Sunday, October 30, 2005

Ten Second Delay

Here's a subject that I'm really hoping will be read by others, so that you will comment and hopefully get a real forum going.

Will has always had this "ten second delay" thing. It's improved over the years, but when he was little, you could ask him a question, and, after a "ten second delay," he would finally answer. It's as if he has a delay in what he hears, rather than a delay in his answer to your question. Of course this affects his social life. It most definitely affects his school life, i.e. answering questions during class.

With kickball, he also had the delay problem. He took too long to figure out if a serve was suitable, took too long holding the ball before throwing it back to the person pitching, etc. But at least he could play! I had to watch some of the other kids get frustrated with him for taking too long, but at least he could play. I don't blame them for getting frustrated with him! I get frustrated with this delay thing too! Lucky for Will, he doesn't seem to notice this frustration.

Last year, when I was trying to teach him baseball (a sport we have since given up on), when I would play catch with him, he would catch the ball but take forever to throw it back to me. So I tried counting to "3," and he would "lose" if he didn't throw the ball back before I reached the number three. This seemed to help with the "delay" thing. I just played catch with a football with Will tonight, and he didn't have any delay. This is a new occurance!

If any of you have any of your own ideas about how to work on the "delay" problem, I am all ears!

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Will came home from school wanting to sign up for after-school kickball intramurals. Talk about surprised?!!! Sports have not been our friend in the past. I think he's actually up to the task physically and coordination-wise, but he can't follow the rules of the game. He can't keep up with the nuances of what you're supposed to do when. In a few years, he probably will be able to, but right now, it's still a bit of a mystery. But, hey, when your son actually ASKS to do an activity, ya better sign him up! So I sent in the application, cringing.

Well, the first day he was to play, I took him outside before he got on the bus and played a little bit of kickball. He seemed absolutely fine to me, and I was surprised how much he had changed from last year. It was great! But the real test is in an actual game. I didn't get to see him in the games because I would arrive just in time for the games to be finished, but I tried harder to arrive earlier towards the end of the season. What I noticed was an interesting phenomenon. In this particular group of kids, there were MANY kids who were uncoordinated, not necessarily successful kickball players. It didn't much matter. Had we found the perfect sport? In some ways, yes -- because Will didn't look that different from many of the other kids. His trouble was in knowing WHEN it was his turn to kick the ball (the other kids let him know when it was time) and how he should best kick the ball so he would not get out, and so his team would score. Many times he would hold on to the ball too long when a bad serve was given, and that annoyed his teammates, but other than that, it was a pretty happy experience. I highly recommend kickball intramurals!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Fourth grade has been "very, very" good to Will

I've not written in a long time, partially because life took me away from doing any more writing. Too many activities with the kids, summer came and went, and then the beginning of school.

We have lucked out and Will was able to get the best fourth grade teacher this year. My oldest son had her a decade ago, and she is just so great. She has a calm demeanor, a great, fun personality, and Will's little quirks just don't seem to phase her. Mrs. McLaughlin is just the perfect teacher for a kid like Will. As a result, this is the first school year where there was little or no "adjustment" period for Will. He seemed to adjust to the beginning of the school year amazingly well, adjusted to the routine, and although there are the typical problems of remembering the routine, he seems very happy, and his teacher seems happy.

Other things I'm noticing this year -- Will can suddenly tell me with a little more accuracy about how he feels. In the past he has just gone with the flow, never commenting about whether he liked one thing or didn't like another thing. I never really knew if he was happy to go to his social skills class, or if he had a best friend at school. Now, I'm hearing about his preferences more. He's noticing if it's not "cool" to say or do something. He's aware that some of his behavior may be somewhat "babyish," and as a result will stop doing that behavior. It's interesting to observe this change.

At the end of last year, I requested Mrs. McLaughlin, which by law we are supposed to be able to do (make requests for a specific teacher, that is). I had been too relaxed about last year's choice of teacher. I had been told at the end of that year that we were getting a certain teacher, and then the day before the beginning of the school year, they switched Will to a different teacher. I didn't make a fuss, because I feel like we have to pick our battles, and I wasn't ready yet to have a fight. This particular teacher was great in teaching organizational skills, but she was lacking in a sense of humor, and didn't particularly understand Will's needs. It wasn't a bad year, but not a particularly good one either, so I was going to make SURE that this year's teacher was OUR choice. Funny, in that it was apparently the principal's choice as well -- so there was no need for a fight. Good thing -- I really hate being the "difficult" parent. . .

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