Thank you to everyone for your good wishes about finding Charlie's purple beads. Alas, the beads have yet to be found.
As a result of which, Charlie and I didn't set off for the Big Autism Center till 8.44am. School starts at 8.45am so we were a bit late.
Charlie had gotten up, showered, and got dressed, then refused to budge from his room. Again and again he said:
'Purple beads! Purple beads!'
He keeps the beads etc. on his bed so I suppose he was maybe thinking that, when he awoke, they would magically reappear but alas, this did not transpire. And from the look on his face and the ultra determined set of his features, I could tell that Charlie would not be moved. He being very far past the age of carrying, and him being, technically, rather able to carry me, I knew I had to resort to Other Methods.
Since we got this iPad, better use it, right?
I went downstairs, opened Stories2Learn, and made a social story entitled Purple Beads (I know, very original---I try to keep things simple for Charlie and to use a minimum of words). There's a video of the story here.
As I uploaded photos and recorded some sort phrases, I kept thinking, how to explain to Charlie about the beads being lost in a way that wouldn't bring down a reaction of woe and devastation?
I included a phrase with 'maybe' ---as in, maybe the beads are somewhere in the white car (a true statement, I would say)--- as that's a concept we've been working on with Charlie, albeit a very difficult one.
And occured to me, that Charlie has indeed lost or had to say good bye to things he liked, that he loved---Barney---and the analogy of losing Barney/feeling bad/getting over this loss was a worthwhile idea to mention to Charlie, to explain what was going on with the worry beads.
Charlie heard me recording the phrases and repeated a few from his room. I brought the iPad up to hi, and we went through the Purple Beads story after which Charlie took the iPad and set it on his bed. I went out of his room and after a few minutes, Charlie came clomping down the stairs. He put the iPad in the backseat, brought down the rest of the beads and things, and I locked the front door.
It wasn't his best day at school, though nothing of a behaviorist-leaving-voicemails sort occurred. Charlie was fine on the bus and then, after checking the white car, kept asking for the beads. I brought out the iPad and we went over the Purple Beads story and Charlie and Jim went for a bike ride.
Despite some frustrating moments, including an evening thunderstorm that cut short a second bike ride and despite my parents' plane getting diverted to Syracuse so they arrived a couple of hours late, after we'd told Charlie they would be coming (I quickly added a new page to his Gong Gong and Po Po visit story: 'Because it is raining and thunder, Gong Gong and Po Po will be coming late')----despite all that, Charlie held himself together and stopped asking for the infamous beads.
Yes, I am giving my parents and Jim a fast iPad tutorial before I leave for Ottawa Thursday afternoon. Though it's likely Charlie can show them himself how to use it.