We have got into quite a comfortable routine on a Wednesday – far too comfortable in fact – time to shake things up a bit!
Ellen is now very happy to put on her apron, go along to the Community Shop and work down her list of things to do until all items are out on the shelf and she gets ‘paid’ (the Milky Way bar moment). The Shop has now acquired a garage just around the corner which is proving brilliant for storage and they have a trolley to help move items back and forth. Much to Ellen’s dismay a trip to the garage was added to her list this week. We had to load the trolley with items for the garage, wheel the trolley round and then fill it up with items to take back. Not surprisingly this did meet with some resistance from Ellen. I held out the tray of diet cokes to her whilst she stood with her arms crossed staring intently at the milky way bars and making a ‘hurrrumph’ noise. The stand off didn’t last long however (although I needed my extra thick skin suit to ignore the interested stares of customers!) and we were soon on our way to the garage.
Not surprisingly more stand-offs occurred at the garage when the unloading and loading took place, when taking the trolley back to the shop and unloading it at the shop. The resistance was short lived though; as despite Ellen’s folded arms and ‘harrumphing’ we both know that she will and can do these things and after a pause she did. The ladies in the shop were concerned that Ellen didn’t like doing the trolley; but luckily they are totally supportive and willing to learn about ASD and so took my explanation about resistance, new things and edge plus one with lots of nodding and welcome offers of coffee.
We also gave McDonalds a miss this week (yay) and instead had lunch at the local garden centre. Ellen even came up willingly with me to the counter to order. Unfortunately, despite the late hour, there was already another customer at the till placing a very very long and complicated order which she kept adding to; then she couldn’t find her card; then she couldn’t remember her postcode so they could add her loyalty points without the card; by which time Ellen had given up and returned to her seat. I must admit if I could have left I would have too, but I persevered and luckily once the order was placed, the food came quite quickly. Actually sitting down and eating together (rather than Ellen munching her McDonalds in the car on the way home) is quite a challenge for Ellen too, as as soon as she has finished her own food she is desperate to be off and watches my every mouthful like a hawk – not the most relaxing experience, but I did almost finish my coffee.
I gave Ellen a bit of down time after that before the finale of the day. Making den den drums out of old wooden spoons while doing a good old bit of RDI co-regulation. It looked good on http://www.learning4kids.net/2012/01/25/homemade-musical-instrument-den-den-drum-2/ but sadly my lack of any real practical skill let us down a bit, and as soon as we tried to use the spoons as instruments half the beads flew off and were immediately pounced on and chewed by Brian the puppy. The stickers followed suit pretty soon afterwards and we ended up having to sellotape them back on. Luckily Ellen loves it when things go wrong, so as far as she was concerned this was probably the best experience of the day!