Monday, November 08, 2010

Testing those Sensory Issues

There's nothing like a trip to the Mall of America on a Saturday to check the sensory issues.

Now that I sort of grasp the idea of sensory problems and how it might feel to be a kid with autism and/or Fragile X Syndrome, I have a new awareness of my surroundings.  I notice when the TV and computer are both on and making noise at the same time.  When I put lotion on the boys' dry skin, I really try to warm it up in my hands before rubbing it on them.  My first thought when the smoke alarm goes off is not Where's the fire? but Shut it off, it'll terrify the children! (I should explain that the smoke alarm goes off once a month or so when I cook.  Not that I cook only once a month or so -- that's just how often I set off the smoke alarm.  That's another story entirely.)

Yesterday we took the kids to the Mall of America, and I was hyperaware of all the sensory stuff going on in there.  It's brimming with people in early November -- all the Christmas decor is up and the shoppers are out in masses.  Not that we were surprised.

But sensory-wise, behavior-wise, the boys do pretty well at the Mall of America, because the thing about that place is, even if it's crowded, it's huge enough to handle a crowd.  The hallways are gigantic, the ceilings are crazy high, so even if it's packed with shoppers and mall-walkers and people watchers, you don't really feel claustrophobic in there.  It's almost like being outside.

We thought we'd check out the brand new Microsoft store and here's where we were stupid, because, duh -- if we thought the rest of the mall was packed, of course the newest, hottest store was going to be buzzing like a bee hive.  It's like there were rock stars in there or something, you could hardly get near it.  Then we found out later that Kelly Clarkson was coming to promote the new store, so it wasn't just LIKE there were rock stars.  There were.  If you consider Kelly Clarkson a rock star.

So naturally when we got wind of the crowds, we steered clear.

Next we passed by a store that just sold model trains and accessories for trains -- it was the coolest.  It was also pretty jammed but it didn't look like it would be impossible to get a double stroller in there, so we went for it.   And both boys enjoyed watching the toy trains toodle along on their tracks for a few minutes.  Like a couple of regular old 5 year olds.

Since you sometimes end up waiting awhile for an elevator, we figured we ought to head up to the food court and get our McDonalds and find a free table before it got any closer to lunchtime.  This is something else we've done with the boys a few times, and they love sitting up there over Nickelodeon Universe, watching everything that goes on down there while they munch on chicken nuggets.  They don't love to walk around in Nickelodeon Universe -- but they do enjoy looking at it from afar.

After lunch we just walked a bit, the boys taking turns walking and riding in the stroller, and though the people were thick and the noise level was aggravating, they both tolerated it so well.  Even when we walked by an area where a group of dancers were performing to a percussion group (i.e., a lot of drums!), they walked by without incident.  I was so proud of them.

After a quick walk through the American Girl store (as no trip to the MOA is complete without that, if Aliza is along), we were out of there, utterly proud of how great the boys behaved the whole time.  Generally, outings with the boys last an hour, maybe an hour and a half if things are going particularly well.  Saturday, though, they stayed happily at the mall with us for over 2 hours!  A very huge accomplishment.

Sunday we went to Nana & Grandpa's house for a little rest, relaxation, and football.  Here are some photos especially for Nana, since she wasn't there.  Jocelyn kept asking where Nana was, and saying Nana had gone "bye bye."  We missed her, but I am pretty sure she's having a great time visiting her cousins!





 
I love this picture of Zack!



Going for a stroll in daddy's shoes.









P.S, for anyone who is keeping score -- no progress on getting Zack to take a sippy cup.  Grandpa worked on him Sunday afternoon a little bit, but he's hanging tough.

P.P.S., I thought I'd pretend I'm a pro and put the blog name on some of these photos, but it takes for-ev-er to edit and save them with the name on there, so I'm not going to bother with it.  Just please don't steal my pictures!

2 comments:

Twin Engines said...

What a successful Saturday! Hooray! And I did the same thing with pictures this summer, giving up after one post. See you tomorrow!

Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

Having a child with special needs does change your perception of the world. I hear the refrigerator kick on and in the beginning I always felt sad about how much louder that sounds through hearing aids.

I'm so glad you go to enjoy a wildly busy place as a family! I might have to head out that way, we're American Girl doll crazed.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Labels

#youmightbeanautismparentif 2012 in review 9/11 memories ABA therapy Acceptance acronyms advocacy affection aggression AJ Aliza Aliza the playwright All I really need to know... Alphabitty Moments American Girl Ann Coulter antibullying anxiety anxiety in parents of children with special needs apple orchard apps for autism AppSmitten Arbaclofen Arbitrary Thoughts ARC autism autism brushing autism portrayed in TV shows Autism Shines awareness backyard band baseball bath toys beds behavior problems being tall Birthday Boys biting blog change blog hop blogging books bottles brushing bubbles Burnsville Fire Muster bus Cabin Fever in Minnesota candy Carly Fleischmann Carly's Voice cats cats and dogs chewys Chicago childcare for special needs children childhood Children's Museum chocolate Christmas Church circumin clinical trials Clonidine CNN Hero of 2011 coffee communication comparisons computer Conference cost of special education Courage Center Curcumin daddy dance dance competition dance moms Dental surgery dentist developmental milestones diagnosis diapers Diego Disability Day dogs Dolphin Tale Doomsday Preparation Dora Doritos drug trials DVD player early intervention earrings Easter ECSE Parent Retreat electronic gadgets electronics Everything I need to know... Evil Overlord fall falling asleep at school families family fashion fear Featured Feel Good Friday field trip fireworks first day of school Flash Gordon Food Chronicles food issues in Fragile X and autistic children forms forts Fragile Face of God Fragile X Fragile X advocate Fragile X and autism Fragile X Awareness Day Fragile X carriers Fragile X in the news Fragile X presentation Fragile X statistics Fragile X Writers friends fundraiser for Fragile X funniest Funny Gabrielle Giffords Galveston games getting carsick Girls' Night Out Giving Spirit glasses global warming going home Good Morning Great Quotes guest blogs guest post haircuts Halloween hearing test Heaven is for Real hippotherapy holidays Holland Holly home life homework hotel hugging human behavior hyperactivity IEP Meeting IEPs in the news inclusion inspiration integration iPad iPad apps iPad apps for autism IQ testing Jack Jablonski January First Joke journal entry kids with Fragile X and animals Kindergarten Kindle kisses language study learning to talk leaves lemonade stand Lily Little Einsteins losing teeth Mad Gab makeup mall Mall of America marcia braden McDonalds media sensationalization medications Melatonin Miami MIND Institute Minnesota Bloggers Conference minocycline Miracle League monkeys mosquito bites Mother's Day movies MVMOM Used Clothing and Equipment Sale nail trimming names naughtiness neighbors nicknames nightmares normal off topic one thing leads to another online dating Operation Beautiful oral sensory orphan drug act other bloggers Our Wedding outside overstimulation panic attacks parade parental stress Parenthood park Partners in Policymaking penicillin people with disabilities pets pharmacy fun photography Photoshop picnic Pictures pinching pink shirt Pinterest playing outside playing with toys poem politics poop potty training Presents protecting autistic children rash reading to kids research Retreat riding a bike Robin Williams Roger Ebert routine RSS feed RUSH University San Diego Sandy Hook Elementary Santa schedules school school bus school notes school pictures screaming self image self-checkouts sensory Seroquel siblings with developmental delays sick kids sippy cups sleep smile snow pictures Snowstorm social situations speaking of the unspeakable special education special education evaluation special needs kids special needs parents Special Needs Ryan Gosling Special Olympics spelling spoon feeding spring break staying positive stimming Strep STX209 Stylish Blog Award suicide summer Sunday School Sundays sunshine survival mode swimming talking talking to kindergarteners Target teacher's aides Teeth brushing Tegretol Temple Grandin Ten Commandments textbook case of Fragile X thankful thanksgiving that window/mirror thing The Autism Store The R Word the rapid passage of time The Right Things to say to parents of special needs children The Santa Experience the Shedd Aquarium The Twin Thing The Wiggles therapeutic horseback riding therapy This is Autism topless trampoline traveling with special needs children TV twins with special needs Twitter typical Fragile X characteristics typical kids typing vacation Vacation Bible School video games videos volunteering Waisman Center water play way-back-Wednesday What I've Learned What's your song? when a special needs parent dies Wiggles Wii games Winner Winner Chicken Dinner winter wonder Wonder Pets Wordful Wednesday Wordless Wednesday Words of Wisdom World Autism Awareness Day YMCA You Tube Zack Zoloft zoo animals

Fragile X Blogs