I am not even really sure where to start on this. I didn’t think that anybody could be against Fridays. End of the school week, end of the work week. What’s not to like?
Leave it to Kaitlyn to find something. Amber and I were getting ready for work this morning, and Kaitlyn was finishing up brushing her teeth, when we heard the beginnings of a meltdown. We were both stumped, because Kaitlyn had only been up 20 minutes or so at this point, and it usually takes her a little bit longer to have a meltdown in the morning.
After wading through the tears, and calming her down a little, we were able to decipher what she was mumbling about, and what had upset her. She declared that she no longer likes Fridays.
Apparently, there is one thing in particular that bothers her about Fridays at school. And no, it is not the fact that she will not see her friends for two whole days. What bothers her about Fridays is that some of her classmates want to use the computer in the classroom, and the ask (according to her, they demand) her if they can have a turn. For some reason, she thinks that she is the only one entitled to use the computer on Friday, or at least use the her “usual” computer. She did suggest that they could use another computer in the room.
Amber and I tried to reason with her that sharing the computer is the right thing to do, and it is being a good friend. She really was not buying that at all. I really don’t know why we are surprised by her attachment to the computer; if we let her, she would be on the computer or iPad non-stop at home.
By the time I dropped her off, she seemed to be over her whole hating Friday meltdown. It will be interesting to see how today goes, and if another student asks her for a turn on the computer (gasp!).
No, we are not. We spent a little over 12 hours in the car today. We covered 648 miles, and have been in 6 states (if you include Florida). All in the name of attending my family reunion, which guarantees to be a blast.
Kaitlyn has always been an amazing car rider. She rarely gets upset, and rarely complains. She has plenty to keep her busy on the ride; she has her DVD player (we are on #3 right now because she wears them out), her Leapster, the iPad, coloring books, and her workbook from school. The only ones she did not utilize today were the coloring books.
Another thing that Kaitlyn rarely does on a long trip is sleep. From what I gather, she is in the minority in that aspect. She has never been one to sleep in the car. Maybe that is in part to her general disdain for sleep in general, or maybe it is something else.
I am curious how other kids with Asperger’s and on the autism spectrum do on long trips.
Just before school started, I shared that we were looking into buying an iPad for Kaitlyn to help her with her school. We thought about it for quite some time, weighing the pros and cons and the cost.
Well, we decided to buy one. And we have been pleased with the results. Kaitlyn loves using the iPad. Her favorite app, other than Angry Birds (of course!) is Rocket Math. The app allows her to work on her math skills while earning “money” to purchase items for a rocket. Once she is satisfied with the appearance of the rocket, she is able to launch it. One might think that we would have to force her to use this app, but there are times when I have figured she was playing Angry Birds, only to see that she is playing her math game.
The results have been noticeable already. While she is only doing the easy level, she is taking her time trying to figure out the right answers for the addition and subtraction problems. We could not be more proud of the progress she is making.
We have also found an app that charts different chores for Kaitlyn. We have selected about 6 different areas where she can earn points daily, and each task is worth a different number of points. When she reaches certain thresholds, she can redeem her points for a toy, a movie, or a trip for ice cream. This app is helping to teach her responsibility.
To date, I would rate our decision to buy an iPad as a smart choice. As time goes on, we will have to find newer and more challenging apps for Kaitlyn to use, but we feel like it has beneficial so far.
Kaitlyn starts kindergarten in just about a month. With our original request/suggestion reaffirmed by the FSU Multi-diciplinary Center last week, Amber and I have begun brainstorming ways that we will be able to assist her to achieve ultimate success.
We know that we will be meeting with her teacher and school district officials during the early part of the school year to develop her IEP, and that will be both time-consuming and stressful. Hopefully any areas where we do not have complete agreement are relatively few, if any, and are easily worked through. Judging by the feedback I got at her screening at her elementary school last week (yes, another screening, but this one was quick and easy), they are on-board with helping us maximize her potential.
At home, however, is where we are in the midst of discussing the inclusion of what we think may offer huge assistance to her with her school work while she is not in school. We heard from our friend Ashley of a program that provides loaner iPads that allows families to “test drive” them with their child for up to 45 days; we are considering this route, but also know that if we were to introduce Kaitlyn to an iPad and then take it away in 45 days, the results would not be pretty. It is still on the table though. The new thought that has crept into our thinking is flat out purchasing an iPad.
I’ve been doing a little bit of research on the connection between iPads and autism, and there seems to be a lot of positive chatter about the influence an iPad has had on those with autism. It makes sense to me, too. Generally, Aspies tend to be socially awkward, and the presence of an iPad acts as sort of a social “ice breaker” and a central point of interest with peers. With its touchscreen navigation, it has been written that Aspies more easily use the keyboard, etc. than they do with your standard PC.
Who knows, maybe part of the reason we are even thinking about this is because of Ashley’s suggestion, or maybe that the Spragues are trying to win one for one of their sons (those of you on Facebook can vote to help them win by liking Aveda Institute Tallahassee and then liking the photo you see below). Regardless of how the seed was planted, the idea has started to grow, and the roots are taking hold. I am not sure how this will turn out because of the expense of an iPad, but the benefits could outweigh the pricetag.