Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bowling (revisited) and Signs of Growth

We returned to Special Olympics bowling this week. If you remember, last week was pretty awful (CHAOTIC), my girl was could not self-regulate in the chaos, and we left early.

I asked my skating/bowling princess if she wanted to try bowling again, and she said YES, so we returned this week.

Before we went to the bowling alley, I spoke to her about staying calmer, not screeching when frustrated, and letting me know when she's had enough, in an attempt to preview what to do in the event of another night of chaotic bowling. Developmentally, that's new for us, being able to usefully preview an event and expectations. [an aside: She's begun previewing for me, too, which is another big step. We have tickets to see the latest Disney on Ice and she told me several days ago that she want to be sure to take her "earmuffs" when we go. (earmuffs = noise canceling headphones)]

This week, the special ed coordinator from the school district who is spearheading Special Olympics bowling (probably on her own free time), came with a plan, and the level of chaos dropped dramatically.

There was a little boy, 11, who so badly wants a friend, and he was bowling in the lane next to my younger princess. (He gave my firstborn princess his address and phone number at one point, trying to make a friend. :( Oh, I ached for him.) He worried the *snot* out of my younger princess -- and she told me about it. (Developmentally, this is a big step.) She found a place to sit with an empty seat beside it, got my attention in the loud bowling alley, patted the seat beside her, and said, "Sit down." I did. She said, "I need to talk." Okay, what about? "That boy won't leave me alone." She wanted to know what to do.


She didn't get frustrated and screech or scream. She had the joint attention (theory of mind) to know that I didn't know that he was bothering her and that she had to tell me and ask me what to say to him. The seeking me out and asking for advice is a first. (*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*)

What's AMAZING is that we did not directly work on the joint attention aspect. With the help of our RDI(r) Program Certified Consultant, we are learning to use ourselves differently as parents, offering opportunities for the princess to make her own discoveries. (I blogged about opportunities to learn here and how concepts develop here.)

I am thankful today for signs of growth.


walking said...

Snoopy dancing for you and the princess (and praising God, too)!!!!!

Jenny said...

wow your little girl is doing amazing! You should be so proud of her!

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