was “for daddy”. Zach decreed there would be no more using of his first name in front of the kids. lol. Zora already calls him “Zach” more times than she calls him “Daddy” and now this. (suddenly grandparents referring to each other as “mother” and “father” made a lot more sense). As it turns out, it wasn’t Zane’s shirt, it was another kid’s (named Zach) shirt. We took it back and retrieved the correct one.

the front

the back

He made the flower pot. Don’t know what the tokens are for, but they are important to him.

This was one of my favorite things he brought home. They are “emotion sculptures”. When I picked him up one of the counselors (actually, she was the OT that was the initial person to evaluate him for services years ago) excitedly told me that on the first sculpture he initially had a rather blank/frowny face, but after he finished it he looked at it really hard, then changed the mouth to be smiling. Very Cool!

I asked him what emotion/feeling they were and he told me this one is “Happy”

And a close up of the face he worked so hard on…

This one feels “nothing”. (which could mean, literally, nothing, or it could be that he just didn’t have the words to really describe it how he wanted to)

And this one feels “happy” again.

posted in Art, Autism, Autistic Life, Camp, Crafts, Zane | Comments Off

27th July 2008

Kid’s Creativity: VBS & Church

Zora made this. The reason it looks so beat up is because she keeps carrying it around with her.

I helped Zane make the basket. He understood how to do it, but didn’t have the fine motor skills to really do it well. He directed me when he wasn’t doing it.

The woven mat Zane did totally on his own. Very cool craft for him.

posted in Art, Church, Crafts, The Kids, VBS | Comments Off

27th July 2008

Kid’s Creativity: Speech Therapy & Homeschool Crafts

This one they did together when Zane’s partner was out sick. They used bubble wrap as a paintbrush. Zane did the green part, Zora did the blue & yellow part.

Our biggest problem with this one was trying to keep Zora from eating it. The neat thing about this one is that he specifically requested “googly eyes” for it. lol.

The picture frame he made the last day

A snake Zane made from our Habitat book. (self initiated)

posted in Art, Crafts, Homeschool, ST, The Kids | 2 Comments

27th July 2008

Kid Creativity: From Joyful Creations Pottery

These are the pieces they made with Grandma at Steve & Joy’s shop. They had to be fired before we could enjoy them at home.

Zora’s um, creation…butterfly maybe?

Zane’s Maze

Zane’s Mushroom (from Super Mario)

posted in Art, The 2 Opas (J's Parents), The Kids | Comments Off

25th July 2008

Last Day of Camp SSTAR

Zane’s camp ended today. It was a really good week for him. (except that he seemed to have a stomach bug or something this morning, but he perked up this afternoon) At the award ceremony he got a certificate for “Good Listening and Gentleness”.

At the ceremony I discovered there was a second news story about the camp. Zane is in this one too. He is in the green shirt througout, so it was taken on Monday. (the only day he wore a green shirt)

A few pictures from the final awards ceremony and wrap up.

Don’t they look thrilled.

Suddenly, he seemed to perk up…wonder why. lol. (showing features of the website the older kids made)

And here is the little stinker that caused us to leave early. It was naptime and she was not handling things well. She also insisted on wearing the too small hat, despite the fact she had really cute hair today. (earlier in the week I wouldn’t have minded because her hair was a mess.)

posted in Autistic Life, Camp, In the News, Zane | 1 Comment

24th July 2008

End of an Era

Zane’s last day of speech therapy for the summer semester was last week. It was also the last time he would be paired up with his friend, M. The two have become good buddies, and it was her birthday party we went to a few weeks ago. They have done the friendship group together for several semesters. She is stopping private therapy and just going to school. She has a good placement in an autism room in the only school I would even consider for Zane. If it weren’t all the way across town, I might even contact the school again to try and get him there, but there is no way I want him going to a school that would take me a half hour to forty five minutes to drive to in our cars unless I was 110% sure that it would be the best situation for him.

(a little blurry because they are taken through a one way mirror from the observation room)

And one of him relaxing at home with his traffic jam game

posted in Autistic Life, ST, Zane | Comments Off

24th July 2008

Germany Trip

We got the itinerary. We are staying at the Hotel zur Post in Attendorn. There is a webcam for Attendorn and, if I am looking correctly at the Google maps, is just a few buildings away from the hotel we are staying at. I can sit at one of those tables and wave at people. lol.

I’m so excited!

edited to add the passport photo

I look freakishly dark. I also learned it is really hard to get a picture of the passport photo because of all the security shiny stuff. lol

posted in Travel | Comments Off

23rd July 2008

Different Perspective

This story comes from back during Bible School, and I kept forgetting to add it.

There was a boy there, about Zane’s age (not in Zane’s exact group, but in a group we were rotating with) who was causing difficulty.  I wasn’t able to look outside Zane much, but this guy had sort of caught my radar to a degree already on the first day, but the second day was our first run in with him. 

One of the group games that day was for two teams of kids to line up in between two buckets.  The front bucket had water, the back one was empty.  The first person in line grabs this big sponge, soaks it and starts passing it back.  As it gets passed back, the kids alternate between putting it over their heads and between their legs to pass it to the next person. When you get to the last bucket the sponge is squeezed out and then passed back to the front of the line. The team with the most water in the back bucket wins.

This kid ended up in front of us and was upset when Zane wasn’t able to do his pass without me helping him figure out how to do it.  (it took him two passes to really get what to do and then he was fine).  This kid started making comments that made the Mama Bear and the former bully victim rise up in me and it was everything I could do to remain calm at that point.  He was whining “why does he (Zane) have to be on our team, we are going to lose, it’s not fair…” and on and on.  Like I said, at first it made me irrationally angry, but I managed to get out something eloquent like “Winning isn’t important as everybody feeling included and having fun” and “Jesus cares more about people not having their feelings hurt than winning”.  He kept arguing back that “not winning hurts my feelings”, and another host of “not fairs” and sundry other complaints about Zane’s presence. 

As I watched him failing to notice it was his turn (and Zane just doing fine) a few rounds, I calmed down a bit and I realized that *something* was up with this kid too. He was so incredibly fixated on Zane doing it “wrong” (long past the point where Zane actually was doing it wrong) and losing the game that he kept having to be prompted to pay attention and not able to complete his turn correctly either (he would just grab the sponge, get confused, and just hand it to Zane instead of doing the over the head/under the legs thing). I also got the distinct impression that this boy was probably repeating things that had been said about him and was desperately trying to position himself as “above” Zane in the pecking order.  My heart really softened to him when I realized that he probably spent a lot of his life as the victim instead of the bully.

There were a few more incidences like that during the recess time (although the others were from afar because I made sure that Zane wasn’t next to him any more).  At the next activity, another helper person tentatively came up to me and asked if I was that person from the tv interview on autism.  lol.  In the course of the conversation, she told me she was a teacher and supposed to be just floating, but had spent an inordinate amount of time with this boy and wondered if I had noticed anything a bit off.  I told her about the race, and that it seemed like he responded better when you really broke down the language and was very literal and direct to get him to respond more appropriately.  (btw, it wasn’t done in a gossipy way at all, more of a “I suspect you have experience in more difficult behaviors and can brainstorm with me on solutions”) 

Later, after the snack, while we were watching all of the kids run around like crazy people, I had a similar conversation with the preacher’s wife.  She said that she found he responded very well and calmed down when she gave him big hugs.  I was genuinely excited to hear that she had found something that reached him and said so.  Luckily, I didn’t complete my sentence, because she followed with something along the lines of “love making a difference…”.  Well, that’s totally true. However, in that moment I had to stifle an amused giggle because I realized how strongly our experience in life changed our perception of the exact same incident.  She was seeing “troubled kid, love makes all the difference in behavior” and I was seeing “sensory seeking kid, deep pressure (and concrete directions) makes all the difference in behavior”  lol.

posted in Autistic Life, VBS, Zane | 3 Comments

23rd July 2008

Lemonade from the Lemons

Well, what do you know, some good is coming out of the Savage comments. Our local CBS station did a story on Autism and the camp Zane is at. Zane even got some air time. When they start talking about “1 in 150 kids have autism…”, right after the older kid with autism talks a bit, look for the dark haired kid in the front row in the white/tie dye shirt and bright green crocs who is stimming like crazy. lol. That would be Zane.

Local Autism Camp Reacts to Comments (click below or on “Featured Video” next to the article to see the news video)

The sort of sad part about the whole comment uproar is that a big part of the reason they don’t bother me terribly much is because it is such a normal thing to hear. It isn’t even close to the most obnoxious thing I hear said. After all, it used to be the whole thing was blamed on “Refrigerator Mothers” and bad parenting. There has always been an attempt to blame the parents for it (especially moms), but anyone with an ounce of education knows that isn’t the case.

Essentially, after the initial anger, I sort of laughed because he was an “amateur” in making fun of us. I don’t think I could possibly count the times I overhear people nastily saying that I should spank Zane when he is having a meltdown, and feel like I live in dirty looks from passer-bys on many days. It is just a fact of life. Some days it does really get to me…I am human after all. Most of the time I have learned how not to care about it. Other’s opinions of the situation really don’t matter, because they can’t, because if I took it all in, I would never be able to cope.

Maybe I should write him. Apparently, according to him, we get all sorts of freebies with a diagnosis. Where are my freebies? lol Legally, yeah, we are supposed to get things like a free and appropriate education, but it is nowhere near free, and very rarely actually appropriate.

posted in Autistic Life, Camp, In the News, Zane | Comments Off

  • Zane's age

  • Zane is 22 years, 3 months, and 17 days old
  • Zora's age

  • Zora is 18 years, 3 months, and 21 days old
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