An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Science Lover’s Dream

My little Joshua, the science enthusiast of the house, inspired me to take a rare trip into the middle of the major city so that I could introduce him to some real life people living out their science dreams. 🙂  I went and forgot my camera in the car though once we got there, so all I have are these insanely blurry pics from my phone. lol  At least some memories were captured though.  ^_^

While at the event, Joshua and David got to meet with real professional and college level scientists. They got to play with NASA inspired inventions, explore virtual reality, play with snakes, discover what it’s like to use a microscope, play with electricity and magnets, explore worms up close and personal, and more.    Definitely was worth the trip into the middle of Boise for this.  

Autism is Not an April Disorder

I wrote this piece last year, but I feel it still rings true. By all means, support the Autism community, do what you can to help spread awareness and acceptance, but please, please, PLEASE let your efforts go beyond just a date on the calendar.

An Autism Diary

So it’s that time of year again.  April.  Where most think of spring, rain, flowers, and maybe even Easter when they think of this time of year, the Autism community has something else on their mind as well.  Autism Awareness Month and of course World Autism Awareness Day, which was yesterday.

Over the last handful of years I’ve taken both pretty seriously and dived in with both feet to help intensify the awareness efforts for my son and our local Autism community.  I must admit though that this year I am not so eager to engage.  Is awareness important?  Yes, of course.  Do I still believe we all need to do our part to help others understand Autism?  Absolutely.  Do we still have a mission to help spread acceptance and compassion?  Always.  So why am I not into the big awareness month showcase this year?  Simply put, it’s because I’ve…

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Sunny Days ^_^

Nothing like spending the last few hours of sunlight at a beautiful park. ^_^  Welcome back spring, you’ve been greatly missed. ❤

The funny side

A few sayings that have become all too common in this house…
“Quit crawling around on the floor at Walmart”
“You don’t eat things you found on the floor….
in the store
in the restaurant
in the bathroom…. (yuck!!)”
“Please don’t lick the…
your brother…”
“Get out from under the shelving please!”
“Random gum under the benches is NOT a treasure! LEAVE IT!”

#Autism #ThisisDavid

What are some things you find yourself having to say?

This is David

My little window sitter is not so little any more and the windowsills are not as big here as they have been in previous homes.  So what does he decide to replace them with?  The kitchen counters apparently. lol  I think my David needs a tree house. lol  Definitely need to be looking into a bay window too whenever we get our own home.


Late Night Thoughts

This came up in my memories section on facebook. Fitting timing for it too considering what all is happening in this new year. It’s been a wild ride and we’re only a month and a half in. Looks like this year is going to definitely be filled with lots of adventure, both good and bad. I pray I can face what lies ahead with dignity, grace, and most of all faith.

Stripes and Puzzle Pieces

Life doesn’t come easy for me,
but I still believe in my dreams.
Some people may call it crazy
but I like to stretch beyond my means.

For it’s only when I am spent and done
that God can truly show His strength.
And when He shows up, I know I’ve won
and for that I would go to any length.

Things might not always turn out right,
but they always turn out best.
There are times I feel like giving up the fight,
but then He gives me rest.

Of course His ways are higher than mine,
so I don’t always understand Him.
Sometimes I wish He could send me a sign,
then I realize He’s just waiting for me to read them.

His Word is here right in front of me,
It’s value truly worth more than gold.
When I humble myself and read,
His words help make…

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Lego Train Station

David’s latest lego creation. A train station, complete with tracks and a train that can really move along them.

Happy National Backwards Day

David really had fun with this silly holiday and went all out with switching his clothes around for the day.  We also learned the Moonwalk (aka our “backwards dance of the day”) and had fun walking around backwards in the house.  We also played board games and worked on some schooling, but David wanted to make sure we wished everyone a “happy National Backwards Day” before the day ended. 🙂

Play to Learn

img_5662-taggedThe snow has gotten the best of my family over this last month, leading to a lot of hard days shut in and a lot of pent up energy and anxiety from the disrupted schedules and lack of freedom to get out like we normally do.  Recently though I ran across supplies on-line for creating your own board game so I bought some for the boys.  Our delivery came in pieces so as we waited for the final package we have been hashing out different ideas for games that would make learning and reviewing easier and more fun.

Well the blank dice were the last thing to arrive and they finally came in yesterday!  I went to work as soon as I could creating some custom dice for the boys that help with different skills. The boys were so excited, that we actually started playing with our new dice by themselves instead of waiting to finish planning out the board and cards.

img_5661-taggedThe power of hands-on learning and learning through play showed through strong as I watched my boys approach with excitement subjects they previously ran from and to even start to master some new skills previously out of their reach. They even tackled their first division problems that don’t end evenly and mastered the concept of remainders in less than 10 minutes! That’s a new record!
In less than an hour of simply throwing some custom dice around and making hard skills into a game, the boys mastered 3 new concepts (division with remainders, > vs <, writing money in decimals), memorized their 11’s times tables up to 9, gained ground on their coin value recognition, worked on reliably reading the $ sign vs the cents sign, and made great starter progress on adding (and subtracting!) money.
If this is the ground we can make with just the dice, I can’t wait to find out what’s in store once we have complete games to work with. ^_^

Learning New Skills

Digital CameraThe kind people who have been routinely showing up to help shovel us out of the snow this winter were here again the other day when the major storm hit.  We caught them in action this time and David immediately rushed out to go join them.  Anything for a chance to use his shovel. lol 🙂  Pretty soon, Joshua joined him and two little boys were eagerly throwing snow around as they “helped” the kind strangers.

The strangers turned out to be the Pastor of the church across the street and his family.  He truly has a heart of gold too.  When he saw how badly David wanted to help (and how much he didn’t really know how to do so lol) he took the time to teach some simple shoveling techniques that David could do himself.  David was so proud of himself when he started seeing the path before him actually start clearing.  The best part though was when David’s excitement and impulsivity got the best of him and his new skills went out the window.

Digital CameraDavid started going back to just swinging the shovel around and tossing the snow in every direction but the one it should go in.  He accidentally got the pastor in the legs a few times and repeatedly threw snow back in his face (David was ahead) and over his feet.  I say this is the best part not because of what David was doing, but rather because of the way the pastor chose to respond.  The man heard me trying to coach David and help him focus, he could see that David was special needs and truly wasn’t doing any of it on purpose, and he could see David’s pure excitement at being included and being “helpful”.  So he told David “great job”, moved in front of David and increased the distance between them by a few steps to avoid the flying snow and wayward shovel, and smiled genuinely everytime David looked back for affirmation that he was doing a good job.  What a sweet man. ❤