Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

We are COOKIN'......#OperationIFO

Did you think I had given up??? You would be close. Although the introduction to new food groups in Operation IFO has yet to happen we have been eating a few meals together again…well at least for the 3 minutes Riley is at the table.

Riley keeps me on my toes which means I have to change things up. Often. I usually offer Riley at least one preferred food choice per day. After all…I don’t want his system to go into shock.  :) 

About a week ago I decided it was time to reintroduce cooking lunch. R used to cook his lunch two times a week at school. It never transferred home. I know. My bad. I thought the easiest way would be to start Riley off with hotdogs. OK…really just the wieners. Having to eat the bun as well as cooking would have been too much to handle in one meal. For both of us. It actually went better than I thought. A few vocal outbursts; some intermittent hand-slapping; otherwise…pretty uneventful.

Today I decided it was time for another cooking session. Much to my surprise Riley opted for perogies. Sorta.

Me:       For dinner tonight I’ll make you oyako-donburi*.
R:         YES!  (happy as a clam)
Me:       So for lunch YOU can make hotdogs or YOU can make perogies.
R:         Thinking…  Perogies. I’M HUNGRY! (NOT)
Me:       You want to make perogies?  (very surprised but tried not to sound it)
R:         NO!!  You can do it!
Me:       I'M going to make YOU dinner. YOU can make lunch.
Me:       Sure. We can make it together.

Lucky for you I got some of it on video. In the beginning I was only going for audio then thought…WTH! Get it all on tape. I have nothing to hide. Except perhaps that I was still in my PJ’s.

As I was watching, some things really stuck out for me. Some are observations (mostly about me), some are reminders (mostly for me) and some are eye-openers (again FOR me). The up/downside of video-teaching. Let me explain.

First the observations:

·         My voice!  I am just getting over a cold. I usually sound worse.  :D
·         Riley is wearing the same t-shirt and shorts. Those are his home clothes. I do wash them regularly. 
·         My monotone voice. I never used to sound that way. I used to be very enthusiastic and animated. Ok so not nearly as much as my sister *wink* yet waaaay more energetic than now. Why?? Well in Riley World: The Early Years, we found that Riley was extremely sensitive to the inflections of a person’s voice. A calm and even sounding demeanour worked best. At times very difficult when I was tired and stressed out to the max.
·         I appear to be ignoring much some of Riley’s comments/questions. Ummm…yea. Busted. Haha! Actually I am trying to prevent an outburst and redirect his need to perseverate about his displeasure.
·         I say “Nice job!” and “Good job!”…a LOT!! Positive reinforcement is key in Riley World.  :)

Second some reminders:

·         I should have found out how he cooked perogies at school. How did they drain the perogies? Did they use a strainer, colander, or scoop them out of the boiling water? Easier to transfer learned skills than starting from scratch.
·         You will notice G stepping in to help Riley drain the pot. I do the same thing. I see something R may be struggling with/to do and immediately want to help him. We need to let out the apron strings as much as we can. 


·         There is this thing called echolalia and it is HUGE in Riley World. I am going to defer to my now IRL bloggy friend Bec’s post “Understanding Echolalia” for an explanation. I hope you pop over and read it. It explains a LOT!

When I say Riley repeats things…I mean he really, REALLY repeats things. Sometimes when a person (that would be moi) hears or sees the same thing over and over and over AND OVER again, said person begins to ummm...errrr...well...tune/blank out. For me it has been a survival thing. Listening/watching the same 7 second sequence of the same show for the 50 bajillionth time over 14+ years……I am only human. 

In the video, when Riley is sitting at the table and talking about Hansel & Gretel…that is an example of one of those times. Riley repeats/scripts when he is stressed. He repeats/scripts as a stim. He repeats/scripts as a conversation starter. Different situations, at different times yet all for different reasons. Yup. Echolalia in Riley World…a hard one to figure out and one that I am still learning about.

Oh…I just about forgot. Here is the video:

Are you working on anything challenging in your World?  How's it going???


  1. These videos are fascinating. I only know one autistic child, and I don't know him very well. These videos really help me understand the things you talk about in your posts. And really, much of what you do can be used with lots of kids, not just children with autism.
    You continue to prove what a wonderful mother you are. It didn't seem like you were ignoring him at all. Not responding doesn't mean ignoring, does it? If it does, I'm in big trouble. I don't respond to my kids all the time. :)

    The link to Bec's blog was very helpful, too. Thank you for letting us peek into your kitchen. I really am learning a lot from you and Riley.

    1. *sniff* Awww...thanks Christine! This means a lot to of the reasons I started to blog. The other being I was bullied into it by my sister. ;)

      I so agree that what we do with Ri can work with ALL kids. It's just sometimes you don't 'need' to look at things quite so closely. Everything we did with R helped/worked with J2 which was SO helpful and such an eye-opener. Nothing special...all practical. Does that make sense???

      Bec is awesome and I love her blog. She speaks 'regular' people. :)

      I'll keep videoing if you keep videoing. Deal??? :D

  2. I just love these!! He's doing so well. His frustration almost makes me laugh. It's something Tommy used to do. He's be so head-strong on NOT wanting to do something he'd act out. It was just a ploy. Sometimes out of not knowing what to do. Other times just being flat out lazy and wanting us to do it for him. We've pretty much nailed lunches now. I try to get him to use variety but he gets stuck on this. 4 months of grilled cheese. 2 months of turkey cheese sandwich, now we're back to PB&J.

    PS- i hate hate hate echolalia! There isn't enough xanax in the world to calm my nerves after a full day of it. Over and over and over and over *sobs*

    1. Oh I hear ya. When he gets frustrated out of laziness it can be quite comical. I wonder if we'll ever get lunches nailed down. *sob sob*

      And YES there are some days that I want to rip out my hair...especially when he gets stuck on Caillou!! AUGH!!!

  3. This --> "Sometimes when a person (that would be moi) hears or sees the same thing over and over and over AND OVER again, said person begins to ummm...errrr...well...tune/blank out."

    Me --> I would often say "Mmmhmm" to K's repeating. I soooo get the "survival" aspect! Downside... now she answers with "Mmmhmm" all the time. Maybe not the best role-modeling! ;)

    1. Haaahaaahaaa.....BEST role-modeling ever!! :D

  4. I boil perogies too! Maybe it is a regional thing, because others I have met pan fry them.
    I am in Bby (if you are trying to keep locational anonymity).

    It is fascinating to take a look into your world, but you handle him with such grace. I imagine you have built up your patience over the years, but wow. Wonder Woman.

    1. R likes his wieners boiled too. Nothing with a "crunchy" outside. :) We boil then pan fry our perogies.

      Wonder Woman??? Trust do NOT want to see me in her outfit!! Baahaahaa!