Talking to Camden’s 2nd Grade Class about Autism

I visited Camden’s 1st grade General Education class last year to talk about autism. His 2nd grade inclusion teacher was super supportive about having me come this year as well. Autism Awareness Month is a natural time to go into the classroom, but I can see how it would probably be more helpful for me to go sooner…after the students have gotten to know Camden a bit, but before the end of the year. They had a lot of good and sincere questions that they may have been wondering about for months.

Here is the letter that went home to the students. (It is almost identical to last year’s letter, as I haven’t found a book that I like better. Would love to hear suggestions if you have some.): parent letter image

I had 45 minutes to share, and it went FAST! The kids were extremely attentive, kind and engaging! I introduced myself and we jumped right in with this 4-minute Amazing Things Happen video.

We went over the three main characteristics of autism:
1. social impairment
2. struggles with speech/communication
3. repetitive behaviors12891488_10154091992909283_1672379358648847446_o

I tried to make sure the students knew that I was sharing Camden’s autism. There is a saying that goes, “If you’ve met one person with autism, then you’ve met ONE person with autism.” Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that has a broad range of what it looks like from person to person. Just because Camden likes/dislikes/does certain things, does not mean everyone with autism is like him. One of the challenges of autism is that it is an “invisible” disorder, meaning you can’t see it. If someone has Down Syndrome, or is deaf, or is paralyzed, you can see it. Many times, a kid with autism may appear to be a brat if they are having a meltdown. Maybe it looks strange to see them wearing noise-cancelling headphones at a basketball game. It might seem rude when they don’t respond to your question. Unless you know that someone has autism, sometimes people make assumptions. yoder visit 2

We discussed some of the statistics of autism:
1. 1 in 68 US children have autism.
2. 1 in 42 US boys have autism.
3. I didn’t go over specific numbers on wandering/drowning/bullying, but
discussed that the rates are significantly higher for those with autism.

I shared about Camden’s early days, and we talked about the difference between classic autism versus regressive autism. Camden falls into the classic autism category, as he missed milestones early on. We received in-home early intervention services from a speech therapist, occupational therapist, behavior therapist, nutritionist, and physical therapist. Camden was an extremely fussy baby with significant gastrointestinal issues and a sleep disorder that still persists to this day. I would share concerns, and was told “he’s just a boy”…”you are worrying for nothing”…”just let him be him”…”one day you’ll be begging for him to be quiet”…etc. Our in-home therapists, our pediatrician (who never even gave us the 15-month screener for autism), friends, and family members felt that  my concerns were unfounded and that there was nothing to worry about. ONE friend told me it was a good idea that I was getting Camden evaluated as she did see some red flags. So for my family (and numerous others who share similar stories as ours), when I read that the rates of autism are going up because of better diagnosis, I have to admit that is not our story. Camden does not have high-functioning autism where you are trying to decide if he’s just quirky or if it really is autism. If you’ve seen or met Camden, there is no doubt that he has very significant delays in each of the three main areas of autism.

I shared this quote with the students:not being able to speak quote

We talked about some people who were perceived as not being smart because they couldn’t speak or had altered speech, and we discussed how frustrating it would be to have people discount you or assume you aren’t smart simply based on your speech or lack thereof.

My uncle is deaf and was in special education during school despite being extremely intelligent. He has his doctorate in Education and is an amazing educator. He was teacher of the year for his district last year.

I showed this picture of Carly Fleischmann and told the students a little bit of her story: carly

Carly was diagnosed with severe autism and speech apraxia and the age of 2. She is nonverbal. Doctors said she would never progress beyond the mind of a small child. At the age of 10, she made a huge breakthrough when she typed “HELP TEETH HURT” on a computer. Her parents and therapists tried to get her to communicate through typing, but she refused for months. One of her therapists, Howie (pictured above), decided that if she wanted something, she would HAVE to type it. They knew she had the ability, but she needed to be pushed. It worked!! Today, she types with one finger and she has found her voice! She still struggles with OCD and communication, but she has proven that you can’t judge a person just from what you see. Her IQ is over 120 (above average) and she has a talk show called “Speechless.” Carly now prefers to use a communication app called Proloquo. You can learn more about her story in this 7 1/2 minute 20/20 report.

I showed a picture of Niko Boskovic and we talked a little about his story: letterboard

Niko is a young man who is non-verbal with autism. He started using a letter board (through the Rapid Prompting Method) after he and his mother attended a Rapid Prompting Method workshop in 2015. Niko’s mom always knew and believed that her son was smart…she just didn’t know how smart until he was able to communicate with the letter board. Before the workshop, Niko had been in special education classes. I saw on his blog where he posted a picture of himself on the first day of school the year that he started attending general education classes. Here’s what he said: “Today is the first day of school. I am looking forward to it because I want to learn so much. Happiness is knowing that I am late to the game, but I can still play.” 🙂 I was amazed by this 5 minute video highlighting Niko’s story.

I gave the students two examples of when Camden’s voice went unheard. Pear-8

Camden takes leftovers in his lunchbox, so I package it up when I am making dinner. One night, I had put his entrée, fruit, and drink in his lunchbox, put it in the fridge, and then we sat down to eat. That night the pears were disgusting! YUCK! We couldn’t handle the taste or texture, so we threw them out. The next day, when I picked Camden up from school, his teacher mentioned that he didn’t want to eat his fruit, but she had him finish it since she assumed he was just protesting. As soon as she told me, I felt horrible, as I realized at that moment that Camden still had the gross pears in his lunchbox that I had packed the night before. Can you imagine? Having to eat something gross, but not being able to tell someone (or get someone to listen) that you did not want to eat it? But since you struggle with communication, you were forced to do what you were told. That would be hard. *Apparently, Camden’s classmates mentioned this story several times to his teacher today. Please know, that this was no one’s “fault.” It was unfortunate. I wish I had thrown out the pears, but it slipped my mind. Camden’s teacher had him eat the pear, because I encourage the staff to have him eat since I send him with a reasonable amount of food. 99% of the time, Camden finishes his school lunch with no problem.

Camden went through a time when he loved watching the Cars movie and playing with his character cars. One night, he was playing with his vehicles from the Cars movie and I heard him say something about “Doctor Hudson.” I was making dinner, but briefly explained to Camden that the car’s name was Doc Hudson, not Doctor Hudson. He kept on playing. This happened at least three more times until several days later, Camden brought me his dvd player, and said, “Look.” The screened was paused on this picture: Doctor_hudson_dr_of_internal_combustionIt’s as if Camden were telling me, “Look lady…I know WAY more about the Cars movie and characters than you do. You make the dinner. I’ll know the stuff. Please listen to me. Just because it’s hard for me to speak does not mean that I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

And I wonder how often things like that happen for my kiddo.

my-brother-charlie-bookWe read the book My Brother Charlie. It’s written from the perspective of an autism sibling. Colorful illustrations and it’s good about discussing some of the challenges and joys of having a sibling with autism.

I received the students’ questions ahead of time. I found their questions interesting and insightful. Some of the questions were easy to answer. Some of them I had to take my best guess. And some of the questions don’t have easy answers.

  1. Does Camden like sports? I would venture to say that he enjoys watching sports more than playing them. But then again, he sure looks like he’s having fun in PE! He likes being in the pool, riding his adaptive bike, and going to Top Golf. If monster truck driving is a sport, then that might be his favorite to watch. =)
  2. What does he do in speech? Camden had his private speech session the day before, so I brought real-life examples of what he’s working on. Things like pronouns, prepositions, choosing the object that does not belong, using clues to guess an object, etc.
  3. How do you get autism?  I made sure that the students knew that autism isn’t contagious. It’s not something you catch like strep or a cold. And that just because they may feel like they have one characteristic of autism (like maybe social situations are really hard), that does not mean they have autism. They would know by now. I touched on the difference between classic autism and regressive autism. But mainly I shared that we don’t know for sure how people get autism and that researchers are working hard to learn more.
  4. What would Camden like to play with me? Camden LOVES recess, and will get upset on the way to school if it’s a rainy day and he can’t go out.  He enjoys racing sometimes. He likes playing on the playground equipment. Oftentimes, he enjoys watching other people play. I’ve seen him at the top of the slide just looking out and taking it all in. Like with any friend, it’s important to try and read his body language. Does it seem like he’s smiling and having fun?…then keep it up! Does he seem frustrated and like he needs some space?…then maybe give him a little time. Feel free to ask a teacher for suggestions.
  5. Why does he say “no” when I ask him a question? That’s a good one! My best guess is that Camden’s routine is so important to him, that if he hears a question like “do you want to go to the gym?,” he stresses that his schedule is going to change. Past and future tense are also hard concepts for Camden to grasp, so if you ask him, “Did you go to Medieval Times last night?,” he will say “no thank you” for fear that you are going to make him go NOW.
  6. Why does he make noises sometimes? That’s another good question that is somewhat of a mystery. I’ve heard some people with autism say that it’s to self-regulate when there is a lot going on around them. For Camden, he seems to do it most when he’s happy and excited. Sometimes he can be noisy when he’s scripting or reciting lines from movies, commercials, or books. He’s always working on memorizing something, and he will script it until he’s got it down.
  7. What is his favorite thing to do? On normal days he certainly enjoys electronics (his iPad and dvd player) as well as riding bikes, jumping on the trampoline, going to the park, racing his remote controlled car, swinging, etc.
  8. Why doesn’t he stay in our class the whole time? Our campus has a program for students with autism that’s called STC, or the Structured Teach Class. While inclusion time is really important for Camden to learn communication, social skills, and to work on academics, he seems to learn new information best in a 1:1 or small group setting. Special education students have what is called an IEP (or Individualized Education Plan), where goals are made specifically for that student based on his or her needs. Here’s the way our district defines the STC program: The Structured Teaching Class (STC) is a centralized, self-contained instructional arrangement designed to meet the needs of students who have characteristics associated with autism. STC provides a high degree of structure, a low student to staff ratio, and systematic use of a variety of research based interventions to enhance instruction, develop communication skills, and manage student behavior. Students have the opportunity to participate in many academic and non-academic activities with their non-disabled peers. STC classes are located on several general education campuses throughout the District.
  9. Does he like to watch movies? YES! Camden likes the Toy Story movies, Cars, movies about trains and vehicles, and he loves educational videos. He often will set the TV or video to closed caption so that he can learn the words while he watches. If Camden is in charge of the remote, it can be hard to watch with him as he likes to rewind his favorite parts or the parts he’s trying to memorize over and over and over again.
  10. Where is his favorite place to go? Hmmm…he really enjoys places like Great Wolf Lodge (actually, any hotel) and Medieval Times, but I would guess that camping and the beach are his most favorite places.
  11. What is his favorite food or place to eat? Camden is on a special diet due to allergies and gastrointestinal issues, so he doesn’t love a lot of the typical foods and restaurants that many kids enjoy. He does love mangos and chips. He typically eats a meat, veggie, and fruit for meals.
  12. What does Camden like to do when he gets home from school? Well…most days Camden has what is called ABA therapy after school. He has people that work with him on communication, play skills, social skills, academics, etc. After therapy, he gets some free time on electronics before we eat dinner. Here’s a picture of Camden with one of his therapists. He was working on his speech for the Living History Museum. We have a room set up in our house that’s kind of like a classroom. audrey

I gave the students a 4×6 picture of Camden. The photo had some possible similarities and potential differences listed. We talked about how we are all special and unique, and how we all have things that make us different.


I shared this 2-minute video about Dillan, a teenager with autism who is nonverbal. Thanks to the iPad, Dillan is able to communicate. I am so amazed and excited to see stories like this of children who are able to find their voice in this world.

I printed this booklet titled Growing Up Together to send home with the students. It’s an easy read that touches on what is autism, how kids with autism act, why children with autism may act a certain way, what causes autism, and how to be a friend to someone with autism. Here are the tips on how to be a friend:

When you become a friend to a person with autism, you both learn a lot from each other. Here are some ideas that can help you be a better friend to a kid with autism: •  Accept your friend’s differences. • Know that some kids with autism are really smart, just in a different way. • Protect your friend from things that bother him or her. •  Talk in small sentences with simple words and use simple gestures  like pointing. •  Use pictures or write down what you want to say to help your friend understand. • Join your friend in activities that interest him or her. •  Be patient – understand that your friend doesn’t mean to bother you or others. •  Wait – give him or her extra time to answer your question or complete an activity. •  Invite your friend to play with you and to join you in group activities. Teach your friend how to play by showing him or her what to do in an activity or game. •  Sit near your friend whenever you can, and help him or her do things if they want you to. •   Never be afraid to ask your teacher questions about your classmates with autism.  • Help other kids learn about autism.

My time was up, and I looked at the precious faces of those 2nd graders and I thanked them from the bottom of my heart for being kind and respectful toward Camden. I thanked them for being good role models for him. I told them how much it means to me to see Camden at school with his peers…to see him included and learning and having fun.

We are so incredibly proud of Camden and who he is! He works really hard and has come so far. He is dearly loved by his people. =)




Annual ARD and Camden’s Progress Report from Home

We had Camden’s annual ARD (Admission Review Dismissal for special education students) yesterday morning. Always so thankful that my husband takes time off of work to attend these meetings. There’s a lot discussed and there are often a lot of school personnel in attendance, so it feels good to have someone there just for you. Our meeting yesterday included Camden’s general education teacher, special education teacher, diagnostician, adaptive PE teacher, occupational therapist, principal, and speech therapist. I can see how it could feel a bit intimidating to have all those folks sitting across for you if you are by yourself. We have a great team AND my hubby attends, so it’s win-win all around.

I had some concerns at the beginning of the school year, but they were resolved pretty quickly. A top-notch teacher + a district with high standards for students + an involved parent who continually refers back to the student’s IEP and educational paperwork, typically equals a pretty successful team. I am a bit focused before our ARD. I go over all of Camden’s past and present paperwork. His teachers assess and I assess to compare progress between home and school. I meet with his teachers several times. I get some headaches and plow through some chocolate. I seek the wisdom from some super smart autism and special education advocates and mentors. I ask myself, “Is what I am asking for reasonable and does it line up with Camden’s IEP?” I had a counselor friend say before that if people come to a meeting and are shocked and caught off guard by what they’ve heard, then good communication has not happened. The bulk of the talking/negotiating/compromising should happen before a big meeting. Camden’s teachers and I spent hours preparing for this meeting. No one was taken by surprise yesterday. Camden’s teacher and I shoot straight with one another. She is confident (but open to input) in her teaching abilities so it doesn’t bother her or make her feel attacked when I ask a lot of questions. I am a key player of “Team Camden” and it is vital that I understand what happens at school. Certainly, I don’t want to be a jerk or be pushy just to get my way. But as Camden’s mama, if I don’t advocate for him, who will?!?!
Anywho, it was a successful meeting. We felt heard. We had lots of opportunities to celebrate Camden’s successes and to focus on where he’s heading this school year. Camden’s teachers have always asked me to write up kind of a “parent progress report” to share Camden’s growth at home. I could have gone on and on, but here is what I shared:

“Present Levels” as Observed in the home environment
Shared by Candace (mom)
September 17, 2015

Camden continues to make slow-and-steady growth in all areas. We had a great summer that combined a lot of play and fun, some focus on ABA therapy, and plenty of time to just be lazy.

Mondays consisted of Gymboree, Top Golf, lunch out, and our weekly trip to the grocery store. This is Camden’s last year for Gymboree, but it is amazing to see his progress. It’s a great opportunity to work on gross motor, imitation, pretend play, socialization and communication. To see him participate in the songs without my prompting and to watch him do all the motions was encouraging. Even just to see how much easier it is for him to run and climb is exciting. Our excursions to Top Golf were fun. Just like Gymboree, it’s nice for my boys to have things they enjoy doing together. Top Golf gave Camden opportunities to work on turn-taking, listening for instructions, counting, basics of golf, etc. Camden was able to make choices on where we went for lunch (Pie Five or In & Out). Lots of opportunities to work on patience, listening skills, socialization and communication, etc. After lunch, we’d go to Whole Foods for our weekly shopping trip. Camden did great making requests for various foods. Lots of labeling. My primary method to measure growth in this area is that there is NO WAY I could have done Gymboree, Top Golf, lunch, and my big weekly shopping trip with both boys and without me having a migraine. While I was dog-tired this summer, we thrived instead of just survived.
TopGolf CollageSummer1weekTuesday/Wednesday/Thursday Camden attended Such and Such ABA center. He participated in the social skills group in the morning for 2 hours. He would eat lunch and then receive 3 hours of 1:1 ABA in the afternoons. Miss B (current school teacher) is super supportive about handing off Camden’s school materials for us to use for summer ABA. While I don’t have our summer ABA therapists work on the big academic goals, they do work on maintaining the skills he has mastered as well as trying to help him master the skills he is currently working on at school. The center combines traditional ABA with play-based therapy. It’s a good fit for Camden since he does do so well at 1:1 ABA table time, but he really benefits from the play-based approach too since it’s more of a struggle for him.

kiss your brain from Candace R on Vimeo.

Friday mornings were kind of lazy around our house. The boys could play and have some technology time while mama did laundry. We would eat an early lunch and then head out for a water activity. We went to various pools/aquatic centers over the summer. Since Camden can be rigid, it was good to have variety. Public pools can obviously be crowded during the summer so these were certainly good times to work on listening skills, taking turns, trying new things, etc. When both boys had things they wanted to do, I just had to say, “It’s Carson’s turn, so we will do XYZ for 15 mins. Then it’s Camden’s turn and we can do XYZ.” So much fun to push Camden out of his comfort zone. Little brother wanted to try the lazy river at the aquatic center. Camden kept with his “no thank you.” I told Camden he had to try it, and it ended up being his favorite thing to do at the pool all summer. Just like with our Mondays, for me to be able to take both boys out to a crowded pool and for us to have fun and not have a massive headache is MAJOR success and growth on all of our parts. Frisco Aquatic CollageWe had a wonderful vacation to see family in PA. Camden is making slow-and-steady strides with travel (namely flying and time in the car). It gets a little less stressful each time. The boy LOVED the time at the beach. Such a joy to watch him enjoy something so much.
OC Beach Day 3Sleep continues to go well, thank God! Camden sleeps through the night about 95% of the time. He continues to make progress with variety of foods.

Camden’s adaptive bike has been a game-changer. Instead of just going along in the bike trailer, he is an active participant. He loves that bike, and I love that he is able to share a hobby with the rest of his family, get some exercise, and learn some rules of the road.
bikingThe transition from me pushing Camden to try various things to him now wanting to do those things on his own is super exciting. I absolutely love seeing him find things that he enjoys.

Camden has made vast improvement in numerous areas. For a mama of a child who is considered “functionally non-verbal” it brings me immense joy to see Camden grow in this area. Miss B (current school teacher) and I were comparing Camden’s ABLLS data, and there is a bit of a gap between his verbalizations at home versus school. Miss B asked me to jot down some of Camden’s verbalizations to give her an idea of what it looked like at home. SO glad I did. Here is what I shared with Miss B on 9/15/2015:

Then I shared Camden’s speech growth that I recently shared here.

Glad that’s done! =)

Speaking of…

We are preparing for Camden’s annual ARD (Admission, Review, Dismissal) meeting. This is where the team comes together to check student progress, set goals for the year, see if any adjustments need to be made, etc. Camden’s teacher rocks. She’s great. I appreciate that she treats me like a teammate, which should be the case with every parent and school team. Parents are the experts on their child, and they are a valuable and essential part of the ARD committee.

So…we’re going over Camden’s progress, analyzing his assessment data, considering new goals, etc. For a student with autism like Camden, our district uses the ABBLS (Assessment for Basic Language and Learning Skills) to track a child’s progress. I always recommend that SPED parents are aware of how the district is assessing their child. I purchased a copy of the ABLLS for my reference to track Camden’s growth. Camden’s teacher and SLP update the ABLLS each year before his annual ARD. I also like to update it at home. Always interesting to see what skills he’s mastered at school that I wasn’t aware of (like this year, I didn’t realize he could name all the coins), and interesting to see what he’s mastered at home, but not at school. I am often surprised by how much more language Camden expresses at home than at school. Though I probably shouldn’t be so surprised. School is more structured. There are more kids. More focus on academics. There is not a lot of flexibility during the day. It’s more overwhelming. At home, he’s comfy. I have two kids, so it’s easy for me to focus on them. While we are structured at home, it’s different. There is flexibility within our structure. We play a lot.

speak 2

I am super grateful for our school, and for now, I feel it’s a good fit for Camden. I also love how he grows and flourishes at home. And I love his summer ABA program that has a balance of play-based therapy and focus on goals. It’s all a good mix for us.

But the language gap between home and school does make me think. I wish Camden’s teacher could see him and hear him at home. She actually encouraged me to jot down examples of Camden’s language throughout the day to give her an idea of what it looks like. Cool!

Camden actually joined in on the meeting I had with Camden’s teacher and SLP this week. He came over to hug me and mess with my hair and then he said, “Camden’s house. Upstairs. Thomas and Friends. I eat popcorn and orange juice.” Camden’s teacher remarked that it was the most she’d heard him speak.

I decided yesterday that I’d make note of all (or most) of Camden’s vocalizations yesterday. I don’t plan to track the best of three days or whatever. Just did yesterday. I should do stuff like this more often to see where we are and give thanks for how far we’ve come. I shared before about Camden’s speech progress from when he was just shy of four-years-old. Hopefully, this will be something I look back on to see growth and celebrate how far we’ve come.

I opened up the notes on my phone and transcribed what Camden spoke throughout the day. Carson, my little guy, asked me what I was doing. I explained that Camden doesn’t talk as much at school as he does at home, and that Miss B asked me to track Camden’s verbalizations to give her some insight. Carson said that in the same way that he doesn’t rub Little Dog’s nose at school or around people that aren’t family, maybe Camden is more comfortable with his family. Maybe so, kiddo.


For the record…Camden’s educational paperwork would label him as “functionally non-verbal” just to give you an idea of where he falls in the area of speech. Taking into account the “functionally non-verbal” label, really makes things like this super precious…A couple weeks ago, Carson says, “Mom, Camden sure does love Jesus.” Despite being “functionally non-verbal”, that boy loves to sing about Jesus, to pray, to say Scripture. A sweet reminder that no matter what labels the world may put on us, that doesn’t limit God. He’ll use any that are willing.


And FINALLY, here is the email I sent Camden’s teacher with Camden’s vocalizations on 9/15/2015 at the age of 7.

You suggested tracking some of Camden’s vocalizations to see what he’s chatting about at home. I was gonna do this on Saturday, and I’m glad I didn’t b/c it was time-consuming…in a good way! =) Here is what I got, in between making dinner and such…. FYI…you mentioned Camden saying “sprinkles” today and I swear I’ve never heard him say that. =) I thought that maybe you misheard him. Nope. He said it several more times tonight. =)

Camden’s vocalizations for Tuesday. I’ll bold what Camden said:

*AM vocalizations before school. Camden didn’t sleep well last night (up from 2-5AM), so he came downstairs at 7:25 and we left for school at 7:40.

Sit at table (when I grabbed his breakfast for us to head to the car, he asked if he could sit at the table to eat)

Bathroom (asked to go to the bathroom before we left)

We’re almost there (on the way to school)

tickle (on the way to school)

Hang on tight! Here we go! (as we took off when the light changed from red to green)

*PM vocalizations (after I picked him up from school)

Time for snack (when I picked him up for school)

Band-Aid (looking at bug bites on his knee and then looking at me to request.)

Trucks trucks trucks

Follow that bus (request after I picked him up since he likes for us to follow the bus)

Going right (wanted me to turn right out of the parking lot to follow the bus)

I want music (requesting MP3 player in the van)

Tickle tickle (requesting tickles on the way home)

Rolling (referencing the golf ball rolling around in the van)

Gorillas don’t eat people (scripting from Bubble Guppies)

Garage (spontaneous ID as we pulled into the driveway)

Blow the whistle (request to blow the whistle hanging in the garage)

Move on back move on back (reference to Wheels on the Bus)

Help (threw or rolled some cylinder piece that goes to Carson’s bike down a hilly street to watch it roll)

Oh no! (cylinder pieace going down the hill)

What’s so funny? (Camden dropped Carson’s bike piece down a drain in a neighbor’s yard. I scolded him, so he diffused with his “what’s so funny?” go-to phrase)

I like to share with my friends and they share with me (Yo Gabba Gabba song that’s been on his mind this week)

Rolling (referring to the bike piece that “rolled” down the drain)

Sleeping (Me: Camden, that is for Carson’s bike and your put it down the drain. That’s not nice. You don’t do that. Camden: laid on the sidewalk pretending to sleep. Cracked me up.)

Scooter (referring to the scooter Carson was riding)

That’s OK friend (trying to diffuse, I assume)

Be very careful (thinking about the bike part that we couldn’t get)

Dad can help us (thinking about the bike part that we couldn’t get to)

Look at the house

Watch out

Down the hole (still thinking about the bike part, I presume)

Ringing doorbell (when we return home, Camden went to the front door to ring the doorbell)

Knock knock knock (as he knocked on our front door)

Who is it? (Daddy opened the door)

Orange juice (request for OJ after school)

I want orange juice (self-corrected his request for OJ into a sentence)

Tickles (ongoing request, as it’s a preferred activity 🙂 )

Thomas and friends Helping Each Other (request for a specific Thomas and Friends episode to watch during snack time)

Blocks. I want blocks. (wanted me to find his wooden alphabet blocks)

Takeout. Takeout numbers. 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9. YAY, you did it! (This is scripting from the Teach 2 Talk videos, but he did it in appropriately with his number puzzle)

(I had to make a phone call, but walked into the playroom to hear this going on….)

Say oval. Green oval. (Camden likes Team Umizoomi on NickJr. It’s a cartoon that focuses on math skills. One of the characters, Geo, likes shapes a lot. Sometimes, Geo will build things with his shape belt. For example, he’ll build an ice-cream cone and say something like, “to build an ice-cream cone we need a triangle. Can you say triangle? Triangle. Okay, next we need a circle. Can you say circle? Circle. Great job. So…while Camden got the idea from Team Umizoomi, he makes his original dialogue by using his Melissa and Doug shape puzzles.)

Time to make a train. Say I need circles for wheels. Circles. Great. Now say red rectangle. Red rectangle. Next we need triangles. Say yellow triangle. Yellow triangle. And last we need a square. Say blue square. Blue square. Choo choo. Go. Stop and start. (more imitation of Geo from Team Umizoomi, but not scripting as he did it using his original puzzles.)

Come on. Let’s build a house. First we need a yellow triangle. Say yellow triangle. Yellow triangle. Great! Next we need squares. Say squares. Squares. Great. And last we need a rectangle. Say rectangle. Rectangle. Great job. It’s a house. A puzzle. (more Team Umizoomi-inspired play and language.)

But it’s getting away. Uh oh! (pushed some down the stairs)

Watch out! Say cup up. Cup up. I did it. (Went into our bathroom. A Dickey’s BBQ cup that we use to rinse the boys in the tub fell to the ground, so that’s what he said)

I want black iPad (request for iPad while I made dinner)

Eyes nose mouth (said while touching each one)

Race. I want to race. (came into the kitchen to request I race/run with him through the house)

Tickle tickle. I want tickles. (the usual 🙂 )

Bouncing stop (wanting hippity hop ball bouncer thing from Carson)

Take a picture. Say sprinkles. (holding our 35mm camera)


My bouncy ball. earth planet earth (holding this little bouncy ball that does look a bit like earth)

Babies babies Muno Brobee etc (holding his small Yo Gabba characters)

Neck. speakers (looking at the Plex character and verbalizing what he sees)

look look look (Wanting to know what to call Plex’s antenna ears) look look look (wanting to know what the handle is on Plex’s stomach)

Back-and-forth back and forth back and forth (moving Plex’s antenna back and forth)

Look look look (Brings Muno over and asked me what the bumps were) Then he looks at the Lego table and says bumps

Look look look (Brings me Toodie to look at tail. I tell him it’s a spiky tail.) Look at tail. I see spiky tail.

Earth. the earth. (as it gets the bouncy ball again)

Bouncing (watching the bouncy ball)

Earth. planet earth. rocket. 5 4 3 2 1 0. blast off. earth. planet earth. the earth. (has the bouncy ball in one hand and a medicine syringe in the other hand…doing PRETEND PLAY!!! BAM!)

Look look look (Brings Foofa to me and points to tummy) Look at Foofa’s tummy.

*sings the dinner prayer with us and shares his blessing for the day. Golf cart.

Eating dinner. Then black iPad. (not ecstatic about dinner so he’s pep talking himself with first/then)

wash wash (after he spilled beans on his shorts. Not thrilled about being messy.)

Almost done (one of the things he says when he is eating)

You did a great job (pep talk at dinner)

All done (finished dinner and put his plate away)

Ready set go (in trampoline outside and wanted daddy to play)

Lookout (big bouncy ball coming at him)

I want Ready, Set, Go. I want to push. (Trying to get me to push him on the swing)

Drill (receptively IDing while Daddy is working on a building a wooden bench)

Drive (said while he’s riding his bike)

There are no horses here (shaking head no) (He said this 3-4X. Scripting, but mot sure what it’s from.)

I’m stuck (his bike got stuck in grass)

Look. Stop. (at the stop sign)

Catch catch. (wanted me to catch him on his bike)

Bathroom bathroom (needed a bathroom break while we were on the main road during the bike ride…why didn’t we go before we left home?)

Tickles (the usual)

Driver on the bus says Move On back Move On back. driver on the bus says Move On back. all through the town. (sings Wheels on the Bus a lot lately)

I want ready set go (requesting for Daddy to ride the scooter down the hill)

Ready set go (again)

Wind (says as he holds a house for sale flyer that is blowing in wind)

Going up (requesting for daddy to lift him up to the chin up bar during the bike ride)

Going up (another request to be lifted to the chin-up bar)

No Thank you. No thank you. No thank you. (protesting when we didn’t go the route he wanted on his bike.)

Growled. (Daddy told him to simmer down) What’s so funny? (that’s what he says to diffuse trouble 🙂 )

Sprinkles (not sure where this came from)

Eyes nose mouth (as he touches each part)

Oh no (When threw his shoes off the top of the playground equipment)

What do fishy wishes do? I don’t know. What do fishy wishes do? (not sure where this came from. He’s been saying it for the past week.)

tickle tickle tickle tickle (standard request)

Gorillas don’t eat people. (line from Bubble Guppies)

Back (requesting a piggy back ride on the way home from the park)

Tickle tickle (the usual)

Ha! Gorillas don’t eat people. (line from Bubble Guppies)

I got I got I got you got you got Loco legs (song from the Fresh Beat Band)

Back (asked to get back on my back even though it was hot and uphill and I was pooped)

Tickles (the usual)

I like to share with my friends and they share with me so have a good time sharing together sharing forever fun together sharing forever fun together sharing forever (song from Yo Gabba, even though he doesn’t really love to share =) )

Gorillas don’t eat people (line from Bubble Guppies)

1234 Main Street. (states our specific address as we walk up to our house)

I want orange juice (request when we walk in)

Trains and helicopters (looking at one of his dvds that he likes)

We did our family time after our walk. Camden selected the music dvd and since we were short on time, each boy got to choose one song. Camden requested The Great Adventure. We read our Bible story for the night. Typically, we pray for a family member, but we sang the Doxology instead. Camden sang along with us.

Close door (Asked of me when he was going to bathroom)

Bathtime. It’s bathtime. First bath, then bed.

It was Brian’s night to put the boys to bed, so I stopped with the transcribing. =)

Hope this helps! I haven’t done this in a long long time. SUPER EXCITING for me to see the progress!! It was pretty interesting and somewhat entertaining to follow his train of thougth. =) And this was just from 20 mins in the morning and 3-8:15PM. Woohoo!

We have our ARD meeting on Monday. No one is trying to be mean or hurtful, but the school gives SPED parents this laundry list of things your child CANNOT do in comparison to their typically-developing peers. I’ll cry for a day. Hopefully, my mind will go back to things like I’ve shared here and I will remember not to forget how far we’ve come and simply to celebrate our precious Camden.

In other news…on a bike ride the other night, we saw a policeman. After he finished his task, he came over to chat with our boys. He gave them a Jr. Officer badge/sticker. It was a good opportunity for Camden to tell his address to the officer. Such a nice guy and a positive experience for our boys.
McKinney PD My precious little man started kindergarten last week. He is at our church. 8 kids in class. Super sweet teacher. He is loving it, and was actually disappointed that he didn’t go on Friday, as it’s a Monday-Thursday program. I miss him, but am thrilled that he’s enjoying himself. Such a neat kid.
Carson first day