Giant Dances

Ro’s teacher is working on expanding his conversational skills. She suggested that we write down a little something that he did over the weekend, and then send it in on Monday for her to use as a topic. 

He has a journal at school, in which he produces some amazing writing/drawing – thank you Mrs. C. for working on that with him, because he loves it so much.

We thought, hey, why not a home journal to bring in on Mondays!  So, off to Target for Ro to pick out a new weekend journal.  I suggested that he write about the playground that we went to on Saturday.  Ro, being Ro, had other inspiration. Here’s his first entry…

The text reads, “I did my giant 91 dance.  It’s a song on the piano.  It makes me feel happy.”  For those few of you who don’t know, the giant dances are very popular in the house of Ro.  He has a keyboard that has all of those programmed instrumental versions of classic songs – like the ever popular “Livin’ La Vida Loca”  and Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On”.  They are all numbered, hence the 91.  Not sure why they are “giant” dances, but he has a great time running around the house “dancing” to his giant numbered songs.  I really have to figure out how to upload video here, so I can post them – we laugh until we need Depends.

What is especially unique about his entry – the pig nose on Ro’s self representation, along with the Captain Hook hand.  What goes on in that mind?  lol I can’t wait to hear the explanations from the future Ronan.

Here’s some other great stuff Mrs. C. and Ro’s speech therapist are working on with him.  The “WH” questions.  He typed these on the computer himself!

And while I’m feeling prolific today, here’s some character art – ocean animals.  How awesome is this kid?  I aspire to be the artist he is already at 6 years old.

He is selling like crazy on his site too, and I have to re-list like crazy tonight!

www.ronanjames.etsy.com

Okay, off to find an Orca costume now.  Which is thankfully a much easier costume to create than the “swimming pool” from last year.  lol

I’m posting something about food addiction later…sigh, my only vice.

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Come on! That’s the same freakin’ creature, right?

Top: The Hairless Cat      Bottom: Tabatha from SALON MAKEOVER

They can’t pull the cat mats (or lack thereof) over my eyes any longer!

No.  This has nothing to do with Autism whatsoever – I’m just obsessed with the freakish likeness.

The Loudon of the first day

OMG!  How vulnerable and precious is this? 

Gotta love the smile the gaggle of chicks elicited!

My big boy, or Bruce Willis II?

Back when the Willis had hair, you would swear he was the RoJay’s Baby Daddy! lol

  

How tasty and grown is he getting, though?  And I’m talking about Ronan…although, hmmmmm…Bruce is a hot Daddy, too.

EYE CONTACT – OVERRATED!

It’s like being slugged in your soul with a sledge hammer.

So, it’s like physical pain?

Somewhat.  You remember that feeling when your first love dumped you, and your gut dropped and churned and clenched up like a charlie horse?

Yes, that’s not a pleasant feeling.  It’s that intense?

For a split second, and then it goes into an awful naked, uncomfortable, you went to work without your bra on wearing a thin white t-shirt kind of feeling. And everyone you talk to is naked.  It’s like it’s too intimate, or it’s too many secrets about someone that you shouldn’t be knowing – it’s a thousand different pieces of personal information exchanged in an instant.

Is it like this with everyone you look at? 

It’s always uncomfortable, no matter who I am talking to – it varies in intensity, depending on who it is – how well I know them, et cetera.  The only exception – my two kids.  I never feel anything but comfort and happiness when I am making eye contact with either of them.  Well, except when Mama don’t play that – then I’m not feeling hearts and flowers, but still I’m not ever minding the eye contact with my boys.

Hmm…

I was trying to explain to my shrink why I hate making eye contact with people.  I do it – every day I have to, but I still can’t stand the feeling.  I remember being 15 years old and my best friend said to me, “You know, you have to look at people when you talk to them, or else they don’t really know if you’re talking to them or not! Or they think you’re a snob!”  

So, then I stared at everyone when I was talking – I mean, really stared hard.  After a period of watching other people while they conversed naturally (and recoiled away from me frightened for their lives), I caught on to the nuances of social communication.  It was never really missing in me, in fact, I think it is just the opposite – I see too much, or get too much information from exchanging eye contact.  I didn’t stop and study how it was done naturally, because it was so uncomfortable and intense for me.  I always refer to that movie, Powder, when I try to explain this.  See this post…

 https://mamiautism.wordpress.com/2008/04/14/autism-honestly-raw-the-powder-problems/

  <— I need the hat and sunglasses every day, too!  lol

I wonder about this with Ronan.  Is this how it feels for him?  Or is his a completely different experience?  I’ve heard others on the spectrum explain it in so many different ways. 

It’s also a type of auditory processing thing that I have going on.  When I am listening to something being explained to me, I need to look away in order to visualize what someone is saying, or else it doesn’t compute.  You might as well be speaking in Mandarin Chinese, because I have no idea what the hell you just said if I have to worry about keeping up with the nuances/feelings of eye contact. 

What is strange about this is that you would think that the phone might make it easier for me to communicate/process what someone is saying, but it doesn’t really.  Something about that disembodied voice speaking into my ear, I can’t see the body postures or gestures, and I can’t visualize what is being said unless I “see” what’s being described.  With a present person, even if I am not looking into their eyes, so much more can be gleaned about what they are speaking. 

I sometimes wish the whole world could walk about with a dry erase board around their neck, drawing visuals for me to communicate with them, instead of looking into their eyes.  In fact, this is the exact approach I have taken with Ronan when I am trying to teach him new concepts, or even just conversing with him.  Our house is littered with typed-out conversations – red font for Ro, and blue font for Mom.

T.V. and the internet are godsends for us here, too.  Lots of visuals, lots of writing, reading and drawing out things. 

And no piercing eyes slugging you in the soul!

The worst part is, I joke that I hate people, but I really don’t – just most people.  : ) 

No, in all seriousness, I have my two beautiful boys, two great sisters, one great lifetime friend, and…the love life, yeah, I’m working on that one.  Not easy to get that area going when you hate looking at people!  : )

Hopefully, with the early therapies, etc. that we have going on now, Ro will be able to avoid feeling like running and fleeing into the nearest hole whenever he has to interact with people. 

Pray for us, because it’s like the blind leading the blind here!  Except, so far on this journey, Ronan is teaching me more that I am him!!

The (sniff, sniff) Loudon of the Day…wahhhhhh!

Look who is going to preschool for the first time tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!

Epigenetics and Autism

Okay, I was up in the middle of the night again during my usual insomniac period (1:00am – 5:00am)… I am getting old…anyway, there was a fascinating show on PBS – the NOVA series, entitled “THE GHOST IN YOUR GENES”. 

Pretty f*n cool stuff on epigenetics, with part of the program profiling autism (cancer, diabetes, too) and its relation to this up and coming field in research.  Also, every mother that follows biomedicine will say “What the hell has MAMA been saying all along, fools??!!”.

If you haven’t already read my post about the methylation cycle in regard to autism, you SHOULD! 

https://mamiautism.wordpress.com/2008/02/23/autism-and-the-methylation-cycle/

Then read/watch this…

NOVA | Ghost in Your Genes | PBS

And read this too…

Cogito – Cogito Interview: Andrew Feinberg, Epigenetics Pioneer

SCIENTIST CARL says:

This will be an up and coming field that will gets lots of attention for the next decade.  Finally people are beginning to appreciate that our lives (quality of lives) are directly related to the interaction of our genome and environment where we live (geographically and family wise).  Really cool stuff.

Now, will someone hurry the butt chuck up and do a huge study on this for my/our baby’s sake/s!