Sunday, November 19, 2006

and what about The Map Man?

I hate Picasa! This is the 2nd night in a row that a post I've composed via Picasa has disappeared when I posted it to Blogger. I'm done with it, I tell you, done! May take me longer to edit and then find my photos this way, but I'm going to take the time to save the aggravation!

ANYWAY, I will try to re-say what I thought I did a pretty good job of saying originally!

So far I've done a whole lot of talking about me, a whole lot of talking about Jacob, a little bit about Zoo Boy, and almost nothing about The Map Man. I thought it was high time to write a post about what an RDIing/Homeschooling Dad who works full time out of the home, and who himself is on the Autism Spectrum, contributes to the Autism Remediation and child education proccesses.

On the surface, it may not look like much. He's got more of a keep-a-roof-over-our heads and do-his-best-to-support us sort of role, by neccessity. I mean, 10 1/2 hours a day, 5 days a week, he's not here, he's out earning a paycheck so that I can spend that time with the kids. The bulk of the rest of the time, he's trying to tend to their needs while I work (which amounts to about 20 hours a week on average, nights and weekends), or sleeping. It doesn't leave a whole lot of time for learning about, getting comfortable with, and implementing an RDI program.

But don't think even for a second that he plays a lesser role in the big picture! He's educated himself about Autism and RDI, and agrees with what we're doing. He attends as much of the RDAs as he can. Since our last RDA, he's made a point of taping a segment of himself and Jacob for every RDI tape review we have (he tells me what he wants to do with Jacob -- usually a building project of some sort -- and I help him pick out an RDI objective to spotlight and help him decided how to frame and scaffold the activity to ensure success). He's a natural Master to Jacob's Apprentice, and he involves the kids in every handyman and yard work project that he can. He's their favorite playmate, and he loves taking them out into the forests for hiking or letterboxing. And, most importantly to me (and something that's value can't be underestimated), he doesn't do anything that undermines our RDI program. That is a very key element to our success -- that consistancy in parenting. So even though I'm the one that's at the helm of our RDI program, he's got a firm grasp on one of the oars and is paddling with every ounce of strength he has to keep us on course.

He's also turning into a homeschooling super-dad. Since we started working with Enki Education, he's been following the same daily rhythms with the kids on the weekend that I do with them during the week. He involves them in projects that follow the themes I'm working on with them. And he's an important part of our Family Story Time in the evenings before bed (I'll write more about the specifics of our daily rhythms and homeschooling program in the future, when I get there with our story). He's quite a bit behind me in reading the Enki Education materials, but from what he's already read, he's told me that he wants to be a real part of the kids' homeschooling program. That's a pretty big leap for a guy who originally said that he wasn't comfortable with the idea of us not sending the kids to school!

So although The Map Man has left me with the decisions of which direction to take our family in, I'm glad that he has chosen to come along for the ride, and grateful for his strong shoulders to support us on our journey.


At 11:21 PM, Blogger Bea said...

Wow,thats was wonderful to read!! what a progress, congrats!!

At 9:09 AM, Anonymous kyra said...

three cheers for the map man!! we think he's GREAT!


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