…I wish I were there to be doing it too!

I wonder what Piglet is doing, thought Pooh

I wish I were there to be doing it too. 

Today, my daughter completed her undergrad degree, so I do actually know what my girl is doing – unlike Pooh wondering what Piglet is doing. But, I truly wish I were there – to help her celebrate, to help her appreciate the magnitude of her accomplishment.

In a few weeks, I will be able to share her graduation with her. Until then, I’ll just be wishing!

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Living in the moment

“What day is it?”
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.

Betty Ford Botanical Gardens, Vail, Colorado

Yesterday really was a “favourite” day.

In working with students with autism, we often need to build a student’s repertoire of language by scaffolding skills. We use visual symbols and, if the student is verbal, teach them the corresponding words as we show them what the symbols and words mean. For instance, when we show them the visual for “dry hands”, we do the activity. Sometimes, we have multiple steps for activities (taking off winter clothes can involve a ridiculous amount of symbols/words!). The process is long, but over time, it is hoped that the student may themselves either point to the visual symbol to request an item/activity, or they may use the words alone.

I have been working with a particular student for 4 months on requesting preferred activities, such as “go upstairs” (which really means go upstairs for a walk), or “go sensory room” or “snack”. For the past two weeks, this student has been under the weather, but still coming to school and consequently often exhibiting challenging behaviours. Yesterday, not only was the student back to their typical happy demeanor, but the student also made a request to do something we had never done and used words in a series that had never been modeled together. This is such a significant step.

It literally was the most exciting thing to happen in a very long time.

So when asked “rock baby, sensory room” (meaning take the toy baby to the sensory room and rock it in the swing), I took my student’s hand and rushed to the sensory room and helped make sure that request was fulfilled.

And while “rock baby, sensory room” was happening, I sat in another rocking chair in the sensory room and let some of the challenges of the last two weeks melt away.

Sometimes, like in the photo above, it’s important to look at the little things that work together to make things beautiful.

The miracle of bees

I love to photograph things that crawl and fly. Yet, being allergic to bees, it’s not always in my own best interest to photograph bees. But a couple of years ago, my hubby got me a great lens that allows close up shots while standing a ways back. Thankfully!

This shot, like the one from July 27, was taken at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail, Colorado last month. This is a beautiful garden that I highly recommend. More shots to come in the days ahead.

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Where the wildflowers grow….

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We recently visited Colorado and were invited to visit the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratories (RMBL) in Gothic, Colorado. Our son, Kyle, has a friend, Jane, working on her doctorate at the University of Toronto and doing some field work at RMBL. Jane not only toured us around RMBL but then took us on an amazing hike (after a crazy drive along winding, steep roads) up to some fields of wildflowers. Truly a once in a lifetime experience, one that photos cannot do justice to.

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