Tristan’s Weekend To-Do List

Tristan is valuing communication more and more each visit when he is home. It is incredible for us when he shares his thoughts. We know he is constantly thinking, and now it is nice to know EXACTLY what he is thinking.
Tristan grabbed his communication device and started planning his family time:

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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!

A Surprise Trip Down Memory Lane

Tristan started requesting songs for Brian to sing and play on the guitar. For his song request, Tristan would sign to communicate what he was wanting. Because we did not have his communication device for this home visit–it was a bit challenging. Finally, I was able to pick up on what he was saying. He wanted several of the songs from this OLD VHS tape we had called “Bible Action Songs.” It has probably has been at least 10 years since we have watched this old VHS tape. Thank goodness for YouTube!!! I was able to pull up the exact video that I use to play for the boys. It was a great way to refresh my memory on what songs were on this tape. It was a fun time with Tristan down memory lane. Brian and I were a little surprised that Tristan remembered these songs. I always say the autistic mind is beautiful. We may not often know what he is thinking, but it is a blessing when we do.

Enjoy the lighter side of autism from our home!

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.

Gotcha Day Celebration!

I can not believe it was at the airport on June 4th that Tristan was handed to us. In the adoption world, this is known as a “Gotcha Day!” So… June 4th is special family day for us. Many years ago…We were about to embark on a parenting journey that we could have never imagined. Interesting. Lively. Heart-wrenching. Abounding in miracles. Empathy. Compassion.

This year we took Tristan on a day trip to Sandy Acres Clydesdales for a VIP Farm Tour. It was a lot of fun. Tristan got to feed the goats and the miniature donkeys slices of carrots. Tristan played on the goats’ toys! There was a toddler-sized slide that he kept eyeing. I told him he was too big. He still inched his body toward it and stood at the step. I told the owner, “Tristan thinks he is a toddler.” She gave him permission to slide down. However, his legs extended to the bottom. We all laughed. Down the slide, he went. (Don’t tell him he can’t do something! He will find a way.) Tristan seemed to enjoy petting the Clydesdale horses. In the end, we went into the barn and brushed a horse. Tristan was content with this activity. It was great to have a private VIP tour—lots of good family memories.

Best Mother’s Day!

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Finally, our Tristan was able to come home for a home visit! It has been a l-o-n-g fourteenth-month wait. Our home became lively with our forever toddler this weekend. YouTube played his favorite songs (the same ones over and over). Sleepless nights resumed. Melissa and Doug toys were brought out of the closet. Clean-up duty was continuous. Older brother, Jacob, interacted with Tristan. He gave him a few surprise snacks. Takeout was ordered at McDonald’s! It was a blast. We attended church for the music portion of the service. We would not change one minute of our time with our forever toddler. We had a blast and can not wait for the next visit in two weeks.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Sorting Colors – Tristan’s Way

Currently color sorting activities are a favorite for my forever toddler.  I came across one to try with him.  This is how it went…

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I bought a foam block, sticks, and a box of fruit round cereal.  The idea was to have him sort the colors on the sticks.  First sorting, then eating the cereal.  However, the moment I set out the example with one color on each stick he had a different idea.  I turned my back for one second to get the box of cereal and the “sample” was gone.  He was smiling and laughing.   I asked him if he ate the cereal.  The look in his eyes told me he did.

Then I poured some cereal in the bowl and I sorted a couple to demonstrate how this activity was suppose to proceed.  He immediately started eating the cereal.  The game began!  He wanted me to say “don’t eat it!”  Then he would laugh. He was definitely enjoying this game.

He was proud of his accomplishment!  All the cereal was sorted and gone.

Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!

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This idea came from Play to Learn Preschool.  More details can be found at:

Fruit Loop Graph

 

The Only Kid I Know…

 

Tristan is the only kid I know that will not watch the bowling ball roll down the alley to see what pins get knocked down!  The more Brian and I said, “Watch the ball!” The more he looked the other way.  At one point Tristan was even putting his bowling ball on the ramp and had his back to the lane.  It’s like he knew what we wanted him to do and he was trying to show us you can bowl without watching!

Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!

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