Brennan was diagnosed in 2005 with Pervasive Development Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), a form of autism. As he's gotten older and is talking a lot more, that diagnosis has been changed to Asperger's Syndrome.
Understanding Brennan's ways of doing things and helping him deal with a non-Asperger's world has been quite a journey. I initially realized something was different about Brennan at 18 months. Once we moved back to the States from Mexico, we had more resources to help us understand what was going on and what we could do to help. The therapists in Columbus are fantastic. We've been so lucky to have the support we needed.
My current concern though is about how NOT to change Brennan too much. Every day presents us with opportunities to teach Brennan more appropriate social skills or ways of expressing himself. And he eagerly learns these things and tries again. He wants to do the right things.
But, Brennan is a very special kid, and I mean, "super great" when I say special.
He is creative - a cook, an inventor, an artist, a musician. He can pick out favorite songs on the piano and gets the relationship in keys, notes, and pitches very well. He's taking drums and will whisper at church when a song is duple meter or triple meter, much to my surprise.
He is very smart - ask him about scientific elements or geography. You'll be impressed.
He is sensitive and affectionate - I love his hugs and how he still holds my hand. He likes to be with me, and it makes it fun and easy to enjoy him.
I don't want him to change. I want his future in this world to be as easy as it can be for any of us. But I want what is super great about him not to be eclipsed by the "right way" of doing things.
I want to enjoy his uniqueness and encourage it because - Asperger's or not - he's an incredible kid.
Every year I like to help out Santa by adding a few things to Thomas and Brennan's stockings. The trouble is, the boys have outgrown some of the stocking stuffers I used to pick up.
I used to get bath supplies but now my big boys only take showers and don't really need bubble bath, bath paints, etc. I also would get Arch cards from McDonalds - great for the trip to Mississippi where we stopped for fast food often. Well, my quasi-vegetarians no longer eat McD's so that's out.
This year I did some online searches for good stocking stuffer ideas and came up with a ton of suggestions. Thought I'd pass some along! PLEASE ADD YOUR SUGGESTIONS IN THE COMMENTS!
Dollar Store craft/art supplies Wal-Mart small sized toiletries Target $1 bin items Flower seeds for planting in the spring Bubbles Watches School supplies Mini electronic games Card games Coupons for getting out of chores Hot Chocolate packets Favorite food Chuck E Cheese video tokens Small toys Small Lego sets Joke or magic items Restaurant gift cards Calculators Rulers Flashlights Webkins or Stuffed animal clothes Flashcards
And just so you know, somehow candy always ends up in the stockings as well. But, Mommy and Daddy also add a new toothbrush and toothpaste to the loot!
My first lesson in blogging: once you publish a post you can't edit it. So the Welcome that I thought I could go back to and add more to, just ended up being one word.
Many of our friends have family blogs so I decided to start one too. Since I spend much of my day on the computer, I thought it would be nice to be able to send regular updates on the Indiana Boatwrights.
Today we are enjoying a day off - no school, no work, no place to be. It's a rare treat but a really nice day! Of course, for David it isn't. He's installing a new water softener and what.a.pain.
Taking the boys and their friends to see "Bolt" this evening. We're looking forward to it!
We hope everyone had a very peaceful Thanksgiving yesterday. We had a wonderful day with the Towsleys and Borowskis. The 7 kids played downstairs very happily all day. The adults enjoyed way too much food, cards, Pictionary, and an afternoon to catch up.