Sunday, May 8, 2011

Getting Outside on a Beautiful Day, Being Active and Making Money!

Today, Junior and I decided to get out and enjoy the beautiful 65 degree weather and sunny skies! We took a short 15 minute drive to Dwyer Park in Little York, NY which is just after Homer, NY. Dwyer is a great park with all sorts to do for people to get out and be active and enjoy the company of friends and family. There's playgrounds, a lake, a ball field, basketball hoops, walking paths, tons of BBQ's, a few pavilions, a bunch of fire pits and loads of space to be active. I had no idea such a nice place existed which goes to show you that there is probably more ways to be active than you think. You just need to do some searching and talk to your local parks and recreation people.
While at the park we did a few activities. We went exploring by going for a short run with a few races mixed in. We played on the play grounds and swings and tossed the Frisbee around. Then Junior mentioned he would like to pick up some cans so he can return them and get money from recycling. We talked about how its good to get the money, recycling helps the environment, and he can be active by going for walks as he is searching. Lastly we went over cleanliness matters and made sure we sanitized our hands. At the end of the day, Junior said, "Nick I really had fun today!" It was great to hear him say that and I look forward to heading back to Dwyer Park in Little York some day in the future, I might bring my family there after graduation in a few weeks.

Teaching to His Interests

It is very apparent that Junior loves video games. Every time we meet he is telling me about what he did in his "Meet the Robinsons" game and he asks me if we can play it together. I have to encourage him to try and be active instead of sitting in front of the TV playing games. By setting up activities for Junior to do, I am able to get him to increase his activity levels. However, I get the feeling that when he is home, he isn't taking the initiative to be active. He tells me he has been doing his push-ups, lunges, crunches, squats and other calisthenics at home but I'm not too convinced.
Therefore I am giving him more opportunities to be active with video games through "xbox kinect!" I can see him getting his hands on a Kinect system in the future through some kind of present because he already has a bunch of games. He really enjoys playing the Kinect so I think this will be a great source of activity for him in the future. We were playing Kinect Adventures and he was really enjoying the raft game and this bubble popping game which got him moving his whole body as you can see in the video clip below. The Exergames really get Junior moving and I asked him if he could feel his pulse increasing from when he was resting to when he was playing and he could feel his heart rate speeding up! Since this is an activity he really enjoys and can increase his fitness I am going to encourage him to continue. He can also play these games with his peers which would be a great addition of social interaction.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Junior Wins!!!

Practice is surely paying off as Junior outscored me 115 to 99 yesterday at the 281 bowling alley. As I struggled Junior was showing me how to bowl as he averaged 8 or 9 pins on every frame! We had a great day and it was nice to finally get to bowl at the 281 Bowling alley, Juniors favorite bowling alley. Although the technology may be a little older than Cort-lanes, the shoes and bowling balls are much better. The shoes were much nicer and there were several light weight bowling balls for children and those who lack muscular strength to use. It was definitely our best day bowling and Junior was keeping up with good form with small reminders!
We tried to meet last week but Junior was feeling a little ill which he said was caused by the heat. I planned on taking him to the "Taste of the Caribbean" celebration on campus for a free dinner and then bowling. Junior said he would try but when we got to the "Taste of the Caribbean" Junior wanted no part of it. I was trying to explain to him how we could learn something new about another culture and get some free food which sounded excellent to me but once we got there Junior wanted to leave instantly. Now I know some situations may be difficult for an individual with autism but I had to stand my ground. Junior first told me he felt sick and wanted to leave. Then he said he wanted to go bowling. I told him if he was feeling too sick to learn about this culture for ten minutes he is too sick to go bowling. I gave him several chances to think and make sure that he wanted to go home because he felt sick but I refused to give in and just take him bowling because he wanted to. I have caught him in a few lies in the past and I wanted to demonstrate to him that I will not be manipulated. We decided to go home and meet again on Sunday. That is when we went bowling and we had a great day so sometimes you will experience some difficulties but patience and persistence pays off!