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Jul 16, 2012

Dump Trucks

As an autism mom, I'm thankful for dump trucks.  Not the big ones, mind you, the cute little toy dump trucks.  I say this because I have been playing with Jason this morning.  We got all his cute little matchbox cars and put them in his dump truck, then I would have him dump them.  We'd say, "Dump!!!!" and laugh as all the cars fell out.  It was fun to have a sharing moment with Jason while we were playing.  One of the things about autism is that play skills/imaginative play does not come naturally...unless you're Caiti.  :)  Anyway, when I was playing with Jason, another dump truck memory came up. When Garrett was 2, I didn't know he had autism, and while he was really good at some things, he was very delayed at others.  Experts were saying how your child should know their colors, shapes, etc...Garrett was awesome with numbers and letters cause he was obsessed with Sesame Street, but could care less about colors and shapes.  I decided to take on the task of teaching him colors, and I made him all these fun little games, etc., to try and teach them.  But he wasn't interested.  Garrett takes after me and has ADD too, so it's extremely hard to keep his attention...unless you are a computer game or a movie...
One day,  I noticed him spinning the wheels of his upside-down dump truck (should have been an autism indication), so I grabbed a box of crayons, turned the dump truck over and had him place one crayon in at a time.  I would tell him what color it was, and he would repeat it, then put it in the dump truck.   Once all the crayons were in, he got the fun job of dumping the truck.  This is why this memory came up while I was playing with Jason, because we also yelled, "Dump!!!!" and laughed hysterically as all the crayons fell out of the truck.  We did that over and over, and I would slowly fade my prompts of the color names, to see if he was catching on.  He totally remembered the names after a few tries. It made me so happy that I was given the inspiration to use the fun dump truck to get through to my little boys.

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