Am I The Only One?

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on Pexels.com

Due to the rainy weekend, we went to the movie theater and watched Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Tristan loves going for the snacks! He is a delight to take to a show.

Several times this has happened to me. I start watching a movie. Then I get completely relaxed. All of a sudden….I doze off. This scenario happened during the kid friendly movie. I am sure I was asleep for just a few minutes. When I woke up, I was surprised to see Tristan’s face was an inch from me! He was just staring at me intently. Then I thought of the people behind me. What were they thinking as Tristan stared at me, and he watched me sleep?

The next day I was chuckling to myself thinking about this. Surely, I am not the only parent that has nodded off during a children’s movie, right? Then it hit me. This Is Us, Season 6, Episode 3: “Four Fathers.” Jack, the father, falls asleep. Then one of his children wanders off. Phew! I knew I could not be the only one.

Enjoy another healthy dose of laughter from our home!

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.


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.

Communication Explosion!–Never in a million years…

We enjoyed another successful communication weekend with Tristan. Only this time, he reached a new level in communication that we have never seen. It was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

He wanted to talk about his favorite things over and over and over, etc. So I took his tablet communication device and build a page with his favorite things. I made a schedule, so he knew “what was next.” He loved it so much he kept going back to it. Then he started verbalizing all these items. These are the preferred “conversations” with Tristan. Motorcycle ride. Mc Donald’s – and his entire usual order of chicken nuggets, French fries, BBQ sauce, chocolate milk. Church. Guitar. Cooking. Making Pizzas. YouTube. Movie Theatre – and his snack items which consist of popcorn, pop, and chips and cheese. If Tristan’s device was not right next to him, he would sign his thoughts. If we were not correct, he would repeat his word with a more clear annunciation. If we still didn’t understand, then he would find the button. This repetition went on for the complete 48-hour visit during waking hours.


At one point, Brian and I were trying to talk about something important. We finally had to tell Tristan to wait a minute; it is our turn to speak. Never in a million years would I have thought this would happen!


The other behavior we noticed is even though he wanted to talk about all these things, he didn’t necessarily want them right at this moment. He just wanted us to know he was thinking about them. So this was definitely an area of growth!
I kind of forgot how much sign language he has absorbed over the years. I had to quickly jog my memory when he was signing. He remembered words we have not used in a while.


Enjoy the lighter side of autism and a reminder to never keep up on communication skills! You just may be surprised someday. (Here is a picture of him making pizza’s for lunch. He loves cooking activities.)