A family's story

Happy Camper

Tate started day camp last week. By “day camp”, I mean M-W-F from 9-11:30. His first day went fairly well–for Tate. The second day he went to camp went better. By the third day, his therapist told me that she thought he could handle it on his own. He was maneuvering transitions fairly well, and kept up with the rest of his peers. The only real areas where prompting was needed by the therapist were in social interactions and in appropriate play with toys that he uses as stimmies. (Helicopters, sand table, and drum sticks.)

This week, camp has continued to go well. On Monday, his therapist reported that scripts were significantly decreased, pragmatic language was better, and he was following the routines. He talked about day camp yesterday when we were alone in the afternoon. (That therapist called in sick.) He told me about his “friends”. He said he colors, then he plays outside, then he gets water, then they read. He likes singing, too, but when I started to sing, I was promptly cut off, “No, no singing, Mommy.” To make his point abundantly clear, he wagged his finger at me and rested his hand on my arm.

Today went quite well. Tate’s therapist said that despite complaining that his tummy hurt, he played WITH his peers on the play equipment on the playground! He took turns on the climbing wall. He chased kids and they chased him. He. fit. in. Tate didn’t want his snack today, which is unlike him, but his therapist said that he was first to the song circle. They were supposed to hold hands, and when the boy next to him wouldn’t hold his hand, Tate tried again. The teacher apparently told Tate that it was ok, and had the reluctant boy come stand next to her. The next child Tate stood next to took his hand. Tate hugged the girl, and the girl reciprocated. (Please catch me as I’m about to faint…)

In the meantime, I got a message from the therapist who is supposed to be working with Tate on Wednesday afternoons and Friday mornings. Even though she just started with him last week, she’s going on vacation this week. She isn’t here today. She won’t be here on Friday. She won’t be here for the next 5 Fridays. I started to panic. Who’s going to help Tate at camp?! Can he do it by himself?! I began to feel light-headed.

I brought up my concerns with Tate’s M-Th morning therapist, and I started to feel a little better. She reminded me of the strict routine at camp. Tate is managing the routine and transitions very well. She said that as long as the teacher (who is well aware of Tate’s autism) is ok with redirecting him when he gets sidetracked by his perseverations, she felt he’d be fine. I spoke with the teacher at the end of camp today. She said that he’s doing quite well, and is even interacting, minimally, with his peers. She said she’d be comfortable with him in the group without his therapist–as long as I’m reachable and able to come get him just in case. Being the parent of a child with special needs, I think I’m always planning for “just in case” and told her I’d definitely be reachable. She said she doubted she’d need to contact me. I let out a sigh of relief.

As we left, Tate proudly handed me his artwork from the day–a pig paper ring around a picture of a pig–that he drew. The pig paper ring is distinguishable. Anyone could tell immediately that it’s supposed to be a pig. The pink dot on his drawing doesn’t exactly suggest “pig”, but he followed directions. My kid…the one who barely was able to function in a classroom without one-to-one help last year in ESY, HE is following directions and participating in a neurotypical group class setting. Go, Tater Tot!!!

In that moment I felt hope…hope that Friday will go well. Hope that maybe….just maybe our kiddo is making bigger strides than we’ve given him credit for making. This all makes us very happy campers.

Advertisements

Comments on: "Happy Camper" (9)

  1. That is so awesome! I’m glad for you. My tater tot cannot do the things yours can. He has a lot of difficulty with transitions from activity center to center and following direction. He would not be able to interact with the other kids although I do believe he would hold hands with yours. And ohmygosh! Why can’t we sing?! WHY?! I am also banned (I really don’t think I’m that bad but I’m quite sure that I would not be getting a yellow ticket to Hollywood ya know? 😉

    Very impressive Tate!! Yay! 🙂

    • I really wish I knew why we weren’t allowed to sing. I love it, darn it! Tate still has issues with transitions…trust me. But he’s able to transition more on his own, or with minimal prompts.

  2. Mom2MissK said:

    AWESOMENESS! Little Miss starts camp next week and I just hope she does half as well as Tate has!

  3. Brooke Graphia said:

    Annoyed with vyour therapist
    BUT THRILLED at Tate’s progress YAY momma

  4. […] Happy Camper (betweenhopeandahardplace.wordpress.com) […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

Mama Is Only Human

my journey...

Zero Exit

by Sara Jagielski

Musings of an Aspie

one woman's thoughts about life on the spectrum

Finding Cooper's Voice

An honest and real look at nonverbal, severe autism.

Emma's Hope Book

Living Being Autistic

Carrie Cariello

Exploring the Colorful World of Autism

Gingerheaddad

A redheaded dad writing about parenting, autism and the odd piece of stuff

Grady P Brown - Author

Superheroes - Autism - Fantasy - Science Fiction

Swim in the Adult Pool

Finding humor in an ADHD life without water wings

Who Am I? Why Do You Care?

I am a woman on a journey. Where I'll end up is yet to be discovered.

Organized Babble

Babbling in the most coherent way possible

Addicted to Quippsy

In the not-so-distant future, you'll wish you wrote down everything your kids said. Now's your chance!

Filtered Light

“Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.” ~ Alice Sebold

that cynking feeling

You know the one I'm talking about . . .

Run Luau Run

Run Committed

beyond the stoplight

sharing resources to create caring classroom communities for all children

The Domestic Goddess

Marj Hatzell Has Been Giving Stay-at-Home-Moms a Bad Name since 2005

"Write!" she says.

Tales from the car rider line and other stories

%d bloggers like this: