Always On His Mind

Church. We talk about going to church quite often. Usually, the conversation is on REPEAT. Tristan will sign “church.” We reassure him that we will take him on Sunday when the church opens. The moment we leave service and get buckled in the car, the conversation starts all over! If we had any doubt about what he was thinking on Saturday, he drew me a picture using his communication device as an icon to copy! I love his heart. I think the world might be a kinder place if we all were as enthusiastic about going to church every week. Enjoy another family moment from our home!

When I Realized…

We became accustomed to using American Sign Language(ASL) in our home. I don’t think twice about signing to Tristan out in public. I would often get a better response from Tristan when using ASL instead of verbal communication. In addition, I used ASL in my job at the local school in the special education classes. Children in the general education classes were familiar with ASL. I knew the rest of the population doesn’t communicate in ASL, and one day I was reminded of this.

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Movie Mix-Up

We love to take Tristan to a movie theater 45 minutes from our home. We love this old theater because the movie ticket prices are cheaper than the typical cost. In addition, the snacks are the least expensive I have ever seen at a movie theater. The theater has assigned seats for the tickets. I like this because we can plan the best spot for our family.

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To add adventure to our lifeā€¦the place is in a different time zone.


At first, we were careful about coordinating the time to arrive. One time Brian and I showed up at the wrong time. The theater was generous in switching the tickets. We had to wait a bit but for us, it was no big deal.


About a month ago, we planned a movie trip. There were not many titles playing. Tristan clearly communicated to us with his device he wanted a movie. Actually, he mostly wanted the snacks. His request goes like this: popcorn, pop, chips, and cheese, movie theater.


I scrolled the movie list and settled on a non-typical choice. Brian and I previewed the trailer to see if it might hold Tristan’s attention. After agreeing it might work, we ordered tickets. We did the math and headed out the door in a few minutes. The timing was perfect!


We arrived 45 minutes later at the theater. As we walked in, I noticed there was no line at the food counter. I felt like we arrived at the wrong time. I looked at my phone for the time. I glanced at the movie times. I looked at Brian and said, “Oh no we arrived an hour late. The movie had already started. It is halfway done.”


We quickly conversed about our next plan of action. Realizing Tristan does not always make it through the movie I said, “Let’s get our snacks and watch the ending of the movie. Tristan has not made it to the end of the last several movies. He will not realize half the movie has played. Honestly, he is here for the snacks anyway.”


We proceeded to order our usual snack list and went into the theater.


Tristan thoroughly enjoyed the action-packed movie! He never realized half the movie had already played. By the time he finished his snacks, the movie was over. The movie mix-up turned out to be a success!

Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!

The Great Debate

We took Tristan to his weekly restaurant request –McDonald’s. Tristan loves his order of chicken nuggets, french fries, chocolate milk, and a cookie. Not to mention the barbeque sauce. He loves McDonald’s sauce. In fact, we used to request several packets of bbq sauce with each order. He trained us! Then the amount got a little bit out of control. We scaled back and offered ketchup instead. This worked for a while.

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Forever Toddler – Enjoying Life

Our Chuck E Cheese evening was good. As you can see he does not fit on this ride, yet he is thoroughly enjoyed his ride!

It had been many years since we had stepped foot into a Chuck E Cheese restaurant. It was neat to see Tristan play some video games. He gravitated towards the race car-driving ones. He didn’t quite understand the concept of the games, but he enjoyed watching the graphics.

Enjoy another view from our family on the lighter side of autism!

Back to the Toilet Paper…

Well, we can tell Tristan is feeling good! We are pleased that he is doing well. (It has been many months and doctor appointments to get to this level of success!) Some signs and behaviors seem to rise when he is happy.

First of all, he has no concept of the value of a roll of toilet paper during these supply chain issues! He unrolled one roll and tried flushing it down the toilet. When I went to tell Brian during my conversation, Tristan ran to the second bathroom. He tried unrolling and flushing a double roll. Immediately, I said, “No, Tristan, we are not doing that.” His reaction was to smile. He fully understands spoken words.


Next, he found an “important paper” in his bedroom. He ran to the kitchen grabbed a marker and scissors. Then he drew a house and quickly cut it out, and taped it on the patio door. He thought he had found an essential paper that he should not have had. It was actually a scrap piece of paper! The artist in him returned. Contentment has swept over him again.

Enjoy the lighter side of autism from our family!

Growth!

It is hard to believe how life unfolded for everyone during the pandemic. Everyone was affected. We traveled to Tristan’s group home to visit for one hour every other week. I shipped many toys to help with boredom. Then we played during our visits. I found this really cool toy with locks and keys. It was a matching ABC-type game. One day Tristan surprised us. He started putting the ABCs in order! No prompting, just on his own. Brian and I sat in amazement. Having a non-verbal child makes it difficult to understand what concepts he grasps. Apparently, he knows how to put the alphabet in order.

Every day is a new gift. Having a special needs child makes life slow down a bit, and enjoy the unique gifts that unfold before your eyes. This was one of those days.
I then turned to Brian and said, “Maybe he does understand the other languages when he switches his pre-school videos to a different language.” But, of course, we will never know. Another question to ask him when we are in heaven.

Enjoy another view of the lighter side of autism from our family!

This product is found on lakeshorelearning.com called Alphabet Learning Locks.