Charlie does not have school today, Monday, the 18th of January. As I've regularly written before, no school for Charlie is usually cause for a lot of concern: While we're readying ourselves for some "no school anxiety," I wrote about Why I'm Glad My Son Has No School Today, on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, at Care2.com.
Last weekend was rough so we went into this weekend with a fair amount of wariness. So far, it's been two good days, minus the half-hour on Saturday when Charlie threw the contents of three kitchen cabinets onto the floor. Within fifteen minutes--sniffling and mournful---he was picking up every last item and placing them all back where they belonged. The day proceeded very nicely. Sunday he slept in a little, went on a short bike ride (he saw "a certain dog") and then a walk. It was good that we got those in as, from noon on, it rained, sometimes very heavily.
We ended up using the computer way too much. We've pretty clearly established that watching videos can really over-stimulate Charlie (leading me to suspect that he's not likely to fare well at a movie, for the nonce). I've been having him do some writing to break things up and so far the result has been good. I've been having Charlie do some writing intermittently with the result that he has not been getting overly obsessed about watching video after video, and also has been handling the frustration of not being able to find a particular video that he wanted.
First I have Charlie write the date and day of the week. Thereafter, I've had him write things we've just done ("I walked") to things he keeps saying ("Gong Gong Po Po coming soon"). After we'd tried typing in several combinations of words to find one video with no luck, I wrote "can't find it." Charlie copied the sentence and then I pointed to each word as I read them out loud, Charlie looking closely at the words on the paper.
Perhaps putting his worries, wants, obsessions into a few words on paper is helping him to feel that those worries, wants, obsessions are contained and therefore a bit more under control, a bit more manageable? This is speculation, of course, but trying to get a handle on my own worries, racing thoughts, fears, imaginings, is one reason that I write them down. I feel a little revolution going on, if this is the case for Charlie too.
Indeed, he remains not at all unwilling to pause from video-watching and to write. And, his writing (in 2-3 inch high letters) is getting a little better, especially with the first few letters of each word. I can also see that he's looking much more carefully at the letters that I've written out. Charlie's always had trouble writing diagonal lines (due, we suspect, to difficulties with fine motor control and also mind-and-hand coordination). Yesterday he wrote the best k I've ever seen him render, one vertical line on the left and two perpendicular, shorter diagonals. Those two shorter lines were written like this > rather than like this < but I could tell that Charlie was really trying to get them in the right place.
Yet another reason why I'm ok with Charlie having a holiday today. If it weren't for the civil rights movement, where would disability rights be, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and IDEA----Charlie's and so many children's right to a free and appropriate public education?