Monthly Archives: November 2012

Learning to Find Your Own Cup

RDI is alot of “thinking about thinking.” And verbalizing it. Just now, Zip asked me for juice. He had taken the juice bottle out of the fridge but cannot pour it himself yet. I noticed that the cup that he’d just used wasn’t there, so I asked him, “Where’s your cup?” (Quick aside – I should have turned it into a better moment by musing out loud, “Hmmm… wonder what we could put the juice in…” but I just thought of that as I was writing this.)

Zip has almost no ability to find things like a cup in the next room. So I began saying what I was doing, “I need to find your cup. Maybe it’s in this room. Your cup wasn’t in the kitchen so I need to go look for it.”

After a moment or two, he followed me into the den where his cup was very visible on the table. So, together, we found the cup and brought it back to the kitchen to fill with juice. Mission accomplished, and just as much for me as for him. I need to do more of this verbalizing my thought processes with him. It gets difficult in the rush of the day. Repeat after me: “Slooooow down. Verbalize.”

Eating with Engagement

One of our current RDI objectives is to work on more engagement with Zip. Now that we’re back home after losing power for four days again because of the heavy wet snowstorm, we’re trying to get back to our brand of normality. The house is mostly clean, the laundry is mostly done and I planned our homeschool assignments for the week.

I’ve really been neglecting our formal RDI objectives and now we’re getting back on track. Our More Engagement objective is to engage very deliberately with Zip 6-10 times per day. I have to structure the situation so that Zip cannot just get up and walk away. I do this mostly by setting up a seating arrangement at a table or on the floor with cushions or a bean bag and a convenient wall. Continue reading

Hurricane Sandy Update

Hurricane SandyAs a born-and-bred New Jerseyan, I never worried much about hurricanes. I’ve always lived firmly in the lovely middle of the Garden State, not near a coast or waterway. Then along came Hurricane Irene last year and Hurricane Sandy this year. Wow! Twice now we have been walloped and left without power for several days. We lost power late Monday night and got it back almost exactly four long days later. Internet, phone and cable were there when the power came back on. Thankfully, we lost just a fence post and had no other damage, except for a whole refrigerator of spoiled food. Our generator refused to work, unfortunately.

We live about 25 minutes from the beach, and several places we know and love, including our listening therapy center, have been washed away or severely damaged. I feel so incredibly sad for those who have lost everything. We tried to keep our spirits up through the long dark nights and remember how lucky we are to be in our home and have food and water.

The biggest difficulty we had was feeding our dog, Moo. As you may know, he’s not been well. Basically he has no appetite, and has trouble keeping food down when he does eat. He’s lost alot of weight these past few weeks. Now that he’s on some medications, he is doing a little better, but everyday is a struggle to find something he will eat. So, as we ran out of cooked meat, we ran out of things he would eat. On the third day of no power, I ventured out and found a KFC open and got him some grilled chicken, which he ate reluctantly but did eat. We also enjoyed our first hot meal in days. We felt so much better! Continue reading