I had a phenomenal time at New Frontiers in November. I feel incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to meet (and stay in touch with) so many incredible parents. We laughed together, cried together, supported each other, learned together and grew together. It easily ranks up there with the best experiences of my life!
As always, the teaching was supreme and the learning hands-on. We learned from Bears, Samahria, Bryn, William, Kate and Beverly. It was exactly what we needed, right when we needed it. We learned how to craft creative, innovative games using our child's unique motivations to achieve targeted goals. Exactly what I was looking for! And, can I just tell you? SO MUCH FUN!
While I was there I also had a consult with the amazing Kate Wilde. Was that ever great! Most of the consult was spent discussing how to remove electronics. WHAT??!! No TV?? No iPad??!! Right. When you think about it, electronics are autistic in nature. If you are trying to get someone to engage with you, handing them an iPad or the television probably isn't going to foster the engagement you seek. We certainly saw this at home. Danniah loves the Muppets, and as Kate said, "There is no human being on the planet who will ever be as colorful and entertaining as a Muppet." As much as we knew this step was necessary for Danniah's growth and development, I don't think either one of us was looking forward to it. When talking with Kate, I know I felt traumatized as I anticipated this terrible transition from the ever present world of the Muppets to...well...no Muppets. I anticipated crying and tantrums...and dreaded the very thought. I also had no idea how I would 'get a break.' As much as I hate to admit it, a Muppet DVD provided time to breathe and relax. Kate looked at me and offered encouragement, "some people are surprised by how quickly their kids move on to the next thing." I, in all my glorious doubt replied, "somehow I don't think I'm that lucky."
We have the best time doing silly yoga poses and falling over together. We make up games where we run from one side of the room to get a paper Muppet doll and race back to put it in her theater... we made a Muppet game where she rolls a tissue box covered in construction paper with Muppet faces on it. She jumps off the trampoline to land on the color construction paper the dice landed on, flips it over and reads the activity and giggles (erm, well when she's not peeling the Velcro activities off the back of the construction paper as an ism, but whatever it's fun!). She also wants to go downstairs to use her sensory gym on a pretty regular basis. That is something she hasn't wanted to do for a long time. It's so nice to see her connecting and branching out at the same time! She's even using a bit more of her own language rather than scripting, which is another huge bonus. She recently said, "Daddy, I want back push" meaning "push my back" while she was on the swing. SO MUCH FUN! Sure, we have a long way to go, but who cares, this is GREAT! I was so afraid that weekends would be long for her and I'm delighted to discover that they fly by and are so much FUN!
Holiday update coming next :)
With much love and gratitude,