Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son

My champion Magpie

Like father, like son?

A little while ago now, Magpie started talking about Minecraft. I scoffed a bit, because basically it’s the full graphic, single character version of a game I’ve been playing on-and-off for a while – Dwarf Fortress.

The game shows the nature of his interests though, and it provides some learning opportunities. He learns sequences and that “a widget is made by doing foo with bar” because that’s the nature of the game (make a tool from stuff, to do a thing). He has been intrigued by some Minecraft themed Youtube video channels, and as committed as he was to installing Minecraft on his Ubuntu PC he became equally committed to be able to record his on-screen action.

He asked me how to do it. I have a simple answer for Magpie when it comes to computers: you have a computer and the Internet. You find out. Sometimes I deviate a little, but generally, I leave it up to him. Sure enough, today he said “I’m trying to record my monitor, can you put the password in for me?

So, in a few short hours he went from inspiration, to uncovering his roadblock and negotiating it, to learning the skills he needed to achieve his goal.

This week, he is getting an Academic Achievement Award. That will validate all the great work he has been doing at school, in some pretty hard circumstances at home – with a brother who has autism, and a father who is only home three nights a week, my son has really been kicking goals this year (including at the AFL). I hope 2013 can work out much the same way, and have us feeling great about moving to Canberra (or elsewhere).


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