One of our main concerns is the issue of sleep. Despite her strict bedtime routine, sleep is difficult. (As in all things, predictability and knowing what to expect is key for our girl.)
In fact, just about every ASD parent with whom I have spoken has said the same: bedtime is a big issue. (I write this after a particularly long night.)
Over the years, we have had great difficulty both in getting Frances to sleep and getting her to sleep through the night. It still takes many hours (up to five) though staying asleep has gradually become more manageable this year.
I chose to post this panel because it illustrates some important aspects of Frances’s life:
(1) math and numbers — she is very good and very fast at math; it is her favourite subject, and she has great facility with numbers in general;
(2) rules — she is rules-based in her behaviour. Rules are important to her in that she needs to learn them in order to interact with others, but also in the sense that her behaviour is motivated by rules. She often verifies rules in her questions;
(3) questions — it is the means by which she communicates with others, and a fascinating use of language;
(4) danger — when not climbing or bolting, Frances has a keen sense of danger.
Frances has been learning the piano since she was a preschooler, but only within the last couple years has she been able to play music by ear after hearing it.
In fact, only within the past year has this ability been truly honed. She will play melodies that she hears with either one or both hands.
But, since the age of three, she has been drawn to the instrument to the degree that she runs up to it dozens of times a day.
Yesterday, after an ABA session, she ran through a park up to the musical section of a play structure and played Ode to Joy (which she learned partly by lesson and partly by ear).
I spend a lot of my time in rooms just like this — generic, comfortably institutional — just waiting. It’s definitely not difficult for me: I can read or write to pass the time; and I certainly do not mind as it means that Frances is getting the resources that she needs. There’s just a lot of it 🙂
Pink Cup Dad and I always joke that Frances doesn’t need ways to increase mobility: she is constantly active. So, it is funny but not surprising that she frequently uses Lego (and its like) of all sizes to facilitate movement.
…I love reading to Frances, and I love reading comic books, but I find that the format doesn’t really lend itself to joint reading for me. But we keep trying because she wants to do so.