An Autism Diary

A day in the life of David Hartley

Re-Arranging Autism (or at least how I tackle it ;) )

Last night I started re-arranging some things.  At first it started out small… I just wanted my kitchen storage to be a bit more efficient.  Knowing me though, the process of trying to accomplish the first inevitably inspired me to attempt more. lol  A HUGE mess later and a few re-arrangements of things and clean outs of others, and… I am half-way done. lol

Joshua being silly while I work :)

Joshua being silly while I work 🙂

The boys and I both love crafts and drawing and simply playing together too, but a lot of the time the messes get in the way of us being able to have as much time doing so as I would like.  Also, the boys are getting to where they want their independence so badly and will climb to dangerous heights (literally) to try to achieve their goals of getting their own cups or other dishes as this is their latest thing.  In light of these two things, and an idea I saw on-line about organization, I have moved all the boys’ dishes into a lower cabinet so they can get to them without climbing all the time.  I also put some of their favorite (and most easily cleaned up afterwards) toys and activities in their cabinet.  The boys have been working hard on their responsibility skills (taking care of what’s been given to them, following rules for certain toys, etc) so I decided I would try this out as a bit of reward for them and we can see how it goes.  Previously, they had all their toys moved into areas that I could lock up so that I could better control their messes since they were constantly getting everything everywhere.  And no, that is not an exaggeration.  They would literally dump it all out and then proceed to get it all over the house.  Repeatedly.  Basically every time I went through and picked it all back up, they were right behind me dumping it all back out again.

the boys' cabinet

the boys’ cabinet

I also have organized my kitchen shelves (and the neighboring shelves in the laundry “room” (more like a closet lol) and found that I have room to put out some of our favorite craft project supplies and activities to make them easier for me to get to.  I am planning on doing that next, but to be honest I don’t know how long I will allow it to stay that way.  First carpet decorating, or wall mural and it’s all going back into the craft room where I can lock it up. 😉  Thankfully though, I’ve gotten pretty good at finding ways to clean up those mini disasters masterpieces. lol 😉  We still won’t be getting out any paint though because that is still my nemesis. lol

Wish us luck! lol : )

Another new thing I’ve started trying to change around here is their access to computers.  Before, I didn’t really have anything that could safely handle a toddler except for some old toddler computers.  However, the favorite one ended up getting lost during the move and the other two had quit working on us.  Considering the boys couldn’t seem to figure out what to do with the latter set outside of mercilessly pound at the keys and toss it around, I wasn’t in too much of a hurry to get them working again.  My mom did get them fixed (turned out to be a simple battery issue) in time for Christmas though and the boys started playing with them immediately.

David working on his letters

David working on his letters

Something that I was very excited to see though was that this time (it had been a while since they had these things before), they were willing to listen to my instructions and were eager to learn how to use them right. 🙂  Now I am happy and proud to say my boys are re-learning their letters with the help of a letter recognition game, and they’ve mastered the two games that teach basic mouse skills. 🙂  True, these are just toddler computers and so therefore are a far cry from the real thing, but I still count this as immense improvement. : )  Also, they are holding the boys’ true attention longer than I can when I am simply trying to teach them things on my own so they tend to get more practice time in than before (and they even initiate the practice time themselves!).  They have proved to be a valuable addition to our homeschooling for sure. 🙂  I still can’t just turn them completely over to a world of electronics though.

They have so much passion for the world around them and experiencing it first hand for themselves (especially David), but they also both show strong tendencies of allowing their computer time to be an escape that they can get lost in and drone out all other realities.  I don’t want them to lose their zest for living life out actively and personally because the comfort of a good chair and a predictable computer is too alluring for them.  At the same time though, I can’t help but acknowledge the benefits these two little laptops and their basic programs and games have shown us and, as a result, want to look into this whole idea further.  No I-pads or anything like that here for now though.  Although those things sound very useful with all the apps and education tools, we do not have near the money needed to fund something like that here.



  1. marciakayx

    They are smart boys. They will surprise you at all they learn. Love the computers.

  2. I gave my son my older version iPhone when I upgraded. He can only use it at home (it’s doesn’t have outside wifi). The puzzles and learning apps have taught him so much! There is a an app for verbs that he loves and he has tripled his verb usage since I downloaded it! I take a lot of flak for it from my fellow moms but as long as they are learning, don’t ever listen to what someone else says! 🙂

    • I agree they sound very helpful 🙂 My biggest issue with the Ipads and Iphones and similar products is that I can’t afford to get them one. Learning is different for everyone, and if our kids find it easier to learn with a computer program I don’t think there is anything wrong with letting them use one. 🙂

      Thanks for telling me about the verbs app. I will definitely have to look further into that one too. 🙂

      • It’s called “Speech with Milo”. There is a whole language series that was created by an actual speech pathologist. Nouns, verbs, prepositions, adjective, sequencing…you name it. They are pretty wonderful and may be on the computer, too, though I am uncertain.

      • Thanks so much! I will definitely look more into those. 🙂 Very helpful for over here. Thanks! 😀

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