As a mother, I will never give up on my child. As a mother of a child who has autism, I will never give up hope.
I look into his eyes and I see all the potential that he has to offer to this beautiful world and I just know that one day the world can see what I see.

Follow my blog as I share my life and my experiences as a person who loves someone with autism.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Get your game face on!

So Bryce has been out of school for a couple weeks now. With my herniated disc and Daniel’s work schedule, we weren’t able to take Bryce to school, and the school district, though in the beginning, very supportive and worked out transportation for Bryce for several weeks, soon changed there attitude when they realized that herniated discs don’t go away overnight and that this was going to be permanent for the remainder of the school year (give or take, at the time, 40 days). There was a taxi service program available, but I don’t know anyone that would put there child in a car with a stranger, and everyone I said that to agreed, even the school staff member that recommended it... comforting, I know.

So when we turned down that option, we started to get the ‘It’s not you, it’s me’ type speech and hear things like ‘how lucky we should be that the school was able to do it as long as they did’ and ‘how much of an inconvenience it is now to the staff’. Meanwhile the whole time telling us how much they love Bryce being there and miss him when he’s not in school. It was like night and day. A school we’ve been with for 5 years, turning into complete strangers. An inconvenience? I’m sorry, no one calls my child an inconvenience. He’s brilliant! It just made me very mad, and it was a huge disappointment. Next year we’ll probably be going to a new school because of it. We are really sad. We really liked that school, the staff, and our SEA. Will truly be missed.

But anyways, with more home time, comes... more game time? Apparently. Bryce has been playing a lot of computer and video games for his Wii and Nintendo DS. He loves running around in Final Fantasy XIV for PC, an online version of the Final Fantasy series, listening to the different sounds and music, and pointing out things he sees in the game. On his Wii he still loves playing New Super Mario Bros. and will even play all four characters at the same time. Lately, he’s been into playing Wii Sports Boxing game, and asks for help watching Wii Boxing videos on YouTube, which somehow turns into watching real life boxing with the ‘watch related videos’ option, but that’s another story. For Nintendo DS he enjoys the LEGO series and has Batman, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter Years 1-4, and ever since he saw an advertisement for it in his LEGO magazine, the Pirates of the Caribbean.

This doesn't come as a complete shock to me or Daniel. In fact, we even encourage it. We both are ‘gamers’ as well. A lot of the games that we play, Bryce does play for the music, the pictures, or the sounds. For example, Unreal Tournament, a blood and guts first person shooter game, rated Mature 17+, not recommended for children for sure, but Bryce loves watching the main menu screen that just has grey and black shadow-like images floating in the background. With Wii Boxing he likes the soundtrack that plays after your fight is over and will listen to that forever. Some of the games he plays to play, and some of them he plays for the sights or sounds that are in the game.

Now, keep in mind that this child has little communication, and unable to read a line from a book, but when he does play the games to play, he is able to navigate and explore for hours without a problem, without reading instructions, storylines, or quests. He just figures it out. It just blows my mind how well he is at comprehending them, the controls even, and just mastering them, with little to no help.

Like I said, he’s brilliant!

Thanks for reading,
Tanaya

2 comments:

  1. Yup! I am so not looking toward the level of guilt I am going to feel as a Mommy that permits gobs and gobs of "screen time" over the summer break. Kurtis loves his PS3 and plays Little Big Planet for hours on end. It is mind boggling to watch him problem solve the seemingly limitless "worlds" in that game. He also has the option of DSiXL and a PSP. Then of course there is the computer.

    I do have a plan though...I am planning to have a no "screen time" rule for the mornings and will put up a PECS schedule. We will have wake up, eat breakfast, get dressed, teeth, brush hair, play with toys (he can choose from a number of things), read books, and I have been printing out work sheets which I plan to have him work on for 30 minutes. Then it will be lunch time and he can have "screen time" for two hours. Then outdoors time if the weather permits. He can swim, jump on the trampoline, play in the sand box, swing on his platform swing. That should take us up to the point where it is time to get dinner ready. As a general rule of thumb he gets screen time until 8:00 then it's time to get ready for bed. I know Kurtis will resist this at first but once is a habit for him so it won't take long and he will be telling me what's next on the schedule. Wish me luck!

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  2. Perhaps he CAN read a line from a book and has just not been able to show you that skill for whatever reason. Mine is recognizing things I had no clue he knew and as we drive through town he knows every logo we pass even if we never taught it to him....there has to be SOME kind of reading going on there but as far as we know he doesn't even know his alphabet yet. :) Just a thought.

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