Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Magic Marker Monday: Plein Air Painting

We took advantage of a sunny, warm weekend earlier in the month and took James to our Town Green. James loves to run about on the grass, up, down, and around on the intersecting walkways, and around the fountains. This time, his sister was on a play date. Because he'd been wanting to practice his letters and number so much (thank you, Kindergarten!) I brought along some paints and a small sketch pad.

This is what James wanted to do:

He continued painting while my husband and I talked and admired the beautiful weather. What did we talk about? How proud we were that James is constantly trying new things. Last year this time he could not have managed a small paint brush like this. He certainly would not have painted his own art, looking at the trees, clouds and sun around him for inspiration. To say nothing of talking to  us about them as he painted.
I am still watching his hands. Whenever he tries something that takes a lot of concentration, the resting hand gets drawn back and in towards his body, fingers curled, thumb up. When we do table work, I remind him to try using it to weight down the paper.

This afternoon was pure fun. And we have some new fridge art:

Visit 5 Minutes for Special Needs for more Magic Marker Monday.

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Special Exposure / Wordless Weds: CATS Walk, First Ever!

This past weekend, James, his sister, and I participated in the first-ever CATS (Community Autism Trek, Sonoma) walk. We walked to raise awareness not only of autism, but also that the wonderful CATS Program exists to help so many in our community. And raise a little money to support the students and the program too.

The CATS Program a great source of information and learning for students, parents, and professional who work with children and families of special needs people. It's also a great resource to socially connect with other families, which is tough for us.

How did the walk go? Just look!

And yes, we've been in the program and it has been a great resource!

For more great images or to join in the fun, Visit Special Exposure Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Special Needs.
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and ... Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


I read this article about autism and the MIND Institute in the NYT and it just ... resonated.

The non-responsiveness. The staring. The trips to UC Davis. Providing samples. Having to make hard choices, like leaving my job. Looking at our autistic child's sibling with a new (and sometimes heart-heavy) perspective. Lack of answers. Curveballs. Making it up as we go along. Trying all the therapies that seem helpful. Progress. Being grateful for assistance. Realigning expectations of the future ... for our family.

I wish this family all the best. They are a lot like us.

We Voted!

This is what our kids get to do while Mom votes:

Our local polling place is at the K-1 school, where James' sister and now James go. I like the kids to see people going to vote, and thankfully it's also close to our house.

This time there were no initiatives that directly target autism-related issues, but it's always good to be involved.

Meanwhile, a little Halloween political candy:

Magic Marker Monday: Basic Holiday Fun

Halloween morning. It's after breakfast, the TV is off, the kids are literally bouncing around (love that indoor trampoline) yet I am still struggling to reach full awake status. What to do ...

Make cards!

We broke out our economy pad o' construction paper (big back to school sale at Target), scissors, crayons, sparkle pen, FREE stickers from Trader Joe's (just when I think I could not love them more!) and adhesives (both tape and glue stick). Result: almost 45 minutes of colourful fun:
James' card is the green one on the left.

Here is the inside of his card:
I traced his pumpkin and them helped him cut it out. I offered him the scissors in between his left & right hands and he chose his right. Yes, I am still obsessing -- shhhh! James wrote his name with crayon on the right.

Here is our collection of spooky creations:

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