Friday, September 25, 2020

Quarantine Diaries: Part 19 - On-line Camp

 



After our free-for-all zoom experiences with DC's day program, I did not know what to expect when it came time for virtual camp.

Obviously I knew that the Camp directors would put  much more thought into camp than his program put into their zoom meetings, but still - I didn't know just how this would work.

I have to say. It was impressive!

The premise:

The schedule was made for each camping group (the same groups campers are broken up in at real life camp - with their group leaders and usually either the assistant director or director) to log in for two activities per day.

Camp was held three days per week and by the end of the week, the campers would have completed a full day of camp.

They went though all of the activities that they would have done during a day of real life camp.

Monday:

DC signed in for Arts and Crafts at 11:15.

Break for lunch.

Sign back in for Indoor Rec at 12:45.

Because we’ have talked so much about how bored DC is during this lockdown, he has now begun using it as a way to get out of anything he doesn’t want to do.
Virtual camp starts today and because his only experience with Zoom meetings so far has been with his day program, which are boring and unorganized free-for-alls - he is not looking forward to camp (I know he will change his mind once there because theirs will be structured activities) - Until he realizes that they won’t be like his day program, he will continue to try to get out of it by repeating: “Mom, I’m boring” over and over again.




Virtual Camp - Arts and Crafts (or as you all know in DC speak, “Hearts and Craps"). He looks traumatized, doesn’t he? NOT! He laughed and giggled the whole time (see earlier post) #VirtualCamp success!

Wednesday:

Music at 11:15

Break for lunch

Outdoor Rec 12:45

There's nothing better than music in DC-land


In-between all of the daily camp activities; on Tuesday and Thursday nights they had "Camp Special Days"

Disney Day:

Tonight is Disney Night at virtual camp. If you thought participating virtually would keep him from dressing up; you thought wrong. #AllDisneyAllOfTheTime 



Phew! It was shaky for a little while as I was running around rebooting modems and trying to connect with any device in the house, thinking our internet was the problem - while DC got more upset by the second. But we finally got in and had fun at Disney night at virtual camp. (He had his costume on a full hour ahead of time so I didn’t want to be the one to tell him he couldn’t attend - phew again!)


 

Things I have learned at DC’s online camp this week...
DC often mentions someone named “Par-ee-ka”. He has mentioned this person for years.
This week I discovered that “Par-ee-ka” is actually the assistant director, Rebecca.

Friday:

Pool (?) 11:15

I never did find out what the "Pool" component would be because DC had it in his head that he had Fridays off. 

Break for lunch

Group Chat at 12:45 - DC not being very conversational opted out of the group chat but of course there was also his Fridays off, so he wasn't attending anyway.

More ‘Hearts and Craps’ (DC-speak) projects over the duration of online camp.


 Or should we say "Hearts and Crabs"?


A purple dragon.


 Yes, he followed the directions and drew all of these himself. I don't think the dragon was supposed to be purple but you know... in this house, of course it would be purple.

*** 

Monday on-line camp - Indoor Rec

Playing "would you rather".
We had determined that DC would rather be a super hero than whatever the other option he was given.
Camp Counselor: DC, what Superhero would you want to be?
DC: Anthony.
Camp Counselor (and me) Who is Anthony?
DC: Anthony Wiggles!

***

DC is getting ready for Camp Music.
He has tortured them over the last two weeks by choosing songs from Anastasia. Not only is the movie 23 years old, but not being "Disney" makes it not as popular as some of the Disney choices he could have made. The only person who seems to know these songs is 'Par-ee-ka', the assistant director.
Hoping to get a different thought in his head before camp started, I asked him that maybe he wanted to suggest "Here Comes The Sun" (Beatles, but also Disney's Parent Trap) this week. I had to try to come up with something that is 1. Well known and 2. Known to DC - that seemed to fit.
DC: NO! Paris Holds The Key To Your Heart!
He already had his pick in his head and yes... #Anastasia.
#SorryDGroup I tried!



We did not know that it was Hat Day this morning for music (for those who have been here awhile, you know it is one of his favorite days), but he’s ready with hat for outdoor rec this afternoon!

 Outdoor Rec:

There were games, like Simon Says but DC's favorite outdoor rec day was the dance party.


Outdoor Rec/Dance Party - I think we’ll never be free of this song. DC loves it, though.

What an excellent job they did with camp this summer. I was really impressed.

DC loved seeing his friends and enjoyed every bit of it. 

He was very sad to have missed the entire last week of camp due to the power outage after the storm.

We have just been notified that the annual Halloween party will be a virtual party as well.

So he has something to look forward to.

***

Quarantine Diaries - All 

*******************

In case you are new here: “I tell stories, most of the time; single individual stories about this or that. Some may be written with humor and some may come across as “Oh, look at the cute thing DC did or said” (he does crack me up at times) but my object is always to make people understand how his mind works, never to "make fun of him"

It is difficult to explain “his” autism to anyone without resorting to 1000 examples and 1000 stories. So I tell 1000 stories to make clear that there are other sides to autism than the characters seen in TV or movies."

This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Face book statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 

 


Monday, August 24, 2020

Quarantine Diaries Part 16: DC Being DC

Just a lot of DC, being DC.


DC’s weekend movie selections.

I don’t know why there are two sitting separately from the rest of the pile... they must be the highlighted selections.






 

He's done a bit of writing and coloring:

Found these hanging on the cabinet (oops... ‘Cub-Board’ ) door this morning.

 




Because I made a big deal (deservedly so) over his pictures this morning, he is now plastering the cabinet - um, ‘cub-boards’ with his ‘princess papers and other movie titles’.
First - I am in awe of his printing.
Second - My favorite: Summer Magic Nineteen Sixteen Three (1963)


 Another Couple of  Birthdays to Celebrate in Quarantine:

Doug's Birthday

Tomorrow is Doug’s birthday (I guess at this point it is today). I don’t have to tell you that this is all I have heard about over the last few days. We don’t have a specific plan yet (which just makes matters worse for DC), due to the weather we may be getting and the fact that we only do outdoor dining. I told him more than once, that I would tell him what we are doing as soon as Doug and I discuss it. But not to worry, we would be doing something.
Me: Please stop asking. I promise to let you know as soon as we have a plan.
Because I told him to stop, he moved on to screeching “Happy Birthday Doug!” over and over again - just so he could continue to bring up the subject without “asking”.
I asked him to stop screeching, so he moved on to singing the birthday song at the top of his lungs at random intervals through-out the day.
Me: DC, I promise I will tell you as soon as I know what we’re doing. Please stop.
Since he wasn’t getting a suitable answer from me, he decided to call Doug and screech Happy Birthday at him and then gave the phone to me.
Doug was at work so we both told DC that we would talk about it tomorrow and let him know.
Right now (it’s 1am)... He’s resorted to sign language.
At least it’s quiet.

 "Grandmother's" (because we have to be formal) Birthday:

“Day After Birthday” porch visit with Grandma, ummm "Grandmother"


 

.


Band-aides and Tree Branches - always:

DC: (He went light on the band-aids, but he’s not finished yet) Poison Ivy - itchy.
Me: Where did you get poison ivy? (He doesn’t have poison ivy; he barely goes outside)
DC: on my hand
Me: but where did you catch it?
DC: on my hand!
Me: but what gave you poison ivy?
DC: (say it with me) Tree Branch

 (Speaking of tree branches... (for those who may be new here) - Those Pesky Tree Branches)

 

File under "He's playing me":

1. Mr Charming

DC has a way of winning over the wait staff immediately.
One minute before she came over, he was mad at me for breathing wrong (or whatever) - 2 seconds later he’s charming the waitress.
Me: DC why are you so charming to everyone else but me?
This was his reply...


2. He CAN hear with the headphones on.

The other day, Doug and I were discussing rainbow goldfish. I told him the green fish tasted like spinach and that I haven't looked at the package to see if that was in fact the case or if it was just my imagination (because.... green). DC was in the back seat with his headphones on which normally means I have to yell a good 3, 4, 5, 6 times before he hears me.
Today, instead of the two goldfish he usually runs over to give me before running away yelling "Thank you for sharing" - he has upgraded me to ALL of the green goldfish; stating "I don't like spinach" before thanking himself for sharing....
So... he CAN hear with the headphones on.
I wonder if this will work with other snacks?

 

 2.5 He CAN hear with the headphones on:

Doug wanted to take DC and his friend BB out for DBD Day (DC, BB and Doug Day formerly known as "Boys Day Out"). 

Doug and I discussed this in the car with DC in the back seat with his headphones on (the rainbow gold fish incident above came later, so it did not occur to me that he could hear with them on, because ... the yelling 3, 4, 5, 6 times mentioned above).

I texted BB's mom as she said that it was fine with her, but she wanted to check with BB when he got home to be sure he did not have anything else scheduled.

When we got home, DC immediately began saying "Have to talk to Donna" - "Have to 'test' (text) Donna". 

I told him that I did text Donna but BB was not home so she would get back to me later.

For the rest of the evening, he sat right down next to me every time I touched my phone and repeated "Have to talk to Donna" - "Have to 'test' (text) Donna"

I texted her again (just to save my sanity, because she knows and is in the same boat, and so he could see me do it):

He's sitting right next to me - staring at my phone - just so you know.

I can yell and scream to get his attention when he has his headphones on and ... nothing. This - he heard when Doug was asking about it; headphones and all (I would not have told him voluntarily)

Her Reply:

Yes, he is available.

Sounds so familiar.

Phew!

DBD Day:

Doug was grateful that I made a modified version of the bag I bring whenever we go anywhere.

My "Go" Bag


They wore masks in the car, with windows open for ventilation. 

Outdoor dinner (masks off only to eat and some distance between them when not eating)

Outdoor activity while wearing masks.

To say that DC was excited when he got home is an understatement.


DC's rundown of their night out:

DC: DDB Day (DBD) with Doug and DC and BB. We had cheeseburger and french fries.

We played "Croquet". (Alice in Wonderland)

Me: Croquet?

DC: No, we played the golf. We had ice cream. 

I got hole in one. I swing club and didn't hurt anyone.

Me: ???? 

Me: (laughing because I don't know where that came from, but okay) I'm glad you swung without hurting anyone.

DC: I had a fun time! Yay! (jumping)


What we have learned:

  1. He can hear with the headphones on.
  2. Tree branches are responsible for a lot more than we originally thought.
  3. I'll get more goldfish if I continue to buy the rainbow variety.
  4. He can swing a club without hurting anyone.
  5. We will have to find a croquet set.
***

Quarantine Diaries - All In One Place

*******************

In case you are new here: “I tell stories, most of the time; single individual stories about this or that. Some may be written with humor and some may come across as “Oh, look at the cute thing DC did or said” (he does crack me up at times) but my object is always to make people understand how his mind works, never to "make fun of him"

It is difficult to explain “his” autism to anyone without resorting to 1000 examples and 1000 stories. So I tell 1000 stories to make clear that there are other sides to autism than the characters seen in TV or movies."

This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Face book statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 








Thursday, July 23, 2020

Quarantine Diaries - Part 13: The Couch, YouTube and Deep Space 9



As you may or may not know; we watch a lot of Star Trek around here but lately in-between the Star Trek re-watches, I have been watching a lot of those reunion panels, like Stars in the House, Reunited Apart and The 7th Rule's Virtual Trek Con (links at the end of this post) on You Tube.

All are not Star Trek Related (The 7th Rule is of course), but I have seen reunions of some of my favorite shows, such as the China Beach reunion.

They are fun and I am sort of in awe of the people on these panels who come and do these things daily for free to raise money for virus-related charities and just to give us all something new to watch during this pandemic.

DC is normally on his Ipad in his "spot" in the kitchen while I am watching these.

Last night, he decided to pack it in early and went to get his pillows, blankets and books to bring to the couch (yes, we are still sleeping on the couch. This may be the longest stretch to date. See: The Couch: Another Round from 2019)

I was watching Reunited Apart - The Lord of the Rings Reunion. I could see that DC was getting anxious. I asked him more than once what was bothering him.

"Nothing wrong!"

But he made a big production of announcing when it was over.

I moved on to Stars in the House - RENT with Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp and he became more anxious.

Me: Please tell me what is bothering you.
DC: Nothing bothering you.
Me: (re-wording my question) Please tell Mom what is bothering DC.
DC: Watch "Space Nine"
Me: You want to watch Deep Space Nine?
DC: Yes!

So I put on Deep Space 9 and DC happily took his glasses off, rolled over and went to sleep!?!?

After thinking about it for a little while (because you know that's what I do); I could see that there were one of two possibilities for his anxiety here.

1. You Tube is his domain. He may not have ever realized that I was watching HIS You Tube on the TV and you know how protective he is about what's his.
or
2. Deep Space 9 comforts him when he is going to sleep.

I hadn't thought about that.

I may just be watching Deep Space 9 often when he is ready for bed. Because it is my favorite of the franchise, I watch it and pay attention. 

I use TOS and TNG  as a distraction from my "mind race" so I can fall asleep. I need something to distract me, but not distract me enough to keep me awake and since these are far from my favorites, it doesn't matter if I fall asleep and miss the four episodes that play until Nextfix shuts down. He is not awake for that. He falls asleep to the one I am awake and paying attention to.

I don't know which possibility was the cause of his anxiety, but I am thinking it was a little of both.


Links:
Josh Gad - Reunited Apart


*******************
In case you are new here: “I tell stories, most of the time; single individual stories about this or that. Some may be written with humor and some may come across as “Oh, look at the cute thing DC did or said” (he does crack me up at times) but my object is always to make people understand how his mind works, never to "make fun of him"
It is difficult to explain “his” autism to anyone without resorting to 1000 examples and 1000 stories. So I tell 1000 stories to make clear that there are other sides to autism than the characters seen in TV or movies."
This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Face book statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time 






 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Quarantine Diaries - Part 12: Strictly from Facebook Posts






 I realized that I haven't written anything since May.

There has not been much going on, but then again there has been a lot going on.

I don't know if that makes sense.

We're still home.

We're still bored.

There is nothing to do yet there are new things to do - different things to do.

I don't know if that makes sense. 
****

His day program began doing zoom meetings daily. At first, because they were new, he was interested in participating, but after 5 days of non structured/free-for-alls, he opted out.

DCs first zoom meeting with his day program. He made it through the whole thing
 
How many times does one have to answer "What have you been doing during quarantine?" and nothing else? It gets old.

His Winter Guard team made a few stretching and dance videos (the dance video is a secret)

I was amazed at how willing he was to get up and follow along as he was/is getting pretty used to "playing computer" or ipad.

What a great idea on this rainy day! DC doing his Winter Guard stretch/warm-up!



Speaking of rain....
We had a two week run of thunder storms almost daily. Just what we needed for the already anxious guy who has been stuck home for months.

“Vick-eeee, I’m getting very nervous about this”
First clap of thunder and he’s positioned himself in front of the door so he knows when it’s coming, I guess.


He’s positioned himself (with iPad) in front of the door watching for the coming storm (I don’t know why this makes him feel better, but it does) while insisting that there is:
#NoStormToday


He discovered additional uses for his band-aids and scotch tape:

I don’t know what the problem is under that mass of band-aids and scotch tape, but he says his earbuds were broken.#1001UsesForBandaids


His "fix" actually worked but I ordered him some new headphones anyway.

DC, still drinking his orange juice from breakfast...
“Lunch is coming soon”
The time between the meal and asking for the next meal is getting shorter and shorter.
 He's ventured a little further away from his "watch over and over again"  Disney and other favorites, but as we know - Everything Is (Still) Related:

You all know that DC is stuck in his own cycle of television shows and movies. When he does gravitate to a new show, it is usually because I am watching it (and as much as I don’t think he’s paying attention, it turns out that he is) AND he sees an actor he knows from one of his 100s of favorite movies. He never comes to them on his own. Over the last week or two, when he’s not watching Grace and Frankie or New Girl, I noticed him watching Arrested Development. I have never watched that - ever. I couldn’t make any connections in my head as to why he was watching it; I mean it probably would have helped if I had ever seen it, but I knew some of the cast. So I asked him.
“Mr. Magorioum’s Wonder Emporium”
I had to think about it for a minute, but he is correct.
Jason Bateman.
#EverythingIsRelated

 Sharing took on a new spin:
Every day when DC opens his little snack bag of gold fish crackers, he comes directly to me and hands me 2 (only two) fish.
Then he says “thank you for sharing” and moves quite quickly out of the room.
He knows that it’s nice to share, but I guess he wants to be sure he gets the credit for sharing without really giving up any of his snack.

I was upgraded, downgraded and upgraded again.

Last week I was upgraded to THREE goldfish but alas, it did not last and I was demoted back to two. Today I was again upgraded to 6 (he delivered two at a time)! I have to imagine he is buttering me up for something! #ThankYouForSharing
I had a zoom meeting with his program too. 
As you have read, DC has done a few things on zoom over the last few months. Other than setting it up for him and sitting next to him off-screen... I have not.
Yesterday was my first zoom meeting with his case worker and his day program, both of which I only ever speak to in person or on the phone. What I have to remember for next time is that they can see me when I’m rolling my eyes.😳
 Another Holiday In Quarantine:

DC, grasping at straws (or trying to make the best of another pandemic holiday) made sure he chose the red, white and blue straws for his juice this morning. He put on the red white and blue beads he got at the camp parade last week and is now searching his 100’s of markers for just the reds and blues. It looks like he will only be writing his “princess papers” in red and blue today (between screeching “Happy 4th of July! Yes!” at random intervals of course )
Happy 4th!
Hamilton:

There are and have been times when I have forced DC to do something, only because he would never do anything but "play computer" if I did not. I like for him to at least TRY things to see if he will like them. If he doesn't, he doesn't, but I want him to try.

Watching a musical is one of DC's favorite things but....

Hamilton? 

It's not Disney.

It's not related to Disney ( I forgot about Mary Poppins Returns, which DC was quick to point out)

I wasn't sure he would get in to it.

But, I tried.

He was not happy that he had to leave his iPad.

He sat down begrudgingly in the living room.

So it took until the girls came out with their “twirly” dresses for DC to get into watching Hamilton, but he is officially IN TO IT now.
He LOVED it. He was up dancing all the way through. I find him looking for clips on you-tube.
Sometimes Mom does know best.

The one and only thing DC was disappointed in about Hamilton was that they did not have the standard curtain call that he is used to (and loves). I have always said, if someone could come up with an entire musical made up entirely of curtain calls - he would be in heaven. I went searching to see if the one we saw was the norm.
What I found.... The West Wing theme during the original casts' last performance (Lin-Manuel Miranda's favorite show, which I did know - which also happens to be my favorite show)


Oh! We recorded a new Quarantine Song:

DC had a hard time with this one. He thought it was hilarious and wanted to do it, but he got so serious trying to get the words right that I asked him more than once if he was having fun. If he wasn't, we did not have to tape it. He insisted.
#TheseAreWaysToHelpAtHome
 

*******************
In case you are new here: “I tell stories, most of the time; single individual stories about this or that. Some may be written with humor and some may come across as “Oh, look at the cute thing DC did or said” (he does crack me up at times) but my object is always to make people understand how his mind works, never to "make fun of him"
It is difficult to explain “his” autism to anyone without resorting to 1000 examples and 1000 stories. So I tell 1000 stories to make clear that there are other sides to autism than the characters seen in TV or movies."
This blog is used for shorter posts, off topic posts and also for longer Face book statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time