Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick

Blog #128~ Lessons From Dick Van Dyke

Blog #128~ Lessons From Dick Van Dyke

I just finished reading Dick Van Dyke’s new book, Keep Moving and other Tips and Truths About Aging. In the book jacket it reads:

“Show-business legend Dick Van Dyke is living proof that life does get better the longer you live it. Who better to offer instruction, advice and humor than someone who’s entering his ninth decade with a jaunty two-step? Van Dyke isn’t just a born song-and-dance man; his irrepressible belief in embracing the moment and unleashing his inner child have proved to be the ultimate elixir of youth.”

Dick Van Dyke Keep Moving

It was a quick read packed with some good advice, tips and anecdotes. After I put the book down, it got me thinking about my son Nick, who is 21 years old and has Down syndrome and autism.  Many of the suggestions given are things that my son does every day.  Here are just a few of the many ideas Dick shares:

*Keep moving! If Dick Van Dyke is at the store and hears music playing he starts dancing. Work out regularly.  Van Dyke was on the treadmill humming.  A guy next to him asked, “Hey you’re humming! The rest of us are huffing and puffing and you’re humming.  How do you do that?”  Van Dyke replied, “Vocal cords are muscles too.  But also humming, as with a Buddhist chanting, singing or even an infant making noises as it discovers its voice, sets up a sympathetic frequency in your body that simply feels good.”

Dick Van Dyke at store

*You don’t have to act your age. You don’t even have to feel it. There is no way you have to behave. Be a goofball, have fun, and be silly.


*Keep your sense of humor. Van Dyke writes, “I once heard someone say that if you can’t laugh at life, you’re missing the joke. I agree.  As far as I’m concerned, a sense of humor is the way we make sense out of nonsense.”

*Have a daily routine. Get up and get moving, make lists, work out, go shopping, learn new things, ask questions, take a nap, and always enjoy a nightly dessert.

*Don’t forget to smile. Don’t forget to make someone else smile 🙂

While these ideas are simple, what stands out to me is having the right attitude to approach each day. It’s the theme which threads through his book.  I see a lot of this in my son. He wakes up; usually cuts a fart and laughs.  If you’ve ever been around Nick, you know that he spends a great amount of time dancing and humming.   He also thrives on his daily routines aided by a picture sequence that serves as his list. And yes, his infectious smile will make your day!

photo (30)

Inside the Keep Moving book jacket really sums up the essence of my message this week. “Dick’s optimistic outlook is an invigorating tonic for anyone who needs a reminder that life should be lived with enthusiasm despite what the calendar says”.  My son Nick embraces this.  He is my daily prompt to live that way each day.  That is what’s in my noggin this week.

~Teresa 🙂

Posted in Autism, Down syndrome, Fun Side of Nick

Blog #39~Hardy har har Nick

Blog # 39~Hardy har har Nick

I spent a lot of time just observing Nick this weekend. The frigid temperatures begged us to stay hunkered down at home layered up in sweats and bulky sweaters. I thought a lot about what I have already written since I started the blog last March. One thing about Nick that stands out is that he is a funny guy (even when he is being a pain in the butt.) As soon as I sat down to the computer, he came over and carefully balanced this on my thigh. Then he ran away laughing. 🙂

photo (119)

Harold the Helicopter is using my thigh as a landing strip.

He loves playing jokes on us. There is a signature sound he makes, it’s a stimmy sound like his is saying “geeeeeehhh,” while he flaps his hands by his ears. I stop, look and listen to see what he has been up to. Oh hardy har har, he turned on the faucets in the bathroom full blast and ran out quickly. Sometimes while showering, he will turn the lights off on you too. Now that’s funny stuff. 🙂 After his shower last night, I saw him out of the corner of my eye putting something underneath the covers on my side of the bed. He pulled the covers up quickly and took off all excited. Underneath here is what I found.

Sneaking Mr. Platypus under the comforter……….

photo (121)

Then a little while later…….. He’s on a roll….

photo (115)

He also likes to mess with our cat. I am not so sure that Miss Mellie appreciates the *propinquity of Nick’s stuffed animals on top of her…….

photo (116)

Poor kitty, I don’t think she wants to be a velcro icon strip.

photo (117)
There are a lot more pictures in Blog#33~Stuff on my Cat located in the December archives!
I admire his cheerful spirit. He wakes up each morning with a big smile and first thing he does is let out a big fart while gleaming proudly might I add. What a great wakeup call. 🙂 In the same sophomoric vein, that boy can rip out the loudest and longest burps all from just a mini eight once can of Sprite. If you want to get a better sense of Nick’s funny side you’ve got to read Blog #6~The Nick Connection (in the May archives) and Blog #14~PB Unnerstall (June archives.)
Yesterday morning I watched him cheerily dancing side to side with his headphones on. He was in the zone. As a mother there is nothing better than seeing your child happy and hearing them laugh. Well wait a minute…. maybe when they sleeping like angels. Now that supersedes everything else. 🙂

Oh yes the sound of silence, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

photo (118)

Looks like the cat isn’t holding any grudges.

Here are a few other examples of his sense of humor. He thinks it’s funny when he bangs or bonks himself accidentally. Anytime he drops something or someone else does he busts out laughing. He enjoys watching You Tube videos of funny cats, epic fails like the ones you see on the show America’s Funniest Videos, and people sneezing. Many of his favorite movies are comedies. Eddie Murphy is his favorite (Dr. Doolittle series, Norbit, The Nutty Professor) along with Mrs. Doubtfire and Little Man.

My funny guy, that’s what is in my noggin this week.


I think humor is what has kept us afloat all these years.

humor quote

Have a great week, and keep that sense of humor with you!

*According to, the word propinquity means a close kinship or similarity. It can also mean being close to someone or something, either physically or similar in nature.