Monday, February 20, 2012

The Writing Wars

Getting a little kid to sit down and write can be a challenge. Especially a boy. Getting an autistic kid to sit down and write is horrifying. I would rather have to change dirty diapers, clean toilets, or be tied naked to a red ant hill covered in honey. I AM SERIOUS.

I LOVE this!

The boy has always struggled with writing. Handwriting Without Tears, while a great program didn't help. Exercises to help fine motor control haven't helped. Making individual boxes for each word hasn't helped. Trying to teach him cursive at 6 years old didn't help. Bribery, threatening and tears have not helped.  He has been using an Alpha Smart keyboard since 2nd grade. THAT is helpful.

Now that he is supposedly "mainstreamed" the teacher puts a certain amount of expectation on him to write. I don't necessarily disagree- but sometimes - like the recent project we had to do- typing it all would make it so much easier on him. AND ME!

We had a cooking project to do. The Boy said he wanted to make butterscotch chip cookies. I was thrilled! Something new! So we got a recipe and he followed it, and did 90% of the work himself- even putting it in the oven himself. It was fun, and he learned some cool stuff, and his cookies turned out great!

Now comes the hard part. Having to write it down. I have been putting this project off because of this very reason. We baked the cookies yesterday. At 12:30 today- I told him it was time to finish his project. He said he did. I told him, we need to write all of it down. That was at 12:30. We finished at 3:50. Yes folks, for over THREE HOURS I did everything in my power to get him to follow the directions. From a "break after each sentence, to bathroom trips to smoke breaks for mom- this has been the shittiest day off with the kids in recent memory.

Why all the fighting? Well- anything that requires him to write or draw (this had both) is a fight. He HATES it. It stresses us both out.  But the grading rubric clearly states it had to be written. (I typed it too- the hell with it) And after re-writing because of illegibility, many erased lines, tears, near meltdown, (for both of us) and me considering taking a shot of tequila at about 2:30-ish...this is what we finally got.

This is the finished product
Grading Rubric
This is after 3 + hours

The best part of this whole thing was the cooking. He really enjoyed it, and so did I. So I leave you with some pictures of the actual baking portion of the project- enjoy!