Monday, July 13, 2009

Nathan Summer Camp and Alex's Evaluation

Today was Nathan's first day at summer camp. It's only a week and run by his therapists for the children who are most advanced socially. They use it to practice social skills between the children.

I admit I was worried. He's been so attached to me lately that I wasn't sure he was going to be able to relax and have fun. But he handled it beautifully. Dave dropped him off in the morning and tells me that once Nathan saw the toys, there was no more fuss. I picked him up and while he was happy to see me, he wasn't desperate. And I saw him playing on the slide, so I know he wasn't sitting and waiting for me. The staff tell me that he had a great time, with only a little fussiness before snack.

When I picked him up, he waved goodbye to all the staff and gave them all kisses. That's my little charming flirt at work. I'll bet that it won't be long before he's the favourite, if he's not already.

Last week, Alex had his annual psychological review for his ABA program. This is to evaluate his progress and see how he's learning to generalize the skills they're teaching him. They got a very productive forty-five minutes out of him but unfortunately it was an hour and a half test. I personally think he did very well since last year he was barely able to follow any of the instructions. It isn't that he doesn't know how to do what's being asked, it's that he still has trouble with the concept of doing things when he isn't particularly interested.

We'll get the report in another couple of weeks. I'm not terribly worried about them but it will be interesting to see how it compares with last year.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Canada Day

Okay, now we have something to write about!

Our family had an excellent Canada Day, very low key for the most part. We went for a drive in the morning, which the boys always seem to enjoy. We drove out into cottage country and got to see some of the lovely picturesque little towns outside of Ottawa. Nathan drifted off for the last little bit, but Alex seemed quite alert and interested throughout. Then we had a nice lunch and took the boys out for a walk to the park. They were enjoying themselves quite a bit, although I had the thought that we looked like a divorced family, one parent and one kid each, well separated at all times. :) Nathan started to fade after a bit so I brought him back home to nap but Dave and Alex stayed out for well over an hour.

The boys got their supper at their usual time, but neither of them were inclined to settle down so Dave and I decided that we would let them stay up until the fireworks. We'd planned to wake them up to go, but if they weren't sleepy, there didn't seem to be much point in putting them in their rooms. Dave actually did most of the labour on our supper, a very traditional Canadian dish: Old El Paso tacos. :) Nathan surprised us by sitting down at table with us and helping himself to meat, cheese and tortilla chips. He ate a fairly decent second supper and was chatting away with us the whole time. Alex is still quite disgusted at the sight of us eating and spent the time watching his favourite shows without his brother to annoy him.

The fireworks were lots of fun. We're lucky enough to have found a good spot to watch the Kanata display that isn't too crowded (mainly because it seems to be a major mosquito breeding ground). We arrived ten minutes before the show and were home twenty minutes after it finished. And there was plenty of room for the boys to run around and still have a good view. We brought some glowsticks, which Alex loved. He collected them from all of us, although we stopped him from taking all of Nathan's. When the fireworks started, Alex was jumping up and down and shrieking with laughter and excitment; Nathan was so startled that he sat down on the ground with his mouth open, staring at the sky. But pretty soon Nathan was dancing in place and giggling just like his brother. Alex lost interest halfway through but was very interested in the reflection of his glowsticks in a nearby car window.

Both boys are cranky today from lack of sleep, but I still count it as a good experience. They had a lot of fun, got to spend time with both parents and most importantly, we kept expectations light. It doesn't matter to me if they ran around and weren't looking at the fireworks the whole time. There was a family next to us where Mom was obviously at the end of her rope and threatened to take the whole family home if anyone else complained about the wait. I can't judge, but my thought is that kids aren't perfect and yelling at them only taints the positive aspects of the day. At the end of the day, they had fun. That's the important part.

Oh and one more completely unrelated note. Dave got Seasons 1 and 2 of Titus, an old Fox TV sitcom. Often you watch these things and they aren't as good as you remember. Well, this one isn't as good as I remember, it's better. Kudos to you, Christopher Titus (writer and star). Well done.