Since Sophie was diagnosed with PDD-NOS, I've been reading and researching every day. I'm always on the lookout for ways to teach her and communicate. What can I do to improve her vocabulary? What games will be the best way to keep her entertained? Let's find more ways to socialize her so that she's surrounded by emotions and facial expressions.
She and her siblings are already attending Sunday School as often as we can. The Month of Sickness kept us from church for a while but we're back and the kids really enjoy their classes. We also send them to a local church for Mother's Day Out on Wednesdays and Fridays. It's there that Sophie made her first real friend. She remembers his name and tells me about their day. The teacher says that she and this little boy chase each other all day, every day. Her Daddy isn't wild about the fact that Sophie is already chasing boys but I just assume she's like her Mama. It was way more fun to play with the boys on the playground. And in the lunch room. And after school. Fine, I was somewhat boy-crazy but not in the romantic sense! (Although, I did fine in that area.)
We've also found another church running a summer camp/MDO program. This one is on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sophie's class will be taught by a PPCD teacher. I'm eager to see what she thinks Sophie's next step should be. I would really like some direction for what to do next. Should Sophie start public school? Would a Montessori school be more engaging? Would a private school have the resources she needs? Do we need to do more therapy before enrolling Sophie into school?
Another way to structure Sophie's day is to introduce her to domestic tasks. She's now learned the whole laundry process. She can sort clothes, load the laundry baskets, load clothes into the washer, unload the dryer and hang up her shirts. I talk to her every time about what we're doing, showing her how our clothes get dirty when we wear them and how they get clean and back into our drawers and closets. I'm going to make a social story so that she can see the process.
What is a social story? The way I see it, it's a piece of paper or set of cards with pictures and a simple story telling what happens in a situation from real life. You take the kiddos through the whole process of something, like doing the laundry, to help them understand how to do the individual steps and why they should be done. Routine is a HUGE deal for Sophie. These social stories will help her patiently go though new situations so that she won't get anxious about something she's never encountered.
Today, Sophie is helping with the laundry. She's broken chocolate chip cookies apart and put them on the baking sheet. She's carried dishes to the sink. Domestic chores are good for spectrum kids because it's the same routine every time. It puts order into their lives which is soothing to Sophie's little mind.
It also gets Mama moving to keep up with the laundry.