Journal, Page 1

March 12, 2014
We went to the museum to see Human Body
We study together for two one hour-long periods.
Robert reluctantly exercised with me for less than 5 minutes. Still, this is his record. I emphasized repetitions of the same arm movements in preparation for today’s swimming.
Jan took Robert to the pool.

On a way from the Museum we stopped at McDonald to get Mighty Kids Meal. I wanted Robert to order it, and he tried. Tried very hard. He was unsuccessful. It didn’t help him, that the young McDonald employee was not even looking at him, when Robert talked. He dismissed Robert as soon as it was become clear to him that Robert had developmental problems. The young employee kept turning toward me. He didn’t try to understand Robert but expected me to be the translator. No effort to understand Robert, no effort to even acknowledge Robert’s humanity.

We finished reading My First Book of Nature and looked back at all the previous pages. It was an easy book to read. It had very high ratio of pictures to words. Robert was practicing writing capital letters in cursive using models from Handwriting Without Tears Writing exercises allow him to relax and feel independent, as I usually leave him alone. For the last few days Robert was using Kumon My book of Amazing Crafts. Usually, he cuts everything independently but when he has to assemble the pieces together, he calls for my help. He did the same today, but I told him (answering from another room) to finish on his own. And he did. He built a model of the rocket.

In the last few days, I kept noticing the same unsettling development. When Robert is alone working on multiplication of large numbers, he rarely makes a mistake. When, however, I am sitting next to him, he makes more errors. I believe it is because when I am next to him, he expects me to validate every step of multiplication by appreciative words, gestures, or facial expressions. Since, I don’t want to do that, Robert interprets it as a sign that he have made a mistake. Thus he hesitates and replaces correct answers with the wrong ones.
This is one of the effects of having always an aide next to him prompting him and/or rewarding him with signs of appreciation.Once again too much of support undermines independence.

Depending on tomorrow’s weather we might go to the library, veterinarian with our cat Amber, and to the store.
For now, I only plan to study together, exercise a little longer, and cook together.
I will think about details tomorrow morning.

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