Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Our Current Obsession. Again.

Do your kids go on favorite toy fasts and binges?  I was thinking about culling our Thomas and Friends train collection a couple months ago because our box was so full and they didn't get played with very much.  Then suddenly, they are the favorite toys once again!  Bryce used to carry those trains around with him everywhere.  He would roll them along a table ledge with this eyes right at wheel height, just watching the wheels turn over and over.  He also loved crashing them into each other.  He's grown up some in the way he plays with them, but we don't have elaborate track systems and imaginary play with the trains interacting with each other in our house.  Bryce LOVES to watch You Tube videos that other kids have made of their collections.  He also likes to watch the ones that have trains crashing into each other or falling off their tracks.  Over and over and over and over.  

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Glimpse of "Normal"

Tonight after dinner we went to the park to take a walk and play on the playground.  Normally when we go to the park, Bryce will wander around a bit and climb on a few of the play structures but he keeps to himself.  He often is "silly thinking" while doing this (that's the term Mrs. Linda came up with in regard to his verbal stimming).  The playground we went to tonight has a little see-saw which he loves to bounce on.  He and I were playing on it together when a little girl came up and stood there waiting for a turn.  Bryce was going to get off, but I told him to play with her and got off so she could ride with him.  I was pleasantly surprised to see him interact with her.  She talked to him and asked him questions and he answered correctly and carried on a conversation so well!  They moved on from the see-saw to playing "chase" all over the playground.  I can't tell you how grateful I am to a little girl named Ashmin for treating my son like any other child and accepting the extra work it is to be a friend to him.  It was a little glimpse of "normal" and such a refreshing way to end our day!
Enjoying our summer nights!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bryce Burkholder: Matchmaker

So my little brother finally brought his "special girl" home to meet the family this week.  Prior to actually meeting her in person we thought she was just an imaginary friend that he photo-shopped into his Facebook pictures.  ;)

I tried to explain to Bryce who we were going to meet.  I told the boys her name was Anna, but they should call her Miss Anna.  This was fine the first night.  Then we saw them together again the next day at a restaurant and again this morning at church.  So tonight, Bryce asked Garret, "Do you have an Aunt?"  He was referring to Anna.   You know, like Uncle Garret and Aunt.....

We laughed and poor Anna was blushing.  I tried to explain that Uncles and Aunts go together when they are married.  But Uncle Garret isn't married.  At least not yet.  So we just call her Miss Anna.  He thought for a second and said, "Mister Garret?"

Poor kid.  He's so confused.  :) Then again, maybe not....

Saturday, April 13, 2013

He's going to hate me for this someday...

Every Wednesday Bryce has PE at school.  They've been doing "Jazzercise" lately, and Mrs. Linda keeps telling me how good he is at keeping up with the moves.  For someone so awkward with his body, it's a little hard to believe.  So to prove it, she made a couple videos for me. I know that someday he's going to hate me for posting this online, but it's so cute-I can't help it :) 

Got one more :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Break Schedule

Because we have two weeks of Spring break and Bryce is now home all day, I instituted a schedule with several blocks of "No electronics allowed" throughout the day.  Otherwise, he would be plugged into something for two straight weeks.  He has no desire whatsoever to be involved in anything else.  You have to drag him outside and then you have to do something to engage him or he'll just wander around or find somewhere to sit and wait.  His lack of imagination can be so frustrating, but it's not his fault.  His brain just doesn't work that way.  However, he is a master imitator, so if you show him what to do, he'll usually go along with it.  The only problem with that scenario is it leaves me the designated entertainer all day long and I get nothing done.  It's like having a fussy newborn.  I suppose that's why it's so easy to let him play Wii or iPod, or use the computer.  At least on the computer he's playing educational games and school activities like Stretch Math.  But that doesn't stop me from feeling guilty about it.  He's just so happy when he's playing his games and miserable when he's forced to participate in regular family life with the rest of us! If we are out of house and doing something, it's much better.  He just knows it's not available so he resigns himself to being with us :) That's why I've tried to have something scheduled every day this week to get us out in the gorgeous weather and away from the machines.  Having a schedule has helped him quite a bit.  It's actually the uncertainty of not knowing when he'll be allowed to play next that bothers him.  As long as he knows when he can play again, he's been very good with the restrictions.  I've tried to schedule things during the approved play times as well, to stretch out the time between gaming.  This first week has been a success, I'd say.  Although, he's already asking, "Is Saturday Spring break?"  Meaning, do I have to follow the same rules? Hate to tell you kid, but I'm doing this from now on!  When school starts again I'll have definite times of no electronics during the afternoon.  And the same thing goes for Summer break.  We'll just have to keep planning things to keep him busy.  That, and the pool is a HUGE lifesaver in the summer time.  He would spend 8 hours in there if he could!  
One of our activities this week-the Public Library

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"I have a new rule..."

I had to write this down before I completely forgot about it!  Today when I picked Bryce up from school, Mrs. Linda told me that he announced something to her as they were walking out for the day.  

"I have a new rule."
"Oh, yes?  What's that?"
"Mrs. Linda will not talk to me anymore.  I will work by myself."
"That's a great rule! As long as you are really working."

I'm not sure it's an exact quote.  I've already forgotten what she told me, and when I asked Bryce about it, he just said, "I will work by myself."  But the gist of it is this: he's noticing that he's missing out on things in class when he is pulled out to do work alone with Linda or his other therapists.  He doesn't want Linda to sit right next to him in class.  (Like any other kid, he'd rather avoid work altogether)  He's also asserting more and more independence.  All of this is great news, socially.  It brings up other issues, like losing some of his compliant attitude.  Normally that would be a "big trouble" kind of thing, but when you dealing with an autistic child, the very fact that he can verbalize how he's feeling is a HUGE step.  And as long as he keeps a good attitude and respect for adults while telling us how he feels, I'll allow it :) 

Friday, March 8, 2013


We used to have passes to Disneyland but when Bryce started going to school full day it just didn't make sense for us to keep them.  Of course, the incredible rate hikes they've hit pass holders with the last two years didn't help either.  But when Bryce was preschool and Kindergarten aged, we went regularly.  He started asking when we were going to go back to Disneyland about a year ago.  I told him it was probably going to be a few years before we could go again because it was just so expensive.  So he starting saying, "What year can we go to Disneyland?  2nd grade, or 3rd grade?"  We didn't make any promises, but it helped to know that it was out there somewhere in the future and we would go again.  

A couple months ago, Henry got in on the action and started praying every night that he could save up his money so he could buy tickets and go to Disneyland.  And then this week, he got his prayers answered!  Grandma casually said, "I think it's about time to go to Disneyland again," and offered to buy the boys' tickets.  I just had to come up with money for mine and we could spend a great day at the happiest place on earth!  Poor Daddy, he had to work- maybe next time ;)

Henry was excited when he found out we were going to go to Disneyland, but Bryce was nearly beside himself!  He remembered all about it and couldn't wait to go.  It had been two years since we had been there, so Henry was too young to remember much.   But not Bryce!  He started naming all the rides he wanted to go on and what kind of food we should pack in the cooler bag for lunch and snacks.  

The cutest thing was when the morning finally came and we were waiting by the door for Grandma.  She peeked in and said, "Who's ready to go to Disneyland?"  Bryce was so excited and flustered he just kept sputtering and finally got out "Oh, Grandma...it's so nice...I'm so glad...it's really nice...to MEET you!"  Hahaha.  He meant to say "see" you, since that meant it was time to leave, but we got the idea.  Sweet boy- he had such a great day.  It was so nice to see him unplugged from all the electronic stuff he loves and interacting so well with us all day long.  It really was one of the best trips to Disneyland.  We can't wait for next year!