Opening Day, the Autism Experience Video, and Adventures

So, this happened on Monday.

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Ryan knew that we were going to Opening Day for the Texas Rangers for a couple of weeks now.  He also knew that it was just a special date with his parents by himself.  Over the past week, he would every so often spell something like EAGER FOR OPENING DAY or I AM TOO EXCITED FOR THE GAME.  For a few days prior to the game, we did some RPM lessons on the different players for the Rangers and their positions and we went over a lot of baseball terminology so that Ryan would be prepared.

Well Opening Day did not disappoint!  There were over 49,000 people in attendance and Ryan was awesome.  He navigated the crowd like a pro, sat for a few innings at a time (then breaks to walk around and scout out everything and people watch), and ate 2.5 hot dogs (no bun of course).  Honestly though, Randy and I weren’t sure what Ryan was thinking during the game.  He can be hard to read (I know, shocker).

I LOVED IT.  UNDERSTAND I GIVE IT FIVE STARS.

“Ryan, the only other event that I know of that you gave five stars to was the wedding, right?”

YES.

“Do you want to try and go to more games this year?”

YES.

And that is all I could get out of him on Monday night.  I was sure that he would have more to say yesterday.  Unfortunately, from the time that Ryan woke up until he went to bed, he was out of sorts.  He was constantly on the move, throwing and scattering anything in his path.  He couldn’t sit and he had a very agitated expression on his face most of the day.  We had our Skype Book Club scheduled for early that morning, but I knew that he would struggle (and to be honest, we had not yet read to the stopping point in the book for discussion) so Brayden’s mom and Fox’s mom both agreed to push out the time (their boys were having difficult days too).

We finally started Book Club and the first thing that Ryan spelled out to Fox and Brayden was ARE YOU GUYS ABLE TO CONCENTRATE TODAY?

I was surprised by this.

Then he spelled POOR BODY CONTROL TODAY.

For someone who was having such a hard time, he was very aware of it.

One of the other boys made a comment about having a difficult time and the effect it had on his mom.  Ryan responded:  I AM MAKING MY MOM CRAZY TOO.

Again, very self aware.

So Book Club was cut short due to a tough day all around.  Ryan kept pushing the board down onto the table and was in “super excitatory stim mode” so I knew that he would not be able to participate very well.  Usually at Book Club, two of the boys are doing fine and one might be struggling (and it is never the same kid).

Well, I got a bit eager and greedy and wanted to see if Ryan would share some more thoughts about the game from the previous day.  I should have known better as he really struggles with open communication when he is having a “poor body control day.”

MOM ARE YOU ASKING TO HAVE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT THAT WE HAD FUN YESTERDAY?

“Uh well no.  You told me you had fun.  I just wanted to get some more thoughts from you about the day in general.  I felt very guilty that we did not have your noise canceling headphones.”

So the story behind that is that I was sure that I had left them in my car and my brother Dave was in town and had borrowed the car for the day (I was right).  I had forgotten to get the headphones out of the trunk before he left.  I really was worried most of the game about how loud it was and felt awful that we didn’t have the headphones for Ryan.

BECAUSE I HAD SO MUCH FUN IT DID NOT MATTER.

*****

So there is a video circulating that is shown from the perspective of an autistic child and how he perceives his surroundings as he is walking with his mom through the mall.  Here is the video.

I was curious to see if Ryan thought that the video was an accurate portrayal of what he feels when he is in experiences like that.

NOT SUPER ACCURATE BECAUSE I FEEL THAT MY SENSORY SYSTEM DOES NOT SEEM THAT INTENSE.

“Is that why you were able to handle the game so well?”

LIKE BECAUSE GEARING UP FOR THE GAME SO MUCH MADE ME OVERCOME ANY ANXIETY.

I told Ryan that one day, when he is up for it, I would love for him to describe for me and for his readers what it feels like when he is having a poor body control day (not on that day of course).  It is hard for me to understand what that must be like for him.  I guess the video portrays the input to the system (but Ryan does not think that it is accurate for him).  I would like a video of what Ryan’s body feels like to him when he isn’t in control.  It is hard for me to watch him like that.

*****

Today was our Wednesday to be out and about.  We have a cleaning service that comes to our house every other Wednesday in order to help me out with the deep cleaning of the home.  I would not be able to keep up otherwise, especially with homeschooling Ryan.  We leave for a few hours so that we are not in their way.  I did not have anything in particular planned today other than a late breakfast for us at Mod Market and to do some exploring.  We ended up in Grapevine and we drove through downtown and then stumbled on to a park–by the water!  Oh how this Florida/California girl has missed the water (even if this was a lake!)

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Well the playground was under construction, so we walked around for awhile and then I was on a quest to find another playground.

We found one!

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And it had a zip line!

Since Ryan has poor motor planning, zip lines are tricky.  We have done the one that is like a seat that he can be buckled into, but the one that you hold on to is a different story.  We tried that a few weeks ago and I wasn’t sure that he would hold on, so I ran with him.  This time, I got braver and he seemed more confident, so I hoisted him on and let him go.  And he made it!  Like really made it to the end and bounced back with a lot of force and held on until he came back to me!  It was amazing!!!

So then he wanted to do it again and I thought that I would try and catch it on video.  This time wasn’t as successful.

But he got up and brought it back to me!  He wanted to do it again!  He did it two more times for a total of four times in a row (the perk of being a homeschooler during school hours) and was 2 for 4 in making it all the way back.  Honestly, I was so excited and proud of him for having the confidence to try and for getting back up again after falling twice!

We sat down briefly after we got home to talk.  Today he is still not in complete control, but he is better than yesterday.  I asked him what he thought about today, especially the zip line and just being out and about.

UNDERSTAND WORDS LIKE PLEASING, FORTUNATE COME TO MEAN PICKING UP EACH TIME THAT I GO ON A COOL ADVENTURE WITH YOU.

 

 


5 thoughts on “Opening Day, the Autism Experience Video, and Adventures

  1. I am so happy that you share Ryan’s story and that I get to read it and enjoy and see videos and photos. (I don’t know it I would have done half as well on the zip line! WOW! for Ryan) What I like the best is that Ryan (and mom Stephanie) teach me and I’m re-assured that here is always more to learn. Thank you for helping me be a better teacher!

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  2. Just discovered your blog through The Mighty. I am so fascinated by the way your son explains a poor body control day. My son is 6 years old with autism, verbal – but has trouble explaining this type of thing to us. I will be following your blog in the future!

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    1. We are so happy that you’re joining us! Please let me know if I can help you in anyway! Also, Ryan loves answering questions so if you have anything to ask him, please send it our way!

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  3. Thank you! I have noticed my son seems to feel almost apologetic after a major meltdown. Were you referring to a meltdown when mentioning that Ryan couldn’t get to the table?

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