Posts Tagged facilitated communication

Hurricane Clay

Clay’s Mom and number one fan, Roe DeLuca, provides an update today about how the little fellow weathered the recent hurricane. Thanks, everyone, for your patience. We hope to start blogging more frequently again in the near future.

We should have known as we made the biweekly Saturday trip to see Clay’s typing teacher that we were experiencing the calm before the Hurricane Sandy storm.

It seemed as if everyone along our route to North Jersey was out driving—and all of them were in line getting gas for their cars and filling tank after tank to fuel their generator.

Once there, Clay quickly got to work and had a lot to say:

my typing is good today because my brain is very calm and my badly coordinated body moves better when my thinking is calm.

It was clear the hurricane was on his mind:

getting ready for disasters is stressful work but being home with your family is more important than wasting time at gas stations.  this will be a interesting event that might be a historical event or a big dissappointment. i think a historical event.

That was Saturday, and with the storm scheduled to hit our area Monday night into Tuesday, it gave us some time to prepare.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Role Model

“We are the perfect example of intelligence working itself out in a different way.”

– Tracy Thresher –

The night before we took Clay to see a presentation by Tracy Thresher, we asked if he wanted to prepare some questions or thoughts to share.

Tracy, one of the stars of the movie Wretches & Jabberers, learned later in life to communicate through typing and has been spreading the word ever since not to judge people with autism by what you see. (Wretches and Jabberers follows Tracy and his friend Larry Bissonnette as they travel to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland to type with others who have broken out of the silent world of autism.)

We figured he offered a rare role model for Clay. Clay’s typing teacher invited us to attend the presentation, which took place at a school run by Celebrate the Children.

Clay made it clear he didn’t want to prepare anything, but we hoped once we got there he might have some thoughts.

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“It don’t mean a thing …”

Here’s the question: Where do you hang a swing that is big enough to hold six kids at the same time?

I wrote earlier about the demise of Clay’s beloved swing set this past spring. Clay can be tough to buy presents for, but when his birthday came along in early July, it was a no brainer to find a replacement swing. My wife did some online research and found a tree swing that looked like it would do the job (for a lot less than the professional ones that most therapists use.) The large size seemed about right. His Grandpop Tony offered to buy it. All was set. Read the rest of this entry »

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You is smart

Clay hasn’t had a lot to say at our every-other-week typing sessions over the last few visits. We’re not sure why. Sometimes its allergies. Sometimes he’s tired. Sometimes he just can’t get his body and head organized to share thoughts.

Then, sometimes, the words just come tumbling out. He sits right down, puts his arm out for support and doesn’t stop typing until his message is finished.

I don’t know if it was the two weeks off between school and camp. Or the beautiful, clear air. Or maybe the horseback ride that went so well that morning. All I know is that last Saturday, he had a lot to say. It was one of the good days. Read the rest of this entry »

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You have to see the baby

My wife was in our backyard with the dogs one morning last week, when one of the black vultures that have been living – rent free – in our garage popped into the window on the right.

Not that uncommon of an occurrence since our friends moved in last summer. But then something else caught my wife’s eye. Someone new peeking out of the window on the left. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tight squeeze

Going for the loop-de-loop in sunnier times

When I heard my wife’s panicked voice calling me from the vicinity of our aging swing set Saturday afternoon, I had a pretty good idea what had happened.

I just didn’t know how serious it really was.

It all started earlier in the week. On Thursday I saw Clay by the swing set, talking quietly to himself, as I walked to the backdoor on my way home from work. He usually is at the gate—if he is in the backyard—when I pull in the driveway, but I didn’t think much of it. After getting changed, I headed out to fire up the barbecue for dinner. Clay was still over by the swings. It was unlike him to not be in and out of the kitchen when dinner was being prepared, making us a little suspicious. When I started cooking, and he was still over there, I got worried. He follows me like a lost puppy when I am barbecuing, closely monitoring the progress of his dinner, so something didn’t seem right. I jogged across the lawn to investigate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Goots Salute

Clay and sitter Marissa, making the rounds

So, here is the dilemma.

Clay’s grandfather, aka Goots, was throwing a party for his 80th birthday. He reserved a room at a nearby restaurant.

On the one hand:

We know from experience that restaurant is a tad crowded and noisy for the little guy. The bathroom, which we would be visiting numerous times is, how shall we say, cramped. Not only does it contain a sink built for Lilliputians, but you will inevitably be smacked in the keister with the door while washing your hands. Try maneuvering two people into that space.

My wife’s whole family would be there, and she and I both wanted a chance to chat and mingle, a difficult task when Mr. Busy Hands is in a crowded restaurant.

Add in the fact that Clay has been in high manic mood for the past week or so – we think it is allergies – and you can see that it was a situation crying out for a sitter.

Read the rest of this entry »

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