Life in a family of nine neurodiverse individuals: How we do it, why we do what we do, helping you do it too. "What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters, compared to what lies within us." - Oliver Wendall Holmes
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Summer Fun : With Challenges
It's been a week since my last post. We're into the first week of summer vacation, and preparations for everybody's activities are on. Now, with a crew the size of ours, that's a lot of preparations. Sons 4, 5, & 6 won't be in baseball this year, as they missed the deadline to sign up (absent the day the registrations slips went home) and I don't have an extra $80 for late fees. Sometimes, life sucks. BUT, that doesn't mean we're doing nothing. Okay, the first week I let them OD on videogames (while requiring one hour a day outdoors), but then we're into really living.
We will be running our own daycamp, with fishing, hiking, swimming, and campfires on the agenda. Of course, tie-dye t-shirts and crafty things also await. (Burnt matchstick sculpture, anyone?) We do various sculptures, paintings, sand candles, etc. The kids all look forward to "Camp Hotvedt". Even the 20 year old.
But also, they need to keep their skills up. Especially my reluctant readers, sons 5 & 6. Honestly, the rest of my kids are reading zombies. They tune into their books as much and as readily as to tv or videogames. The reluctant readers, not so much. These two just lack patience, though son 5 this year had a great teacher who encouraged him and introduced him to "The Secrets of Droon" and "Diary of a Wimpy Kid". It really increased his motivation. He has AD/HD, so sitting still to read was an issue, but the rocking chair helps.
Son 6, though, with his "PDD-NOS" spent much of the school year spinning in the corner in front of the mirror on his carpet square. I think his teacher tried, but I also think he has a long way to go to be completely prepared for 1st grade. Before we moved to Dinkytown, we lived on the North Dakota border in a significantly larger (10 times larger) community where summer activities were in abundance, including reading classes that were phonics rather than sight-word oriented, and computer classes. Here, not so much. So I'll be trying to find something that sounds like and is fun and phonics based, as well as affordable. There are kidblogs we may look at to see if that will help encourage reading and writing, though you can't be sure all participants are posting at any given reading level.
Son 2, our graduate and new collegeman, is employed as son 3's PCA, a situation that serves everyone well, as son 2 gets money, work experience, and deadline meeting skills in a sheltered environment. We have discussed that interacting with mom as employer is different from mom as mother, in that, when he's on the clock, sass is wildly inappropriate and intolerable no matter how justified he thinks it is. That stating an objection respectfully the first time is required, and if that takes five minutes thought and re-visiting a topic, then it does. Hopefully, we will see growth in him and his responses that will prepare him for the world he will enter in the fall. If not, he'll have to seek employment in the public sector, which will likely not be nearly as forgiving.
Son 3 will be working on his Compass Learning online and gaining new skills and continuing to grow, as well as blogging here, to encourage literacy activities in a real world application.
We have a great garden this year, so we'll be taking time weeding, hoeing, harvesting, and (come fall) canning. As always, life is an adventure and a challenge to be met.
I'm a mother of seven, ages 22 to 6. They all have special needs of one variety or another, hence my interest in parent advocacy.
Despite special needs, every child has their own needs, and all children have some things in common. You will find here rants, raves, excitement, tears... things all parents go through. You will also find acronyms that special needs parents know, as do the professionals that work with our children. My hope and my goal is to provide experience, strength, and hope, as well to learn from comments and receive your experience strength and hope.
I don't have all the answers, but between us, we can find them!