In the year since the kids have moved away, we have settled into the schedule of every other weekend with extra time over the summer and winter holidays.
When we all lived in the same city it was easy to catch extra time together. The distance makes that a bit more challenging.
The biggest challenge is getting some time with one twin at a time. Any time where the focus can be on just one of my kids is something very precious.
It just so happens that last weekend at the last minute some one-on-one time with Daniel was offered. It was a couple of hours and that was such a wonderful gift.
Daniel has started to say “Daddy” more often when he is not here and when we are not talking on the phone. We thought that might mean that he wanted to spend some time together.
And in two hours together there were some really amazing things to witness.
First, he didn’t eat all of his dinner. For a little guy who has very few items he will eat, I have become pretty accustomed to giving him what is on his short list and trying to introduce another food at dinner. He will put aside the new thing if he doesn’t like it and eat all of the stuff he normally eats. This time he didn’t finish all of his meatballs before going on to his rice cake.
This never happens! He has a very strict regimen.
When he does something I haven’t seen before, it often takes a moment before I realize something big has just happened.
After dinner it was park time. Lots of fun and chasing was had by all. Thankfully Daniel lets his old man catch up.
We still had some time before his mom and sister were coming to pick him up.
I should back up a bit and talk about Daniel’s spontaneous requesting. At IBI the therapy staff very carefully log the things he asks for without prompting. The last time I saw the list I think there were sixty plus words on the list. Some of the words he uses in therapy I have never heard him say, while other words he routinely uses here were not on the list.
Spontaneousrequesting is a very big deal for many of our kids on the spectrum, especially those who are acquiring verbal skills.
The second surprise from Daniel during that short time together involved a spontaneous request. He has become quite fond of using the computer I have moved downstairs for the kids to use. He asked for the computer when we got back from the park, but I said no.
He accepted that and walked into the kitchen when he asked for chalk. It wasn’t just that he asked for chalk without prompting or without being given a choice. He asked for an alternative to the computer.
It’s big stuff.
…so we played with chalk.