Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Dual Diagnosis Down syndrome and autism, Uncategorized

Blog #140~Home Chores and Your Special Needs Child

Blog #140~Home Chores and Your Special Needs Child

I was doing a little spring cleaning the other day.  I ran across a nice checklist of housekeeping activities to foster independence and build confidence.  My son, Nick is 22 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  He takes great pride in doing his chores around the house.

Nick watering plants

One of Nick’s strengths is remembering where things go.  He does a great job unloading the dishwasher and putting the dishes away.  Other jobs he has are recycling, emptying the garbage cans, laundry.  He also assists with cooking along with his all time favorite, vacuuming!

Nick cooking

Here is the checklist of housekeeping activities:

Household chores checklist

I definitely see a few more on this list to add into Nick’s routine (except for #24).  Giving your child opportunities to help around the house is so important.  These jobs are the prerequisite which will lead to more independent living when they become young adults.  These skills may take longer to master.  With that in mind, it is helpful to use prompts.  Model the behavior, use hand over hand technique and visual icons/video modeling to help learn the sequence.  Set a regular routine where the chores would normally be done during the day and evening.

Nick vacumming_Tabor Hills (3)

Nick is happy to help out and beams with pride when I say, “Good job big guy” (followed by an elbow bump)!  As adults, we all like to be complimented for doing a good job.  Our kids and adults with special needs are no exception.  Pick a household task and give it a try with your child; never set limits.  You’d be surprised at what they can accomplish, and help you out in the process.  That’s what is in my noggin this week.

~Teresa

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Posted in Adult Day Programs for Special Needs, Autism, Down syndrome, Uncategorized

Blog #137~Nick’s Adult Day Program

Blog #137~Nick’s Adult Day Program

Nick is just about a month into his new adult day program.  My son just turned 22 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  The month before his 22nd birthday he was attending the program part time.  Gradually we increased his days and hours during the month of January.  This made for a nearly seamless transition out of school to his new location.

The one bug in the whole process has been the transportation piece.  The first try was using a riding service through our county.  This was a fail.  There was a different driver every time, and you had to pay cash $13.50 each way.  The final nail in that coffin was a driver who (as reported by Nick’s job coach), was speeding, weaving in and out of traffic and throwing his leftover lunch out the window.  The next driving service we tried were caring and nice.  However they were never on time and cost way much more money ($27.50 each way) Ouch!  Currently, we’ve hired a lovely gal who is taking Nick in the mornings.  Kelsey has been a godsend.  She said that Nick is the best way to start her mornings. 🙂

Nick in car aid

For the time being, I am picking him up each afternoon.  Ideally, I hope to find another driver or find someone to share carpool duties with as it really cuts into my schedule. Otherwise I’ll paint my car taxi cab yellow. 😀  Stay tuned……

Nick has adjusted well in his new program.  Here are a few snapshots:

Vocational tasks….. (What, he’s not spraying anyone in the eye or drenching a flat screen tv?)

Nick cleaning aid.jpg

Nick relaxing in the sensory room….

Nick sensory aid

In his new program, the group goes out into the community three times a week.  He has already been to the Shedd Aquarium, recycling & food pantry jobs, shopping for cooking supplies and eating out at restaurants. The program also has special days with themes like Elvis Day, soul food cooking, Valentine’s Day party and monthly birthday celebrations.  The staff is caring and they really love what they do.  Nick has been very happy here.

Yes, there have been a few behaviors that have challenged the staff. That’s to be expected.  Nick can spot fresh meat and will test you.  But last week and the follow up meeting, the behaviorist felt these were manageable.  It really helped that the school sent his job coach with him during the transition.  Jodi, was able to help the staff understand these and guide them on how to handle Nick.  So far, he has only got to the cover of a fire alarm. I had my money on him pulling one the first week. 🙂

As Nick’s mom, it warms my heart to know that his days are full, structured, meaningful and that he is happy in his new adult life. That’s what is in my noggin this week.

~Teresa

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Posted in Adult Day Programs for Special Needs, Autism, Down syndrome, Education and Special Needs, Uncategorized

Blog #133~Transition to Adult Day Program

Blog #133~Transition to Adult Day Program

As I mentioned last week, the countdown is on to the end of school for my son.  Nick is 21 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  In just a few weeks he will celebrate his 22nd birthday and will age out of the school system.  So what will Nick do when the little yellow bus stops coming to pick him up?  Here’s a peek into his transition to the adult day program which started last week.

Nick is attending half days twice a week.  Each morning starts in the gym.  Here are some of the activities he will be doing:

Sensory Swing…..

Nick Swing AID

Yoga time….

Nick yoga AID.jpg

Bowling….

Nick Bowling AID

Nick picked out an animal book for one of his choice activities….

Nick reading AID

Nick stole his teacher’s chair when she got up.  Looks like he’s  making himself at home.  Now all he needs is a crown. 🙂

Nick chair AID

Here’s Nick’s reaction when his job coach asked if he liked his new school.  A fist pump with a big yay! 🙂

Nick fist bump AID

Week one of the transition to the adult day program was a success. A special thank you to Jodi, his job coach for providing the pictures above!  I’m so pleased that he is happy there and the activities keep him busy, productive and most of all, happy 🙂  There are a few more wrinkles to iron out, but progress is being made for this to be a success for Nick.  That’s what is in my noggin this week.

~Teresa

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Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick, Uncategorized

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  Thanks for reading and sharing Nick’s world.  A new blog coming in two weeks!  In the meantime be sure to check out our Facebook page (Down syndrome with a Slice of Autism) for daily pictures, articles and other musings.  And there are plenty of blogs to read in the archives. 🙂

Cheers,

Teresa

Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick, Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving

In my noggin this week (besides the to-do list) is a post I wrote two years ago called, “5 Reasons I am Thankful for Nick”. Here’s the link:

https://nickspecialneeds.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/blog-755-reasons-i-am-thankful-for-nick/

Have a blessed Thanksgiving!  I am thankful for all your support and for reading & sharing Nick’s world.

~Teresa

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Computer Difficulties

Computer Difficulties

computer-repair-man

The good news is that I have bought a new, sleek MacBook Pro laptop!  The bad news is that the computers are in the shop while the data gets transferred over.  Please scroll down to the “archives” this week where you can enjoy over a 100 posts.  You’ll find a treasure chest of great stories and information about Down syndrome, autism and more. You can look up posts by “categories” or go down further to access the “archives”.  I look forward to sharing more about Nick’s world next Monday with you.  Have a great week!

~Teresa 🙂

IT team

Posted in Uncategorized

October is Down syndrome Awareness Month

October is Down syndrome Awareness Month

Down syndrome awareness month

It’s hard to believe that September is winding down.  October starts this week and I want to kick it off by promoting Down syndrome Awareness Month.  How much do you know about Down syndrome?  Click on this week’s link to learn more about it, including facts and links promoting Down syndrome:

https://nickspecialneeds.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/blog-26-down-s…wareness-month/

The page will then show nothing found (something is wonky here this week).  Then type in:  “Blog #26 Down syndrome Awareness Month in the search box.  It should pop up. Sorry about the extra step.

Thank you for reading and sharing Nick’s world!  That’s what is in my noggin this week.

~Teresa 🙂

Posted in Down syndrome, Government/Legal Matters Related to Special Needs, Uncategorized

World Down Syndrome Day

WORLD DOWN SYNDROME DAY!!!

This Saturday, March 21st is World Down Syndrome Day!

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder (www.worlddownsyndromeday.org)  

Big Guy Nick 🙂

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Help me spread the word on social media.  Click on my blog to find out more about WDSD @https://nickspecialneeds.wordpress.com/2014/03/24/blog-89-world-…n-syndrome-day/

Thank you for reading and sharing this information about World Down Syndrome Day.  That’s what is in my noggin this week.

~Teresa 🙂