Saturday, September 27, 2014

Literacy Week

The academic calendar at Little A's school is much fuller than my social one. They have an entire lineup for the year. Language Month, Grandparents' Day, Literacy Week, Halloween, Caregiver's Appreciation Day, and many more.

This week was Literacy Week. A mini book fair by a leading children's publisher took prime place in the school lobby, there were visits by character mascots, storytelling sessions, and Come As Your Favourite Book Character day. 

I worried that Little A would want to be an animal, as some of his most-loved stories feature anthropomorphic creatures. Olivia, Kipper, Animal Orchestra and Ruby the Musical Hamster sit at the foot of his bed for nighttime reading. 

True enough, on costume day, he picked an Animal Orchestra as his favourite book, but wanted to dress in his school uniform trousers. The quick thinking Au Pair grabbed his t-shirt that said "Rock Star", and I handed him a toy ukulele and the book about an imaginative boy who loved music. This was acceptable, and off he went.

At the Costume Parade were Fancy Nancy, Madeline, Tigger, Minnie Mouse and several more. Each took turns standing on stage while the other kids guessed who they were.

Little A stood proudly during his turn, after sitting quietly near the front for the early part. I was very pleased with his behavior, as it has been fairly consistent. 

Just a week prior, we attended a children's party. While Little A couldn't relate to nail art and feather boas the girls enjoyed, he sat in his place during the games without much complaint, and when Big A arrived towards the end of the evening moved to sit with him and his uncles, at the big people's table.

I am glad to see him participating more in group activities, and hope this continues. Next up, Halloween!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Astronaut Training

During the post-session reports after Little A's weekly occupational therapy sessions at school, the therapist always goes on about Astronaut Training. I honestly have no idea what this involves apart from slow, controlled spinning followed by weight bearing exercises, but this week we've been told to start doing it at home every day.

Every night for the past few weeks, I've found Little A hanging upside-down off the side of his bed, doing some sort of reverse sit-ups. I've never seen this done at therapy sessions so figure he must be taking care of some sensory need on his own, or just having fun as kids do.

At any rate, I need to buy a pair of 3 pound dumbells for him. In the meantime, he's been using a very heavy book to serve as his weight, carting it around the flat and lifting it over his head as I instruct him. Whether or not this will serve the same purpose, I've no idea. But it's good to improvise, and books are abundant in our house. 

The spinning part, I would love to know more about. (Though perhaps I could just Google that, because Wikipedia no doubt has something to say about this.) After spinning, a child's eye movements are observed, as neurotypical children get dizzy after such exercise and autistic children, less so. Or maybe it's the other way around. 

In ballet, early on, students are taught to focus on one point as they turn, whipping their head around at the last second to look at the spot again. This keeps us from getting dizzy and therefore allows one to do multiple turns easily. I was terrible at this, to my dismay, and turns were probably my weakest point as a dancer.

Maybe astronaut training would have helped me. Seeing as I'm thinking of signing up for an adult ballet class next month, perhaps I should ask Little A's OT about it. (Or, again, Google.) Who knows, perhaps in my middle age, I'll finally get around to doing those 32 fouettes.