Posts Tagged ‘Floortime’

Comic Book

Thursday, February 19th, 2009


And speaking of Darwin, this little girl is a cartooning machine, impressing her teachers with her drawing and writing prowess. S is quite an artist himself  as any friend of this blog would know. He’s been drawing since he was a little shy of two, producing tens (hundreds?) of thousands of boom boxes, cars, and fans. Maybe I should put this thought bubble in his head: I could draw comics for a living!  

He might have to expand his subject matter a little. We tried last night, playing with two action figures I bought at Target. Playmobil toys are great. They have snap-on clothes and accessories that give parents of autistic kids hours of enjoyment. When I asked S if we should buy a couple his eyelids dropped to half-mast. “If you want,” he said as woodenly as possible. “That’s okay,” I said cheerily. “I’ll play with them myself.” He did take to them–two medieval knights with snap-on breastplates–after I ripped them out of the packaging and gave him a preview in the car. “Where art thou, evil dragon?!”  But when we got them home, he kept sticking them in his toy BMW M5. “Hey, let’s find the dragon.” I kept saying, but the knights had other plans. “Where are they driving?” “They’re buying cat food,” he said. Finally, going crazy, I told him that I was going to take my knights and go home. “I can’t stand this anymore,” I whined. “All we play with are cars and boom boxes. Knights didn’t listen to hip hop.” (S had Power 106 blaring) “They didn’t even have radios.” “Okay,” he said, trying to calm me down. “Play whatever you want.” I  finally lured the knights out of the BMW and into a dark castle where several unexplained shape-shiftings and transformations took place. He seemed to enjoy it, especially the part where a lion ate the knights alive. “This is fun!”

We’ll see what happens tonight.

photo by Brenda Ahearn/The Gazette

Play with Me

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

Dear S,

“Play with me,” you tell me. “Okay,” I say. “What’s the game called?” “Whatever you want,” you concede. But I know what I’m in for. Nathaly and her father, Deedah. And cars.  Many, many cars. Nathaly and Deedah are three inch wooden dolls with cloth clothes. They like to look at cars at the dealership but they hardly ever buy.  When they do buy, the engine breaks down. When they get it repaired, the radio goes on the fritz. You say “Make her say, ‘Oh, no the radio doesn’t work…’ Make him say, ‘Sorry, darlin’, that car costs too much.’” Those are the rules: you direct; I act out.  You tell me what to say; I say it.  

We have been playing this game for two years.

Sometimes I try to mix things up. “No, this time you make Nathaly talk.” The game changes for five or ten minutes and then returns to the old rules. “If you want people to play with you,” I explain, “you’ve got to play too. You can’t just give orders.” You look at me like I’m speaking German, and then tell me what Deedah should say.

Once I got angry. I was writing and you kept pulling me away from my computer. “Play with me! Play with me!” “I can’t do this anymore!” I roared, like a lunatic. Your Mama was on the couch and I roared at her too. “This is making me crazy.” I could tell from her expression that she didn’t disagree. “I can’t play with you all the time and I can’t play the same game!” You backed off for the rest of the day. You started telling me, “Play whatever you want.” And for a little while we did. But before long we started playing your way again. I’d get home from work, exhausted, my eyes rolling back into my head. You’d put the dolls in my hands, and tell me what Nathaly should say. I’d fall asleep and find your face one inch from mine. “Hello!  Wake up!”

But then came Heidi. Heidi from Pasadena. Heidi who doesn’t take orders.

You’d never think it looking at her: pretty, straight blond hair, twenty-four or five. And she talks in such a high flutey voice she reminds you of some Disney character, the kind that birds garland with flowers. 

But Heidi means business.

The first week she was Little Miss Nice, let you do whatever you liked. She let you turn the lights off and on.  She let you run  the show. You were  Mr. Nice.  You let her let you run it.  Even when she suggested that you make one of her dolls speak.  Even with all the questions she kept asking (”Who will drive the ambulance? What’s his name?” ), even though that of all the toys in her toy chest, there was not one car, you still played along. So long as you could give the orders, you didn’t complain.

But now Heidi is getting pushy.  This week, playing with her dollhouse, you tried to push a third doll into her hands.  ”I’m full,” she said, sticking out her hands, each holding a doll already.  Full?  What is this thing, full? Certainly Heidi didn’t expect you to play with one of the dolls.  You were stumped.  You looked around.  You handed me the doll.

“Play!  Play!

And I did. But soon you got impatient. “I want to go now,” you said. “We can’t. We’ve got ten more minutes.” “I want to go now!” “We have to clean up first.”  


“Play with me,” you tell me everyday when I bring you back from school.  You hold out the dolls and wait for me to take them.

“I can’t,” I say. “I’m full.”

But I end up taking Nathaly and Deedah into my hands, challenging you whenever I can (”Look! The car finally works!”) hoping that one day you’ll snatch them away from me, and make them speak yourself.



Podcast Five

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Obama, IEP’s, Floortime, Fiction: Pull

Home Sick

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009