Raising little Westies, and life as parent of a special needs son
Category Archives: photography
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).
Today was the official first day of summer in Sydney. Crikey. We certainly knew all about it.
I headed off to the pool with Bob the Builder Fan. For whatever reason the other two kids, as well as Bec, stayed home.
I had the surprise of my life, not that my son wanted to climb into another childs inflatable pool toy… but that when he wan’t allowed to, he started making racing car noises!
While he has played pretend games in the past with objects, this is the first time I’ve seen him pretend to to be something. Of course, it may have happened without me being here, or seeing it, but today was a first for me.
Things have taken a bit of a turnaround at Westie Central (it was what I’d called our house for years before Bec stole the name).
The Angry Birds have leaped from the computer and tablet screen into the Real World. They have bought with them a whole bunch of events, behaviors and activities:
- seeking to engage other members of the family into the game
- being less upset to be told that the computer needs to be turned off
- demonstration of solving problems and actually building things with real world objects – that are ad-hoc and not part of a Thomas the Tank Engine set
- speech as a part of play. This includes both echolalic phrases like “the angry birds are angry” and spouting out bits and bobs in an unprompted manner like “get the green pig“
The most exciting part of all this, is that it has involved interactive play with both his brother and sister, and even mum or dad if we are able to get involved. It is quite an exciting development, and that we are excited about this development in a seven year old boy is a story in itself. His Autism has been persuasive throughout his entire social, communication and emotional development, although thankfully it has (so far) had only limited impact on his physicality and even his intellectual growth – although his ability to demonstrate his intellectual capability seems to be very poorly identified or harnessed.
Forget about all that though. Let’s just celebrate his interaction with his brother and sister!