June 29, 2014
On a way from New York City, I understood, I think, a reason why Robert still doesn't grasp what is weekend and what are weekdays. Of course, the wording is not precise. All seven days are week's days. And the ends of the week are also confusing. They are next to each other and, to make matter worse, the first day of the week comes after the last day of the week. Of course, if someone has a good short memory, then he or she can just memorize which days make a weekend and which days are weekdays.
But Robert doesn't have a good short memory. He needs reason, he needs connections, he needs patterns.
In the past, I emphasized that Sunday comes after Saturday by drawing the days of the week in a circle or a spiral. Circle doesn't have ends, so the word "weekend" didn't make much sense. If in America the Monday was the beginning of the week, then both Saturday and Sunday could make an end to a week. Meaning of the word 'weekend' would be clear. But in America week starts on Sunday...
It really doesn't make much sense, to build one concept on two imprecise and vague others.
For now, I asked Robert to write names of the days on a long line segment and then circle the words at both ends of the line. Robert circled Sunday and Saturday, then... he went to bed. He was very tired after two end days of the last week.
On Saturday morning, Robert went to meet his Walking Club. Unfortunately,the Club met somewhere else, so Robert hiked on a 2 mile long trail with his dad. Between noon and 2 PM, Robert managed to do laundry, complete independently a few easy worksheets related to animal shelters, and helped packing for a trip to New York.
On the way, we stopped at the Old Seaport in Mystic and spent an hour and a half walking on its grounds and visiting ships and stores.
On Sunday, Robert, with his grandmother and us, his parents, took a ferry from Liberty Park in Jersey City to Ellis Island and Stature of Liberty. It is much quicker to get on a ferry in Jersey City than in Manhattan where long lines scared us off on a few previous years. It took us no more than four hours to visit both islands, walk around a little, watch half an hour-long movie about immigrant experience on Ellis Island, and eat lunch with the view of Stature of Liberty.
I was afraid that the old, white and black documentary on immigrant plights would cause Robert to either make noises or request leaving the theater. But Robert was calm all the time. I don't know what he understood, as he never explains himself. What I know is that his behavior could be called - mature.
He got scared when the ferry we were on made sudden, loud beep. Robert responded with one loud scream.
Later, in the car,as we zigzagged through the streets of lower Manhattan amid closed streets, huge crowds, and a bumper to bumper traffic, with the speed of a sleepy snail, Robert made a few grunting noises of irritation. "I feel the same way," I said, "Too many cars, too many people and it is hard to find a way. I am tired too. I understand what you mean and how you feel. I understand." I lied.
I don't understand and I don't even know how to gain such understanding. I can only project my own feelings and my own reasoning on Robert.
Even I know that this is not enough.

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