We had a great family day with Tristan at Santa’s Village! What I love about raising Tristan is how he lives in the moment. I wish I had this gift naturally.
On Sunday we took our son, Tristan, to the Indianapolis Zoo. We love spending time with him and seeing what catches his attention. Having a non-verbal child means we watch the subtle cues of his face for expressions to discern if he likes something.
This is what he liked about the zoo…
All the locks on the gates! If you look at the picture, you can see him trying to figure out the lock. Never mind we were trying to point out the tiger!!! We couldn’t get him to look at the tiger.
The bird aviary experience gave us a good laugh. Tristan thought opening and closing the doors was the best part. We stepped in one door and had to wait for it to close completely before going into the center where the birds were. Then he raced through to the next door. We stopped him and tried to get him to notice the birds, but he only paused for a mere second. Once at the exit, we waited for that door to shut before we could exit the aviary.
The birds did not get his attention, only the challenge of entering and exiting the aviary!
There was a low- level shark touch pool. Tristan leaned over to touch the water. Then he sat on the edge Then he looked at Brian wanting approval to get in the water! Brian immediately said, “No let’s go find something else to look at.” Tristan didn’t care about the sharks in the water he thought it might be nice to swim.
Tristan’s top 3 favorite things at the zoo: locks, doors, and water!
Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!
The other day a conversation in my house went like this…
My seventeen-year-old son looked at the counter and saw some bags from my shopping trip.
He asked, “What are these for an Easter egg hunt?”
His 4th and 5th grade school year went like this…
He would run out of the classroom and down the hall to sit and visit with the principal (Mr. M)!
Due to him being non-verbal he would not ask! At any moment he would barge into his office and take a seat like it was visiting time!!! He wouldn’t notice if the principal was busy on the phone or in a meeting. Tristan probably didn’t care if Mr. M looked busy. He had achieved his goal.
Upon entering the church, I told our oldest son to not use his phone. I went on to explain all the reasons. I even said something like this, “Under no circumstances should you be on your phone!”
This is Part 2…
Last week I shared when my son, Tristan, pulled the fire alarm at school.
I was so embarrassed! Let me continue the rest of the story…
After I crawled out from under the rock and got my thoughts together I desperately wanted to know if this was going to happen again. I knew I had to know more about Tristan’s reaction. I waited to hear from the school. A few weeks went by… and I heard NOTHING regarding Tristan pulling the fire alarm.
I have met people over the years that have experienced this story. If you are reading this at this applies to you, feel free to leave a comment below. You may add a detail that I didn’t know about.
The other week I dropped Tristan off at his group home. I chatted with one of his group home staff, Benny. I told him Tristan had a great weekend. I asked how Tristan has been for him. He filled me in on one of Tristan’s antics.
Benny said, “I went into the bathroom one day and there were 3 lightbulbs sitting on the bathroom sink counter!”
I chuckled as he said this. That is definitely a Tristan thing. Over the years, Tristan has been fixated with light bulbs at home. This is a phase that comes and goes. Apparently, it is back!
This conversation made me think of some of the other light bulb stories tucked in the back of my mind.
At one point he wouldn’t stop unscrewing the lightbulbs in his bedroom ceiling light fixture. I actually had to tell a new respite worker, “When it gets dark outside Tristan’s room will be dark because he has lost the privilege of having light bulbs.” I thought to myself “Who say’s that?” (Parents like me who work 24/7 to keep their special need child safe!)
Thankfully, the worker said “I understand and I don’t judge.” Inside I was thinkging. Whew! And a quick arrow prayer: Thank you Jesus.
For a period of time….
He would unscrew the light bulbs from the front and back porch lights. We would wait until he was sleeping and the we would put a light bulb back into the socket. Then in a day or two the light bulb would be gone! When we looked over the porch railing we would find it on the ground. Broke from the fall into the mulch, but not shattered. After replacing the porch lights a couple of dozen times with no further success, we gave up. He won!
We finally had to tell visitors ” Wait there’s no porch light” and quickly install a lightbulb. If company was on the way we would install a light bulb 5 minutes before the arrival time. Seriously I am not making this up.
I wish I could ask Tristan “why?” Instead I am left wondering what is his hidden message. We know he does a lot of things for attention. Does he do this to say “Look you didn’t pay attention to me for 3 minutes so this is what I can do?” Or is trying to complete his own personal challenge like “Let’s see if I can do this before someone catches me.” Sometimes, I like to believe these are little love notes that he leaves. Like “Hey I’m thinking of you and I want you to know it.”
Like I often say to him, “Tristan when we get to heaven I have a lot of questions for you.”
I hope you enjoyed another healthy dose of laughter from our home!
When I was going through photos I saw one photo and knew I had to share!
Almost every weekend when Tristan is home from his residential school he wakes up in the middle of the night. This happens 99% of the time. The ritual unfolds like this…He comes into our room to make his one word request-always a food item. Then, one of us gets out of bed. Off to the kitchen we go. We gladly help because of safety concerns.
About a year ago both Brian and I woke up on a Sunday morning. I asked him if he got up with Tristan. He replied, “No.” Then he asked me if I got up with him. I answered, “No and I feel great. That means we all slept through the night.” Tristan was still sleeping. Hip Hip Hooray! He slept through the night!
In these cold winter months, our activities are limited when Tristan is home on the weekends. We have discovered taking him to the movie theatre is enjoyable for the three of us. We pick kids movies with songs. Even so, we know he is only paying attention to portions of the movie and that is fine. We know his ultimate goal is to empty the popcorn tub and consume his pop! We have begun requesting smaller portions to out smart him. One thing never fails, Continue reading