Frances needs structure — lots of it. In the past, summers have been very difficult for her for this reason.
So, school has ended for the summer break, and we have encountered a little difficulty in this regard: we had signed Frances up for a summer filled with day camp through her school; unfortunately, the school has cancelled the camp!
We’re down to four weeks of day camp from 10 weeks, and the deadlines for other camps have long since passed.
If I can get her interested, I thought reading Anne of Green Gables to her might help with her need for structure. There are many kinds of crafts or art that can be done with that theme in mind.
I’m definitely open to suggestions for helping to keep her time structured!
Every day, Facebook delivers memories of my girls, and it usually reminds me to make a journal entry of some sort.
Here, Frances is three-and-a-half and waiting for her preschool class to start.
She loved to play with the light and shadows, and she still does!
From last summer (July 15, 2015):
Bouncy kid meets bouncy tent
As a baby, Frances had gross motor delays that required the help of a physiotherapist from about the age of 13 months to about 19 months.
She had trouble turning over, sitting up, crawling, and walking with confidence. Upon completing physiotherapy and play groups, she was completely caught up in her milestones.
Now, since about the age of three, Frances frequently uses Lego (and its like) to invent unique methods of facilitating movement in her love of being in constant motion.
Over the years, she has asked for a ‘motorized vehicle’, but we affectionately joke that we don’t think that she needs any help to move around more often or more quickly anymore. 😉
How fast is she?
She’s so fast that she barely shows up in pictures… 😉
Frances is always active, forever in motion.
On school breaks and weekends, we need to take her outside to let her run around, otherwise she experiences discomfort in her legs as well as meltdowns.
Since toddlerhood, Frances has always found ways to move around. For instance, she sometimes constructs ‘roller blades’ or ‘scooters’ using very large Lego.
She has also used stationary bicycles to pedal and thereby release some energy.
Before she was even tall enough to sit on one, she would stand beside the exercise bike and just pedal with one foot; the other foot would either remain on the floor or rise and lower with that which was on the pedal.
(Her pedalling has always made me nervous tho’, so I hold onto the bike while she does this. I’m much more comfortable with the idea of her getting rid of some energy by going to the backyard or to the park.)
Sometimes, we come up with new ways to help her. For example, over the past long weekend, we took her ice skating two days in a row with the idea that we would allow her to skate until she tired — this just didn’t happen. After two hours, she just wanted to continue to skate. We ended up leaving when WE were too tired to keep going.
At any rate, a neuropsychologist observed that Frances moves as if she has a motor inside her, and my family and I would agree.
Over the past couple years I’ve spoken with quite a few parents of children with ASD, and I’ve learned that the extremely high energy is pretty common.
One of the great things about going to a children’s hospital that treats autism is that Frances is allowed to climb in the reception area. It makes waiting much easier for both of us.
Just before her occupational therapy appointment on Thursday, instead of asking Frances not to do it, her OT said: “That’s okay. Climbing is good.”
Frances has been up and about since 3 a.m. — where does she get this energy?
She couldn’t sleep after waking at 2:42 this morning. She went to her social group (2.5 hours) and then to ballet (1 hour) later in the day. She has thought of, and played with, nothing but dolls since she woke. 🙂
It’s early to bed tonight for both of us!
(Sleep difficulties are apparently quite common in children with ASD.)