Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Thoughts on a Summer Vacation... so far.

Distant are the memories of lazy summer days of my youth where I spent every waking second in the sun making a mess and creating havoc. Now the lazy days of summer don't exist for I am the Lunatic Autism Mom and the schedule is full and the to-do list is growing. BUT! Within the chaos we strive to find fun... even if it has to be scheduled in between everything else and written down (in ink) so that it is not forgotten.

We are now on week two of summer vacation, we've had some pretty good successes and some pretty awesome fights and meltdowns. Truly truly inspired meltdowns, seriously. But to focus on the bad while the sun is shining so bright and the house is (at this exact moment in time) quiet would be a waste. I shall save those for the lonely, rainy, altogether cruddy evenings.

This summer has brought about something rare and precious... FREE TIME! Of course it is squeezed in between some really really not free time but it has been nice to be able to do some of the things we WANT to do instead of all the things we HAVE to do. The house is trashed but at this point, who cares! Memories are being made! I'll worry about the house tomorrow.

Probably the newest and most significant thing we've done this year is camp. Not just any camp but a morning day camp with typical peers! This was spawned by my obsessive desire to provide socialization to the boys outside of a specialized program. It seems as though we have taken Special Needs Social Skills and used it as a means to learn new and bad behaviors, as well as share our own bad behaviors with other socially susceptible peers. I'm starting to think that this may be the biggest weakness with Social Skills classes as a whole, they do teach socialization but they do so within a very specific group which is not at all representative of the world at large. Alas, that is a rant for another day.

Cameron (my 9 year old) chose Kids take over the Kitchen at our local Kids on Campus program at the Community College. It was a WONDERFUL experience. He had some difficulties but I was able to send an aide with him from our Maryland Autism Waiver provider. He had a great week and is already asking to take more camp classes-- YAY! Lucky for me they are offered all the time and not just in the summer.

Adam (my 5 year old) chose two Lego Class sessions in the same program. He does not have an aide and does not have the waiver so I was really really stressed about sending him to the camp. The staff has been AMAZING with him, keeping an extra eye on him to make sure he doesn't wander and they keep the door closed so he doesn't pull off an escape. Also, it's freaking LEGOS! The kid is in heaven.

I scheduled these camps on opposite weeks so that I could have one week with just Adam all to myself and then the next week with just Cameron all to myself. We made plans for the week and have enjoyed going out for breakfast, running some errands and going to the library. I hope I will be able to schedule it this way every year, I have loved spending the one on one time with the boys!

A special Thank You is required for Mythbusters this summer. It is thanks to their recent episode, Running on Water, that I am able to give you this clip of my boys at the community pool trying themselves to "run on water". I give them full points for trying....

A rainy day and an extreme desire to do something crafty has altered my hallway! This is a picture of the newest addition to the house... a hopscotch board. This hallway is Cameron's pacing hall and it is often that we see him getting stuck in a loop in this hall. It is my hope that this old school game will slow Cameron down, break his loop or at the very least help with those important gross motor skills.

Coming up we've got another week of Lego Camp for Adam, Extended School Year for Cameron, a trip to the beach (thanks to Daddy's work travel, we're doing a tagalong), and a Tonsillectomy for Adam to round out the summer. Lots going on... never a dull moment.

So like those long, hot summers of past, the pool is still cool, the sun is still bright, the days feel endless and the possibilities unbounded. Don't forget the SPF and have an awesome summer!

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