Just Mom Monday (#182)

Today, as Charlie slumped on the couch, I held up a book, pointed to the words on the first page–“See Otto”–and he looked. He looked again as I turned the page and read “See Otto go!”. By page 4 (“Go, go, go”) he was running across the room and saying “Ohhhhh!”
“Charlie! Let’s finish reading the book!” Run, run, run.

“Come sit and finish the book.” Charlie padded back and alternated sitting and flopping down and I held the book before him and read slowly and cheerily until the last page–“laugh, everyone, laugh”–and Charlie burst off like the lid on a pot of boiling water.

We have been trying to teach Charlie to read for the past three years. At five he could read a few sight words at home (yellow, circle, dog, Charlie). When he started a new school program, it was determined that he had still not mastered the alphabet so it was back to drilling the letters for the next year plus. We had always read Charlie a book a day at least but, as he turned seven, this practise became harder and harder, not because Charlie would not sit but because our requests for him to sit and even read out one letter in a word were met with “NO” and more.

Today–bolstered by Charlie’s promising first three weeks at his new school and his regular requests for “schoolbus,” I insisted that he sit as I read a book. It was a “just Mom and Charlie” day, as I showed Charlie on the schedule I had written up for him. I pointed out how his ABA therapists were coming tomorrow and Wednesday and Friday, how we would see Miss Cindy for Verbal Behavior on Thursday, and how we’d spend the weekend with Daddy. He called out for “schoolbus” if I made any mention of a teacher’s name or of “school” or “Monday.” He tried to put the box with his materials for his home ABA program in the car in the evening and I had to laugh: “We’re not having a clinic meeting till next week!”

There were no yowls or more as Charlie attended to small requests: “Let’s go use the bathroom and then go for a ride.” “Let’s go for a walk.” “We ran out of waffles; how about something else?” “How about a swim?” “Please get out of the car.” “We just got brown noodles on Friday, we have to stay home to eat tonight.” “Pants up!” Sometimes it took Charlie a minute to respond as he chewed a fingernail and sometimes I had to tap him on the shoulder but he readily complied, just as he had when I asked him to sit for one more book, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”.

“See,” said Charlie, who has heard the book many times but has often only responded (and most grudgindly) after many requests.

“I see a blue horse looking at—” I read.

“Me,” said Charlie. With a glance at the page, fast and simple. “Aa’ ME!”

I don’t always know the answer to “Whah’ Are-dee wahnt?” as Charlie said a few times throughout our day but, without trying too hard, I got what I wanted and more from my sweetheart boy on this “Just Mom” Monday.

4 Responses to “Just Mom Monday (#182)”
  1. Lora says:

    I am so happy to be back reading your lovely stories about Charlie each day, it is so heartwarming and moving.

  2. Eileen says:

    Keep teaching Mom!

    I wonder if there are any good CDRom’s to get for his new laptop to help children with Autism specifically read. I think I have seen a few before. I am sure you already have a few or more. Andrew used to love Brown Bear Brown Bear and will fill in the last word like that. Well, he used to. I haven’t tried in a while.

    That’s good that you have a schedule to help Charlie with these weeks off from school. I have to try to find a place and get organized with all these new toys in our house. I am glad we still have our OT and speech this week. At least it is something. I have a hard enough time with weeks like this, I can just imagine how it is for our kids.

  3. Wade Rankin says:

    It’s always way too tempting to compare a child’s progress with opther children. One of the things I admire about you, Kristina, is your willingness to let Charlie set the pace.

  4. my hubby got a huge kick out of you reading one of his books with charlie! i love your just mom mondays. so sweet. go charlie go!

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