And you probably shouldn't judge a camp by the first day. Let me start by saying that I still don't like social skills groups...or direct instruction.. but ALL the camp folks have been so willing to take an idea here or there when I tried not to micromanage but just give 'suggestions.' And I thank them for that. It has been really good the rest of the week and I am so thankful for the CEF and their staff. All gifts from God.
Here are some cool highlights so far:
Andrew's helper is such a wonderful natural guide for Andrew. She sets limits, is respectful of him and he (mostly) follows her lead.
Andrew does push the limits..but not continually. Last year he went through the preschool (I am thinking naked) without his implant but with squirt gun....several times.....daily. The preschool is NOT part of the camp and I'm pretty sure the camp instructor got in a bit of hot H2O. This year, he did dump a wet sponge on a girl he was clearly told not to but then did not melt down. He just sat out for a bit and then went back to play. He has had a few running incidents, but when 'caught' he didn't further deteriorate. When people have told him to stop (non-verbally) he does so MOST of the time.
I truly feel that I am able to just sit back and watch. When he ran, I let them handle it. I still sit off and watch. If I leave, I will end up at Target and camp cost will increase dramatically. I typically have been seeing him once or twice during camp to hold his implant so it doesn't get drenched or to just see what is going on.
This year there are parents even MORE concerned about their child's diet than me. (I know..it's hard to believe. It's true I tell you!! It's true!!!!) I try to minimize grapes and Andrew loves them..craves them...so he probably shouldn't eat them. But he has grabbed a few at home when I have them here. Today at camp he gets in the car and says in a giggly voice, "Guess what we had for snack?...Grapes! Oh! Glory!!"
I found myself telling about four people that they should consider RDI as a career. Mostly these were young folks making their way into the world. Did you know that RDI consultant is a GREAT job where you can manage your hours, take the clients you want, and you don't need a specific degree??? (But you do need a bachelors.) I'm just saying... And if you are a guy reading this, the world needs more male 'teachers', consultants and therapists. A friend recently noted that guys can be especially good RDI guides and consultants because they are less likely to micro-manage.
Andrew is doing wonderful with natural gestures and this was one suggestion I made for the people there. We are on a stage 2 objective that deals with gestures. Most of the day he has his implant off because they are playing in water. In the past he would ignore on purpose or be so into what he was doing (or himself) to notice. In stage 2, the objective deals JUST with gestures at home with the primary guide. But he is reading other's gestures in high energy activities. We still have quite a few gaps to fill in..but I see that we are making great strides in the area of non-verbal language. And since 80% of communication is non-verbal, I'd say that is pretty important.
So that's it for now. We have tomorrow and next week. It is storming out now. But the weather has been fabulous..hot..but fabulous! So thankful for that.