Social Distancing with Robert

March 29, 2020

For the last two weeks Robert has stayed home. His program was temporarily closed as was YMCA and JCC where he swims. His last couple skiing lessons were cancelled as were his horse riding classes. Moreover, I canceled weekly companion hours with Tim, as they involved visits to many community settings.  The life suddenly became very different with closed movie theaters and museums.  Also, trips to stores were out of the question as Robert tendency to fix all misplaced items, turn them to face the front, straighten them, pick them up was contraindicative in times deformed by Covid-19. Even the trip to bank to deposit his check changed. No more going inside to use ATM machine, but driving to the window and passing the check to the teller and not even asking for recite.

Still, there were parks –  Mass Audubon and Trustees of the Reservation. But after ninth day, they closed as well. Now, only  state parks remain. That allows for short daily walks around lunch time.  This is what Robert plans every day – a walk with dad.

However, this is an allergy season for Robert. In the past, we mostly walked by the ocean where there was the least amount of pollen. That helped to calm his sinuses. This is out of the question now.

Given all these changes, Robert is surviving relatively well. Yes, he asked about his program HMEA Employment in Plainville, he asked about riding, skiing, and swimming.  He suggested movie theater and science museum, bank and post office. MOst often he asked for a trip to Cape Cod as he loves Audubon Wildlife Sanctuary in Wellfleet.  He walks during times of low tide on the boardwalk toward wet sand of the bay, sits on the dry dune and breathes calmly the air devoid of pollen. But accepted my response that those places are closed because of the virus.

So now, his plans for the following day, which he keeps making, are reduced to walk and a specific dish for dinner – hamburgers, chicken fingers, potato and cheese, eggplant or poblano.

It did help that almost two weeks before all programs closed, I tried to prepare Robert for that.  Seeing what was happening all over the world, I knew that such closure were imminent.

So every other day, I wrote the text for him to copy.  Doing that was not new, as that was the part of our daily routine.  I wrote something about what has already happened or what was planned to happen in the close future, or something to explain new ideas, and Robert copied the text in the lines below.  The difference was, that two weeks prior to the closure (or maybe even sooner) I started writing that there would be time when Robert would have to stay home.  That the HMEA would be close.  That we would not be able to go to movies or restaurants or museums.  Robert copied slightly anxious.  Usually, after he did, he still wanted to make sure the following day, he would go to HMEA.  And usually, I confirmed that he would still go.

Until, I didn’t.

So now we are home.  Robert, his dad working from home and I.  Only his sister, Amanda, is in Paris, practicing social distancing on her own.

This is not a great time for Robert. He still tries to be occupied.  He folds laundry, he helped baked chocolate chips cookies.  He does, what he very rarely did before – watches TV. Not that he is thrilled.  He sleeps more than before as if that were the best way to adjust to the world that closed itself to us.

Well, still there are board games,Sudoku,  and stationary bike. Maybe when it gets warmer and stops raining we will do some work in the tiny, plastic greenhouse. Maybe.

 

 

 

 

On Importance of Shoes and Mother

January 21, 2020

It was not easy for Robert to stay home while I took a 10 days long trip to France. He asked about me hundred times each day. He kept checking and rechecking on a calendar the date of my return. Often, he displayed anxiety and confusion.  My absence was not easy for my husband either as not only he had to take care of Robert alone but  he had to keep responding to wave upon wave of Robert’s repetitive inquiries.

They missed me.  No doubt about that, They wanted me home.

So I expected them to impatiently wait for me  at our town’s train station.  I called my husband from the airport. I called him from the Silver Line bus and from the commuter train. He knew when I was coming and he was supposed to wait for me.   But he wasn’t.

I called him only to find out that they didn’t leave the house yet. As they were getting ready to leave,  Robert shoe laces broke and he couldn’t tie them.  He couldn’t!  But if he couldn’t tie shoe laces  he couldn’t wear his shoes. Of course, he couldn’t leave the house in untied shoes. Those are Robert’s rules and he doesn’t break them easily. So he tried to fix them over and over and over again. He was not able.  He got frustrated and angry. And stubborn.

Although Robert had a pair of new shoes bought just a few weeks before, he didn’t want to put them on as that meant giving up on his broken shoe laces.

Moreover, Robert really wanted to drive with dad to the station.  He really did. He didn’t want dad to go alone but how he could go when the shoe laces were broken. Besides, Dad couldn’t go either as Robert was too agitated to be left alone. With  loud sounds Robert expressed his confusion and displeasure with this unsolvable dilemma.

Only when he saw his father getting into the car, Robert decided to put shoes on and drive with him. He was still tense when I finally met him. He was clearly contemplating if he made a right decision. Ignoring my presence, he  kept repeating “shoes, shoes, shoes. Ten times, hundred times.

With a tint of irritation in my voice I asked, “Robert what is more important: mother or shoes”.

“Shoes, shoes” he answered without hesitation.

I didn’t hesitate either and sternly replied, “Well, if shoes are more important to you, I am going back to France. Jan, please stop the car.”

Jan pulled to the curb and stopped the car.   I opened the door and put one leg on the sidewalk.  Only then I heard very loud, panicked voice,

“Mother!!!! Mother!!!! Mother!!!.”

For the next few days, whenever Robert began to perseverate  about shoes I asked the same question and got the same answer. “Mother, mother, mother.”

 

 

Routine, Routine, Routine

January 15, 2020

We are still learning. Sort of.  We repeat the same pattern every day.   I am not sure, however,  if following the same order for extended periods of time helps with the acquisition and retention of  information and skills or does not. Maybe reruns of the same steps over and over again carve the path too deep to allow smooth transition to other ways of acquiring and utilizing new facts and abilities.

But then, I would also like Robert to gain confidence in his ability to solve tasks that the world places in front of him by presenting him with limited number of tasks.

But maybe too limited and thus leading to increased rigidity.

That is a dilemma I face every day. Dilemma I try to solve by using the same form but filling it with varied tasks.

Years ago, Robert and I used Saxon Math grades 1 to 4.  Each page presented 10-12problems, but they all belonged to different subset of math knowledge. One task was about measuring the line. The next asked to tell the time on the clock. There was a problem demanding adding or subtracting and there was also a task of completing a number pattern.Those were followed by drawings of partially shaded figures with questions about represented fractions.

Saxon Math pages were very different than typical workbooks made of pages filled with only additions or only multiplication.

However, the next page in Saxon Math had exactly the same format. First task on page one and page two required the same skill -for instance  of drawing the line of a given length. So did page 3 and 4. That was where routine – familiarity -was present.

In the last few weeks I have used Evan-Moor workbooks with titles starting with the word “Daily”.

There are:

Daily Word Problems Math . Grade 1 and 2.

Daily Math Practice Grade 3 and 4.

Robert challenges with understanding language as it relates to math problems are reasons for the discrepancy in the levels of those workbooks. It had to add that Robert was capable of solving problems from fifth, sixth and even seventh level of Momentum Math as we proceed from one unit to the next. The difficulties became obvious when there was a need to switch from one sort of tasks (for instance only adding fractions) to others (rounding numbers). That is why the above mentioned workbooks come handy.  On one hand they present Robert with easier demands but require him to apply different strategies to find answers.

Daily Reading Comprehension Still on Grade 1

Very simple texts followed by three multiple choice questions. We read two of them each day. They are not very interesting, We read them only because they are easy so Robert doesn’t have difficulties answering questions.

At the same time Robert is reading one chapter each day from one of the set of 40 Usborne Young Reading, currently  The Strange case of Dr.Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Those books are considered to be on the third-fourth grade level. The easy texts are followed by questions to check comprehension in a non threatening way.  So Robert reads and chooses the answers to one of the three questions. I don’t ask, however, any questions following the reading of a chapter. Yes, I do sometimes quickly substitute a synonym for more difficult word. Yes, I come with sentences  connecting the texts with the illustrations, but I don’t punish Robert by checking his comprehension.

I need to add, however, that in two previous years, Robert and I worked with the old curriculum Reading Mastery V and VI.  We both were successful. He in learning and I in teaching because the curriculum addressed as much Robert’s needs as a learner as my needs as a teacher.  Unfortunately, those materials were also very expensive and I could afford only the old used ones.  The direct instruction format allowed me to present to Robert the string of  the well designed questions that addressed many different skills.  Yes, I followed the routine, but my  routine resulted in enlarging Robert’s world with new perspectives.

While writing this post, I realized that  there is not much benefit for Robert from Daily Reading Comprehension and that I should return to Reading Mastery. Why, didn’t I realize that sooner?

Well, I followed the daily routine and dug the path too deep to see that it doesn’t lead anywhere.

Still Learning 3

November 5, 2019

1. Cards, cards, and more cards

In the last two weeks we worked on Compare and Contrast set of cards. I drew Venn diagram for each card representing two different items belonging to the same category.  Robert wrote names of the objects above parts of diagrams and then filled the spaces with appropriate attributes. Each day, Robert filled diagrams for 4 cards.

We continue with All About You, All About Me cards.  I considered them much too difficult for Robert when I bought them years ago.  There are still cards that go beyond Robert’s experiences, but most of them are appropriate but need practice.

We returned to set What Are They Asking? Everyday we work with four cards doing them twice, at the beginning of our session and at the end.

2. From Reading Comprehension to Listening Comprehension

For the most of the, so called, “typical learners”  the order of acquiring skills is opposite.  They understand what they hear before they master understanding they read.  For Robert, however, listening comprehension seemed almost non-existent.  Even  a question related to a first time heard sentence, seemed too overwhelming, too vague, or too confusing to answer. That is a reason that I decided that it would be a good practice for Robert to first respond to questions related to the sentences he read himself.  And so we practiced that.  Starting with one sentence long text, supported by a picture,  and one question we proceeded  to two, then three then four sentences and up to six questions.  Only this week, we returned to listening comprehension. Just one sentence at a time and one of the two questions: “Who did something?” or ” What someone did?”  Each day I present Robert with 10 sentences and so far he answers more than 80% correctly.

3. Usborne Young Reading set

It takes Robert 5-8 days to read a book,  from Usborne Young Reading.  Because of the Halloween, I thought it would be appropriate to read Stories of Vampires and Frankenstein. I didn’t mind the first one, but I do have very mixed feelings about the second. Since, I hadn’t read Frankenstein myself, I wasn’t prepared for the horror and deadly gloom of this story. However, when Robert starts reading a book, he has to finish it. And so we read.  I don’t know how he processes this tale.  I am not sure if I should help him understand the horror of the story or let him digest it on his own.  I don’t know what Robert grasps and how this affects him.  I don’t know if I should skip anything that seems gloom and spare him any idea of horrid things that happen not just in the story but in the world.  I don’t know…

4. Chores

On Fridays, Robert and I  go to stores, a bank, a library, or zoo.  I also make medical appointments for that day. Robert deposits his checks, makes a shopping list, and uses self-register to pay for groceries. At home every other week Robert cleans bathrooms, vacuums, does laundry, and (partially) washes dishes. Vacuuming and sweeping floors still requires support because of Robert’s problem with gross motor coordination and difficulties in planning movement in organized way.  Robert would turn around, go one way then the other, leave spots untouched and so on.  I wonder if it wouldn’t be good to spill sand or rice on the rag, to give Robert reason to cover the whole surface of the rag or floor. Last Friday, I helped Robert to record his October’s wages on the Social Security App.  Well,  for him that was easier than sweeping or vacuuming.

5. We Continue to

Solve one sudoku a day.  (more rewarding for Robert as he gets more independent)

Solve a few month problems from Daily Math, second grade.  Visual support provided by some of the graphs help him to understand the difference between “more” and “how much more”.

Practice cursive writing

Practice pronunciation

Color pictures and/or copy pictures

 

Sister and Daughter

October 29, 2019

This post should be an easy one to write. Nothing simpler than to write about Amanda helping her brother to learn new things, participate in different events, and expand his life almost every day. Had  Amanda not been my daughter, I could write this quickly . But Amanda is my daughter and her life is valuable in its own right. Not just as the life of a good sister and a care provider to her brother.  I am afraid that by putting too much emphasis on the part of her life which relates to her brother I would make an impression of ignoring Amanda’s own interests, perspectives, and aspirations.

As the conflicting emotions tie my thoughts into a knot, I will start with recording Amanda’s simple acts of care, love, and understanding.

1. Teaching Robert and me to play UNO.

2. Taking Robert to movies. Twice.

3.Assisting Robert and dad on a bike ride at shining Sea Sea Bike Trail in Falmouth

4. Teaching Robert to use watercolor to paint the picture.

5.Taking Robert twice to Boston by train and traveling there using subways.

6. Taking Robert to Boston by train the third time to demonstrate to me how doable that is.

7. Taking Robert for a walk along the ocean in Bar Harbor.

8. Teaching Robert to use bathrobe.

9. Never ending trips to Blue Hill, Stony Brook, and Moose Hill parks

In one way or another Amanda expanded Robert’s world beyond what we, the parents, thought was doable. That was the case with trips by train and subway to Boston.  She took over when we couldn’t keep up with Robert on a bike trail.  She noticed and addressed those Robert’s behaviors that were a problem already but which could be a bigger problem in the future. He insisted successfully on Robert wearing a robe wherever he was leaving bathroom after a shower or bath. She showed him what it is to be his friend by going to movies, parks, and MacDonald’s and just spending time together with board games or art projects.  She took from us the pressure of worrying about Robert.  The pressure we feel without even realizing it. She let us relax for a couple hours.  Most importantly, Amanda proved to us that Robert has ability to accept changes to his routines and is willing to expand his life beyond the walls, we build around him without even realizing that.

There is no hiding that Amanda became a very positive force in her brother life.  Despite dealing with her own problems and pursuing, not without setbacks, her own goals, she managed to improve Robert’s life during those two months.  She also managed to teach us something about Robert and about us. Yes, we do worry that Robert’s issues might affect Amanda.  But in the past we believed that this impact would be always negative..  Now we see it as a mixed blessing. And for now, lets leave it at that..

Fighting Entropy

October 24, 2019

 

It was almost midnight.

A few hours before, we had returned from a trip to New Hampshire and Vermont. We were all tired, but that didn’t stop Robert from unpacking all our things and placing them where they belonged. Pills returned to medicine cabinet, toothbrushes to bathrooms, unconsumed food  to the fridge, and dirty clothes to the washing machine. After Robert filled the machine with dark clothes, he met me at the dining room table for an hour or so of learning. He searched for the worksheets I had hidden to keep our learning to a minimum that evening. He found them and insisted on completing them . He didn’t allow our daily routine to be changed.

He did, however, took a few short breaks to check the status of the laundry, switch clean, dark clothes to the drier and start a new cycle with lightly colored clothes.

He also mixed a box of pineapple jello with hot and cold water and placed it in the fridge. Then he took his evening bath.

He was tired and sleepy. He went to bed. We, his parents, did too.

Hardly, we closed our eyes when we were awaken by Robert dragging a hamper with dark clothes.

“Go to sleep Robert.  We will put clothes away tomorrow.  Go to sleep”

But sleep he couldn’t. He had to fold or hang all the clothes. Then he went to bed.  As soon as we  sighted in relief, Robert turned the light on in the kitchen. He remembered his pineapple jello. It couldn’t remain in the fridge until morning. He had to eat it. Then, and only then he went to bed.

But not for long. After an hour he was awaken by the call of the lightly colored clothes coming from the drier. They could not be left there tangled with each other in one big mess. So a few minutes before midnight, Robert took them out and patiently carried them to their proper drawers and closets.  Only when he finished we all could finally sleep.

Robert doesn’t tolerate unpredictability.  He tries to make sure that his universe changes as little as possible.  He wants the order  of things to remain undisturbed. He craves simple patterns that repeat themselves.

Years ago he failed a simple test made of questions requiring “yes” or “no” answers.  Without bothering himself with reading, he answered “yes, no, yes, no, yes, no”.  He wanted a clear pattern not a chaotic set of “yes” and “no”.

Even now, when while working with language cards, I use the card No 14 after card number 10, Robert answers the question but puts the card aside until he answers questions on cards 11, 12, and 13. Then he returns the card 14 to the pile.

In efforts to maintain the structure of the world as he knows it, Robert creates separated knots or strings of people and events. There was a time when only some people could take him to McDonald or to Five Guys. Moreover, those people could take him to those places only on specific days. Tomorrow, we could go to the Zoo, but not to the orchard to pick up apples. For apples we can go on Saturday not on Friday.

It is I who tries to increase the entropy of Robert’s world by having him to tolerate more possibilities, more places to go, things to do, by changing orders of his patterns. By doing so, I learned that entropy is not just chaos but also freedom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connecting the Dots

October 17, 2019

Dots 1, 2, 3

One Friday in each month -June, July, and August, Robert with my help cleaned two bathrooms. He sprayed mirrors with window cleaner and wiped them with the paper towel. After moving all toiletries from the counter surrounding the sink, he sprayed it with bathroom cleaners and scrubbed it with the sponge and wiped it with a rag. He poured toilet bowl cleaned inside the toilets and scrubbed them with the brush. He kept spraying, brushing, and wiping until they looked clean. However, I never suggested to him to wash bathtub or shower.  I thought it would be too much for him. I didn’t want Robert to be overwhelmed thus the task of cleaning bathtub and shower, I left for myself and for later.

Dots 4, 5, 6

During the last couple years, Robert and I used Functional Routines for Adolescents & Adults to provide exposure and/or understanding of issues related to recreation, work, community, and home.  I read a text, Robert listened, looked at the four pictures related to the appropriate part of the story, and answered the questions. Each topic was presented on three different levels: beginners, intermediate, and advance.  Two years ago, knowing Robert’s difficulties with listening comprehension, I read only the shortest and simplest texts.  The following year, we moved to intermediate and this year we graduated to the advanced level.  Among the stories we read was the one about Christina, hotel’s housekeeper, who was cleaning hotel’s bathroom. She cleaned counter, mirror, toilet, and… bathtub.

Connection

We read that story on Thursday.  The following day we decided to clean bathrooms. With my minimal involvement and supervision, Robert sprayed, scrubbed, wiped.  When, I thought he was almost finished, I left the bathroom. A minute later, Robert followed me to the kitchen.  He held bathroom cleaner in one hand and the sponge in the other. “Bathtub, bathtub”, he said.

“Ok, you can clean the tub” I responded.  And bathtub he cleaned.

Extension

We moved to the second bathroom. Robert took care of the mirror, sink, and toilet.  After he finished,  he said, “Shower, shower”, and washed the shower too,

Still Learning 2

October 16, 2019

I don’t have any excuse for not writing. Yes, I was busy, but I had been busy before and that didn’t stop me from writing. In the three months that have passed from my last post many things happened.  Robert’s sister came from France and stay for two month providing Robert with much needed company.  We visited Acadia, New Hampshire, and Maine.  We made day trips to Cape Cod.  Robert’s grandma was visiting. Robert with his dad participated in a second 5K race finishing it, well, second to last, but having a lot of fun and feeling very proud. There were doctor’s visits and dentist’s visits.  There were trips to the stores and orchards.  These and many other events are worthy of being written about as many of them expanded Robert’s world and helped him grow. So, maybe I will write about them, but not today. Today, I just write about another hour of learning together.  Not because it is more important but because it is easier…

1. Robert still solves one Sudoku a day with my decreasing help.  At times he enters 5-6 numbers in a row.  Sometimes he gets stuck. He learned however to write a number above or under a column or to the left or right of the row when he doesn’t know the exact square but knows the column or row.  Then he uses that information to find other numbers. That was a step into more abstract thinking.

2. Robert knows many relatively advanced algorithms to do operation on fractions, but he still has difficulties changing word problems into math operation or equation. More complicated than that. He can write algebraic expression and solve equation of the form ax+b=c BUT answering the question, “How much more?” still confuses him. He continues to rigidly read the word “more” no matter what context as a signal to add instead of subtract.  I believed he has already understood that  this is a question about difference, but I was wrong.  I have to reevaluate my approach to teach the idea behind the question.  I possibly use family of facts as a starting point. Not sure yet.  Because of Robert’s difficulties with translating words into math operations, I gave up on practicing Pre Algebra and returned to the second grade math with the help of Daily Word Problems Math.  Everyday, Robert solves  3 or 4 problems often with the help of drawings. He seems very proud when he does so,

3. Years ago, I bought No Glamour Listening Comprehension by Linguisystem and was soon dismayed by the fact that Robert was not able to answer any question that followed a short sentence read to him by me.  I decided to go backwards and have Robert READ the text himself and then answer the question in writing. That is much MUCH easier for Robert.  Currently, Robert reads a text supported by a picture and answers 6 questions related to it.  As I notice, four – five questions he is answering almost automatically but still needs support when the answer has to be infer from the text as is not written there directly.  I ask robert to write the answers instead of telling them, as that gives me better insight.  His speech is still very unclear. Also, by writing, I hope, Robert finds patterns.  I consider it positive that some of the answers are almost automatic.

4. New set of cards, Emotions Skill Strips presents Robert with some challenge.  Not only he has to point to the person exhibiting particular emotion but at the higher level he has to point to a person who finds self in specific situation that might evoke particular emotion.

5. We still practice pronunciation with pages from old Weber’s book.

6. Each day, Robert copies the sentences I wrote. Sadly his handwriting doesn’t improve.  However, I use this opportunity to write about practical topics that seem closely related to his recent experiences. I hope that rewriting them would allow Robert to see them from different perspective.

 

Sister

July 17, 2019

I didn’t know that I neglected her.  After all, I was driving her from art classes to ballet to piano lessons, to camp at Audubon, to claiming ropes.  Yes, I was driving her everywhere.

I drove her because she had this great potential and openness to the world but since I didn’t do any of those things myself, she couldn’t learn them from me.

Moreover, at that time our life at home was changed by Robert’s problems.  He had tantrums. He pinched. He bit himself. He screamed. That was difficult for us, his parents, and it had to be even more difficult for his two years older sister.  I wanted to familiarize Amanda with people and places which would allow her to learn and grow without the distortions that ruled our house.

Yes, we did try once or twice so called ” Sibling Groups” which were the creation of  well-meaning people to allow siblings of children’s with autism to forge close relations with those who shared their experiences. But those experiences are never shared.  Each child with autism is so different that the siblings really wouldn’t have anything to talk about. At least Amanda was not sharing and, possibly, not listening to others.

Moreover, she had her own problems.  Since, however, she didn’t advertise her problems the way Robert did as she didn’t scream, didn’t pinch, and didn’t have tantrums, we learned not to look for the problems and we didn’t see them.

Besides, she did demonstrate some resilience and she had the ability to deal with her own pains. At least we thought so.

I still remember her crying after her one and only friend in the preschool stopped playing with her.  She cried all the way home.  she cried as she found a large piece of paper and box of crayons.  She cried as she started drawing.  But as she drew her tears were slowly drying,  She finished her picture and she seemed fine.

On her picture two boys on the left side of the page were playing together ignoring the girl standing on the right end of the picture who was overwhelmed by despair.

She finished and she was calm.  So I assume, she was fine.

I don’t know if that was a correct assumption.

Still, I wish, she would drew such a picture today.  Maybe many pictures, as the reasons for our suffering are multiplying and getting complicated as we age and stop addressing or even expressing them.

Episode in Wegman’s

July 1, 2019

Last Saturday, Robert and I went to Wegman’s Supermarket to buy clementines, rolls, and a box of organic blueberries.  We chose that store not only because we knew that it had everything on our short shopping list, but also because it had four self-registers where Robert could practice his shopping independence and… cashier skills.

We gathered our items quickly and headed to the self-register. As Robert turned the container with blueberries to look for a bar code, the box opened and the blueberries fell out.  They spread on the scanner, the dropped to the floor.  They jumped to the shopping bags hanging by the scanner, they hid behind the scanner.

Robert didn’t let them escape. After all he scanned the box already.  The blueberries were his and he had to take them home. So he grabbed the ones on the glass surface of the scanner. He was anxious.  He knew that this was not something that was supposed to happen and thus there was a risk that his mother would not let him take them home.  Of course, if I had any choice I wouldn’t. But I knew better.  I didn’t even hope that Robert would not pick blueberries from the floor including all the tight spaces behind and between other objects. I tried to protest, but my protests only increased Robert’s resolve to correct this mishap quicker and that resulted in some of the blueberries being squashed.

The young man attending to all the four self-registers noticed our situation and volunteered to take the box and bring another one.  But of course, Robert would not let him.  strangely, the young man was only slightly surprised by Robert’s protests and my explanation that this would not be possible.

“I understand. My brother would do exactly the same.” said the young man and disappeared.  Robert meantime put the box of blueberries in the shopping bag and placed the shopping bag in the cart to make sure it would go with us. He continue to scan clementines and then rolls. That required touching the screen in search for the words “bakery” and later “rolls” and entering the proper number.  Meantime, young man appeared and somehow he had two boxes of blueberries in his hands.  For a fraction of a second Robert seemed confused as if suspecting something wrong but soon enough he accepted the box given to him by the young attendant and placed it again in the shopping bag.  Calmly, we left the store.

I didn’t forget to thank the man profusely despite tears coming to my eyes.

On a less dramatic note.

We continue with our evening studies. Still  Functional Routines, Analogy Challenges (but know presented not by pictures but words), following directions as given by Say and Glue for Language and Listening, a page from Spectrum Algebra. Still reading a chapter or two from a book from Usborne Young Reading series (currently The Canterville Ghost).  And of course still practicing pronunciation.  Robert reads the word on a card and I tried to guess what he says without seeing the word.