The Normal Things

The Monster’s IEP is full of all kinds of things that he’ll need for later in life.  He’s learning to read and write, and to do basic math.  This week, they’re working on identifying coins in class, and in the past, they’ve done some units on other bits of social studies.  But… the IEP also misses some things that he needs for later in life.

We had a few sessions at KKI of out-patient OT to get him working on some of his life skills – brushing his teeth (he does that so-so), tying his shoes (getting there slowly) and the like.  And that’s also very important because, barring our getting him velcro shoes for the rest of his life or not worrying about his teeth…

And then there’re some of the simple things that are ‘normal’ things to learn.

Once upon a time, before weekend mornings meant getting up anyway and getting things done, we used to leave the kids pre-made drinks in the fridge and vitamins on the table so they could at least have something to start their day while they waited for us to get going.  Scheduling changes have pulled that back from being something we do, but there’re other skills that he really does need to learn… and so we’re working on those.

The Monster already has a inclination to throw things out, to put things back where he found them, or thinks they belong, and we’re working with that in terms of trying to get him to help out a little bit.  About half the time, he’s more inclined to hold out whatever it is at us and tell us to do it, but a little verbal direction gets him doing what he knows he can do himself.  But now we’re adding in simple chore-based wrinkles to it.  The idea of putting his empty plates and whatnot in the sink, instead of just leaving them on the table, and when he gets to that, I might try to turn it to putting them in the dishwasher…

And likewise, he’s certainly able enough with a spoon and fork to feed himself, but to date, we’ve handled the cutting.  My wife has little plastic knives for R to practice cutting with, and yesterday was the first time she’d given the Monster one to work with as well, with some instruction on how to use it with waffles.  I suspect that, as we’ve learned with other things at school, it might take a bit of work for him to turn a concrete series of examples into an abstract idea of how to cut food, but we’re going to get there.

Maybe next thing, after we’ve straightened the rest of the house in the coming days, we should start working on having him make his bed and keep his room tidy like any ‘normal’ kid…

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