I shared about our first week of summer here. Week two held some fun surprises.
We’ve been participating in Gymboree for several years. From an autism mama point of view it’s great for many reasons: indoors, contained, climate-controlled, kind and energetic employees, low-key, good opportunity to work on skills like: imitation, imaginative play, gross motor, language, listening, etc. I really like that it’s something my boys can do together. This will be our last year, as they are getting too big.
We also utilized Hunter’s Autism Specials 50% coupon for Top Golf. This is the third time for us to go, and I’m amazed at how nice and helpful the staff is. My little guy loves Top Golf and Camden likes it. We play for an hour and each person gets to hit 5 balls at a time. Works swell for us.
We spent time at the park, in the pool, playing in the water, and hanging with friends. Carson wanted to make fresh orange, pineapple, strawberry juice. He’s not a fan of loud noises, so the noise-cancelling headphones come in handy when we’re using the juicer. After our yummy juice, we had some not-so-healthy sopapillas. My husband pulled out his Atari in the middle of the week, and Carson was mildly impressed. =)
One of our super duper exciting moments was on Tuesday when Brian and Carson decided to take off Carson’s training wheels. We had spent the morning with some good friends around Carson’s age that are riding without their training wheels. I thought it would be a lot more complicated when we took them off, but that sweet boy rocked it! I was stunned. Within a matter of 10 minutes, he looked like he’d been riding like this for months. We were super proud of him and he felt great about his accomplishment.
Another super exciting moment was when Camden asked Carson to “play trains.” This is the first time Camden has directly asked someone to specifically play with him. Carson jumped at the chance.
Camden’s summer ABA therapist taught him this super cute thing to do to celebrate doing well, working hard, being smart, etc. She has him “kiss his brain.” I thought this video of him doing it was precious.
On Friday I decided to take the boys to a public pool in North Dallas. We needed to get out and about, and since they both enjoy the water, I decided to give it a whirl. Here’s what I shared on Instagram:
If you had told me 2 years ago…or even a year ago that I'd be bringing both boys to a busy public pool by myself without getting a migraine, I would've said No Way Jose!! And check out my sweet Camden who used to loathe water in his face, choosing to go down the crazy water slide. I am in awe of today!! ❤️🏊🏼🙌
So proud of both of my boys for their progression with water. Camden is a pretty cautious kiddo, so I roll my eyes and shake my head at myself when I think about how I started water play with him. I forget if it was his first or second summer, but I bought one of those crazy caterpillar water sprinkler things. The arms would fling around water like crazy, and Camden hated it. It was way too much for him. So…when you hear stuff like “Kids on the autism spectrum love water, dogs, horses, Thomas the Train, etc,” smile, nod, but don’t take it as the end-all-be-all truth. It’s a spectrum disorder, and surely you’ve heard by now, “If you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism.” All that to say, our kiddo on the spectrum did NOT love water. After I traumatized him with the crazy caterpillar, I had to backtrack. I found this Melissa & Doug sprinkler that wasn’t wild. I only turned the water up to Camden’s knees. Also purchased a very shallow wading pool. We did that for about 2 years to help build the boys’ tolerance. We’d turn up the sprinkler little by little. We progressed to putting the sprinkler under the trampoline. Camden hated water in his face, so once he could tolerate that, we knew we’d made some major progress. Seeing him sail down the slip-n-slide shocked us as well. All this to say, Camden did not love water from the start. He’s made great slow and steady progress. Here he is last summer on the trampoline letting the water splash all in his face. So proud!
Much of the success from our visit to the pool this last week was due to the boys’ growth. Their ability to listen and take turns and be flexible, helped me not to be a crazy woman. It was actually a lot of fun. Here are some pics from our visit this past week.
We took Brian for his Father’s Day dinner Friday night so we could avoid the crowds on Sunday. Had a nice dinner and played at the park a bit afterwards. It was a great evening.
Hawaiian Falls water park does a Champion’s Day twice each summer. They do special discounts and open the park 2 hours early for special needs families. We went last year, and other than Camden getting stung by a wasp the first 10 minutes we were there, it was wonderful! The first Champion’s Day of the summer was last Saturday. We got there around 8:30AM and left at 4PM. I was stunned that we made it that long. It was tons of fun, and such a nice thing for Hawaiian Falls to do.
We had some special moments last week: Carson learning to ride his bike without training wheels, Camden asking Carson to “play trains”, Champion’s Day at Hawaiian Falls, and celebrating Brian for Father’s Day. There were a gazillion “ordinary” moments that were precious as well. Granted, there were some meltdowns and tears, but I won’t remember those. Thankful for this time to go slowly, enjoy the time together, and celebrate the progress we’ve all made.