Yesterday, we went on the church Spring Break field trip. Now , we are not on break this week like everyone else. I plan for exams to be in two weeks with next week reserved for getting our educational display done for the big fair on the 10th. That doesn’t mean that we can’t stop and have some fun too!
We invited Madison’s friend from dance to go with us as well. She’s a good kid that Madison enjoys playing with and her mom is my friend too. That meant that Madison had someone to play with and I wouldn’t have to worry too much about her. She had a built in playmate. That left me to supervise and encourage Logan.
Remember that I don’t like to chaperone or volunteer Logan events. One, I need a break. Two, I tend to overcompensate for him. Third, I also see all the ways that Logan is behind and all the work that still needs to be done. With that said, Logan needs to work on social skills. I need to put him in situations that he can be successful at and that grow him . All about the zone, right?
Church is a great place to work on this if you have the right people in play as well. Some parts of church don’t work. Well, one part doesn’t work. That is NOT the time or the place to work on anything other than keeping him regulated and calm. When he is comfortable and confident, I can work on social skills. The kids at church probably don’t even know that we are working on anything.
These field trips are great in that it is a various ages group. They are more at Logan’s developmental age instead of his chronological age. This enables me to tailor the situation to Logan’s strengths and weaknesses without drawing undue attention to him. He’s there because his sister went and his mom is chaperoning. Why wouldn’t he be there?
I could have sent Madison without us. We could have stayed home and worked there. I would have missed an awesome opportunity though. Hanging out with typical children is soooo good for ASD kids. The key is to make it successful for them. This involves planning and close supervision. If it seems to be going wrong then back up and do something that you know the child can do. For us , since Logan is in Stage 6 (which translates into the age 5 – 7), this would mean that we would fall back to simple referencing. It MUST end successfully. It is my number 1 responsibility to be sure that it ends successfully even if it means that we end it early.
We played at the ministry center. It was fantastic to see Logan running around playing tag. As he progresses in physical therapy, you can see his confidence in his athletic ability growing. Plus, he physically has the strength and stamina to join in now. It was worth paying $500 a month out of pocket from September to December last year. Worth every penny.
The boys helped Mrs. Mary load up the bus with toys to drop off at a mission as part of their Sunday School ministry project. This is again a physical thing.
We went on the bus to the bowling alley. Logan did get a little disregulated and stimmed a bit by flicking his fingers but he held it together. It was barely noticeable to the untrained eye ( see what I mean ). I let him do it because he stayed engaged with the other boys at all times . He went when it was his turn. He acknowledged when the other boys did good. This was NOT the place to work on social skills. He ended up tying for second place with another boy. He was proud of himself.
We moved to lunch. This could be tricky because of Logan’s allergies. This makes him stand out no matter what I do. There is nothing that I can do about that. Logan sat at the table and waited for the other boys to get their pizza. He talked through lunch with another boy. So much that he was the last to finish. I could have worked on it here but I let him take responsibility for it. I was nearby the whole time listening and ready to jump in necessary. I wasn’t needed.
Next was the arcade. The first time Logan went to this arcade, he had a meltdown because he didn’t have enough tickets to get the prize he wanted. This time, he won the jackpot and basked in the adoration of his peers. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Finally, the bus ride to the mission after . Logan sat in the back again with a particular boy that he had been talking to and away from a boy that was annoying him. That is a huge step right there. To be self aware enough to avoid someone that he didn’t care for and to seek out the companionship of someone he did. If nothing but this happened all day , it would have been worth it. All the rest was icing on the cake. God is good all the time!
I am jumping on Michael’s pimped out computer tomorrow to bring you some pics! This is too much!!!!!!!!!!! lol