Our journey through autism

Posts tagged ‘fun’

Camp Moementum 2013

Bilal had a great time this year at camp Moementum. It ran for 2 weeks, and he missed only two days, one due to fever and another due to a dentist appointment that wouldn’t have been easy to reschedule as it was set 7 months ago. They did a lot of the same activities as last year, sports, hikes, water guns, splash pads, and arts and crafts. He got a couple t-shirts and a photo video DVD. Last year the camp ran from 9-12 also but she had after camp hours as well for an extra fee, this year everyone left precisely at 12, and it was a little low key, last year Siemens came for a science expo and representatives from the Atlanta Braves baseball team came as well. This year there wasn’t anything special like  that. Bilal still had a blast, the second week there were two boys (brothers) close to his age and they quickly took to each other and the teachers called them the Three Musketeers, he talked about them a lot and they looked really cute together in the pics.

This week he’s off, no camp but he has his weekly therapy sessions (minus speech) then next week he starts 2 sessions of YMCA camp creek camp. Its a full day camp with a large number of kids, counselors and activities, it sure looks like fun and I hope he enjoys it as well.

Boredom

Its the summer a long vacation with long days, a lot of time to fill up and keep a child occupied, a child that doesn’t know how to fill his time on his own, used to having structure and told what to do. Bilal gets bored quickly and easily. He wakes up and asks to play on the XBox, he plays for a few minutes and then turns it off and turns on the laptop to watch a couple episodes of Power Rangers, he then shuts it and starts pacing around the house, he then asks for the XBox again and so on and so forth. He might play or fight with his little brother we’ll go attend one of his therapies etc but that’s pretty much it. He’s not into arts and crafts or books, so it isn’t easy for me to figure out something for him to do to keep occupied, the weather is hot and indoor activities are usually costly. Summer camps are essential for him and just trying to change it up. A board game or legos, or cards, play doh, a day at the grandparents, a shopping trip etc. I used to get bored easily when I was a teenager and would state quite often “I’m bored!” my mom says I take after my uncle, but we both didn’t pace around the house, I tried to keep occupied by watching TV or reading books but Bilal doesnt keep to anything long enough. He still doesnt use the phase “I’m bored” but his actions say it all.

I’ve seen that a couple people used the search term “summer regression” when visiting my blog, thankfully Bilal doesnt regress during the summer, whatever skills he’s learnt over the year he retains, we also keep up with his weekly therapies so skills are kept intact, its the boredom and behavior issues that arise during the summer or vacations longer than 3 days. He may ignore rules, or fight with his brother more, more frustrated and angry, all something to amuse himself with when he’s bored.

We’ve started summer camp this week, even though its only 3 hours in the morning its something that tires him out and fills a small void in the day. In 2 weeks he starts the YMCA camp which is 7 hours long which I think will be perfect in keeping him occupied and worn out.

Yesterday he had a fever and complained of leg pain, I’m guessing a bad case of growing pains, but he was able to take a 4 hour nap during the day, something he hasnt done since he was a baby. He woke up refreshed, happy, well behaved and really chatty. It was really a recharge boost. His body really needs the naps and the rest I wish he could do it more often, it doesnt have to be a daily thing but every now and then, I believe its good for him. He sleeps about 9 hours or less at night, never naps not even in the car, he only naps when he has a fever and usually just for a little while the 4 hours thing was amazing.

 

Hope ya’ll are having a great fun filled summer.

Pre-K over

It’s summer! School ended on the 23rd of May, and all in all its been a good year, on the 20th they had their end of year party and all his teachers had good things to say about Bilal. One of the assistants said that he is a know-it-all, answers every question and the day he’s absent they get no answers and they feel his absence. His speech therapist says he’s doing really well and that she would have discharged him if it weren’t for changing schools, structure, and a whole other environment that might cause issues or regressions. She said his IEP is due 2 months within the new year so his new teachers can take it from there and next year he is also due for a re-evaluation by the school system, so then we’ll see. His progress report shows that he is making progress or has mastered all his IEP goals, those that are still in progress are at 65% and up.

This is an email that his teacher sent us:

Dear Parents,

Our last book unit for the year was called “A House for Hermit Crab,” by Eric Carle. I never realized how appropriate that book is for the end of the year. It is about a crab that finds a new shell home and decides to decorate it with many different forms of sea life over the course of a year. At the end of the year, the crab has found that it has grown out of his special shell and needs to embark on a journey to find a new one. When I reflect on the story I think of the children as the hermit crab that has come to a new shell home (PSE). It was scary at first but they grew into it. As the year has passed each child has added new decorations (milestones, friendships, and achievements) to their shell home. Now it is the end of the school year with many of the students finding their shell again too small and they have to shed the Preschool shell and embark on their journey to find a new shell and add new decorations to it throughout their school career. I know that some of the children will not remember my name but I hope they will always remember the lessons that they have learned, the self confidence that they have developed, and the love that surrounded them here.

I want to thank each and every one of you for allowing me to get to know, work with, and serve your children this year. The lessons that they have taught me are beyond measure and I will never forget their names. It has been an honor, a privilege, and a pleasure.

It’s so sweet and brought tears to my eyes, their dedication and hard work makes a lot of difference in these children’s lives and they usually go under appreciated and taken for granted I pray that his teachers are always this passionate.

 

Well first week of summer we have nothing planned, his weekly therapies are continuing and just relaxing and having fun. Second week he has his music recital and final horse show, and also he starts summer camp, busy, busy, busy, fun, fun, fun!

 

Have a great summer ya’ll!

 

Summer Camps 2013

Its that time of year again. School has less than 2 months and then a 3 month long summer break before Bilal starts Kindergarten in August. As we’re transitioning all his classes to a typical setting we considered the YMCA summer camp. It’s sports, outdoors, nature walks and they provide swimming  also a great bonus is that its close and from 9-4 everyday, its a tad more expensive than we’d like but that’s the average price around here. They offer sessions all through the summer from the very first week till the week right before school starts and you can pick and choose which sessions to do. So we’ve got him booked for mid-June till mid-July for now. Last year he went to Camp Moementum for the month of June and he loved it, I thought about it but dismissed it because we want a more typical environment. So a couple of weeks ago there was a summer camp expo for children with special needs, the only reason I went was to say hi to his swim instructors and thank them again for everything so there we ran into Maureen the camp momentum instructor, she said she hadn’t heard from me and why haven’t I replied to her email I told her our circumstances and she said that her camp was a mix both special needs and typical children attended and Bilal would fit right in, she gave me the application and we thought it through and decided to do the 2 weeks, it being cheaper and something Bilal knows and remembers. More sports, hikes, splash pads, arts and crafts and the like.  It could also be a bit of practice before he does the YMCA camp. He’ll still have his therapies, music lessons and recital, horse back riding lessons, and a boy scout camp with his dad for a weekend. We might also look into Arabic or Quran lessons, so it will be busy and hopefully no boredom or regressions. Even though I’m not looking forward to the heat of the summer cant wait for the fun of it all.

Music Therapy

Along the lines of something fun after 4 months of one on one therapy we decided to have Bilal do music therapy. He loves singing and humming and takes after his father with his musical ear and right tone. He sings a lot of children’s songs pretty well, just off on lyrics either mispronouncing them, or just humming instead of saying the words. Recently he’s started signing along to the radio with me during our drives to and from therapy a mix of songs from the 80s, 90s and today. This music center had free introductory classes at the public library and I went and met with them. They offer music classes to babies 3 months – 10 years. Two weeks before classes were to begin I went and met with the music therapist, we discussed Bilal’s strengths and weaknesses, what we’d like to achieve and had a short mini-lesson as example to what we’ll cover once we begin. Bilal enjoyed the class and was looking forward to start. She will write out a goal sheet similar to an IEP to cover in the next 8 weeks as a winter session with an option for another 8 week session as spring term. This class is different as it is a class with other special needs children (social skills) and also their mothers, something we could do together that’s fun and educational.

As with all of Bilal’s classes or therapies they have a chart of activities to be covered. They start out with a Hello song, the therapist asks the child how they’d like to say hello, would they like to wave, or clap or stump their feet? this encourages speech, communication and decision making. There is a story to act out (imagination, movement), instruments to play, listening to different animal sounds from tape, moving to the speed of the music, following instructions, taking turns, etc… Bilal had a lot of fun, and with 2 other little hyper boys he had a blast being silly with them.

The only draw back to this is that it is a bit far, off in Cobb county and also Bilal is higher functioning than the other two boys so not much challenge in that with the same environment in school I’m not sure what to do, he needs a class with typically developing children, which at school might not be possible till kindergarten as he’s doing pre-k again next year due to a late September birthday. We’ll see how it goes and whether we’ll do the spring session as well or not.

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