Two Weeks in Review

July 18, 2014
To read or not to read.
Robert completed the last one of the seven History Packets, Ancient Aztec Civilization. We followed with reading two short texts about Aztecs from Top Readers. More Reading Comprehension workbook. I hesitated with presenting Robert with the text about Aztec warriors, as it was very cruel and mentioned human sacrifices to Aztec gods. Eventually, we read it. I thought, that maybe Robert should know that not everything is a progress and that there is a cruelty in the world. I am not sure if that was the right decision. After all, Robert cannot use words to ask about what worries him and what did he make out of the story. And thus, I couldn’t address his reaction what ever that might be.
Coloring with IPAD
We sort of recover (at least I did) when Robert was coloring Aztec Calendar. He used IPAD to help find appropriate colors for different sections and specially for day symbols.
Another day, Robert used Ipad again to color different gems drawn on the worksheet. It was easy for him, as each gem was clearly displayed as soon as Robert printed its name and hit the search button. He only hesitated with topaz as, he found out (as did I), that multiple colors were assigned to that stone. Luckily there were two objects to color, and thus Robert used two different colors for them.
Functional Routines – continued.
After reading again the text about cleaning bathroom in Functional Routines although on an intermediate level, Robert and I cleaned a second bathroom. It went quickly. Robert independently cleaned the sink, counter and the mirror. I assisted with cleaning toilet.
After reading a text about making quasadillas, Robert prepared one for himself. I watched him and gave him 2 or 3 suggestions. Although he ate a half of the quasadillas he made, he was not very fond of that food.
Biking on The Shiny Sea Path
I went with Jan and Robert with the goal of helping in case Robert stays too far behind Jan. Jan always goes first to make sure Robert stops before crossing each street. I was supposed to watch Robert from behind, mainly because in the middle of the summer there were many more people (and dogs) utilizing the trail than in the fall or spring. But it took 10 second for Jan and Robert to disappear from my view. Both of them waited faithfully for me at each stop sign only to disappear again after crossing the street. Although I trudged behind cautiously and slowly, I felt relieved as I realized that Robert didn’t need another person riding bike with him. Specially since that other person, me, after two years of not riding, was extremely stressed while being passed by other bikers and passing other people and dogs on very long leashes.
More work needed on sharing.
Encouraged by Robert’s willingness to share his calendars with family friends, I went step further. I asked Robert to give the reading kit to the person in charge of Life Enhancement of his day program. I did that after checking that Robert mastered the tasks, well to a certain point. Robert was hesitating but took the kit to the program and LEFT it there!!!.
That was a big next step. Thus, I wanted to take another one. On Thursday evening, Robert and I reviewed two sets of cards from Supper Duper School Company. Robert didn’t have any problems answering the simple questions (auditory comprehension) or changing 26 irregular verbs from present to past simple. I made sure that Robert knew that he mastered the skills and thus didn’t need those sets anymore. Robert was not convinced, but put both sets in his backpack and took it to His day program. Except, he was not able to part with those sets. He had them for years and knew them well. Did he grow attached to them? Did he felt their place was in the certain drawer in his home and thus they should be returned there? I don’t know, but both sets are back in the drawers. Not with some hesitation on Robert’s part.
After he took them out of his back pack he was asking in his own almost wordless way (By walking after me with both boxes and saying, “Cards. cards.”) what to do with them. He put them in the drawer, then took them away, then put them back, then he asked dad, as if he was the judge with the last word.
Stomach pains and anxiety.
A few days ago a glass bottle with Robert’s favorite pineapple Fanta broke during unloading. Robert remained calm all the time I cleaned the glass and the liquid. A day later as Robert was trying to empty the dehumidifier, the handle broke (not Robert’s fault) and gallon or two of water spilled on the floor. We cleaned it together and again Robert was focus and calm.
Today, after Robert spilled a few drops of green tea on a coffee table, he became extremely upset. He made noises, he patted his cheeks, he made faces. As soon as he wiped those few drops he calmed down. Nonetheless, as always when Robert displays inappropriate behavior, I asked him to do a few easy worksheets. He did them, almost all by himself without any visible discomfort. After he finished, he sat on the chair for a few minutes, then ran to the bathroom. He was sick. he had stomach problems. I should have noticed. After all, yesterday after returning from the Day Program, he didn’t eat much, a few crumbs of dry, Italian bread. He didn’t ask for poblano or chicken. I just assumed he ate a lot during lunch, he usually buys on Fridays.
In the past many times, I have half noticed that when Robert was not feeling well, his reactions to small problems became huge. The problem is,however, that I keep noticing problem behaviors BEFORE I can see that Robert is sick and thus I still don’t have habit of using the problem behavior as a diagnostic tool for Robert’s physical discomfort.

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