Wednesday, May 03, 2006

That's My Story and I'm Sticking To It!

I had the occassion recently to re-read some of the paperwork from Oliver's initial evaluations and I was reminded of how difficult I found it to answer some of the questions that had been posed to me about Oliver's behavior. For example, I was frequently asked, "Does he line objects up?" and "Does he like to spin?" Well, the answer to both of those questions was "Yes" but I always qualified my answer by saying that I didn't feel he was doing so inappropriately. Still, when we got the reports, each evaluator wrote that Oliver liked to line things up and spin. So that has always bugged me. Also, the idea that Oliver "lacks imaginative play" has also bugged me because let's face it: we don't know what is going on inside his head and who's to say that it isn't imaginative.

Anyway, here are some pictures of Oliver at play. The little people wait in a line for the bus, then they all get on the bus until there is just one left. The one little girl is always the last to get on, there are no seats left on the bus, and Oliver spends a good bit of time regarding her, engaging her with Oliver-speak. Is he convincing her to get on the bus anyway? Is she lost? Is she afraid? Is she just non-compliant? But after awhile she too, gets on board. The bus then drives back and forth across the table a dozen times afterwhich everyone disembarks and gets ready for another ride. So that's me, his loving mother, describing Oliver's play activities.

And here are the pictures:


  1. I love toy pictures! They're my fave!


  2. Charlie still lines things up and I come by and move them, and I measure how much he has learned by the fact that he does not mind (no fussing) that I moved things around. Does Oliver like to do other things with the people and the bus? (Both of which bring back many memories of when we had those toys.)

  3. Sal: I know! When I posted these I was thinking that they were a bit a la Sal :-)

    Kristina: The scenario I described is his favorite, but he does play with them in other ways and in other places. But I always find it interesting that he makes sure they line up and get on the bus face first. And then when the girl doesn't get on the bus he turns her as though she is looking at the bus. ... Do all parents find their children so endlessly fascinating?

  4. Sounds like pretend play to me! As far as the little girl, have you ever heard the song by Tim McGraw called "Don't Take the Girl"? Maybe he thinks girls are yucky and he debates over whether she should be included with the boys or not.

    I hated those eval questions too. I didn't know much about autism so when they would ask me certain questions, I would answer enthusiastically and positively. Turns out a lot of it was autistic behaviours and was actually "bad." And here I thought he was a genius! (actually, I still do! :) )

  5. Wendy: That's funny! I had a similar experience. One person asked me if there were things that he did exceptionally well. Now I know that she was looking for so-called splinter skills. I answered by telling her that he was a wonderful dancer; that any time he saw his reflection he just went to town dancing. Now I know that is one of his favorite (although entirely endearing) self-stimulating activities!!!