Friday, January 23, 2004

A post from Mike 

Here are some pictures Mike took today:

We have six dogs, you know. That's lots of dogs. Climber is the one that has spots. Cowboy has white on his forehead. That is the ramp where the dogs go up and down if we want them in or out.

Duke is black all over him. Duke is a boy like Cowboy. They are friends.

Buddy is brown all over him. He has black a little bit on his brown. That's part of his nose.

When I spotted this tree at a yard sale, I decided to buy it. We put it out in December. Sometimes I turned it on, after Thanksgiving was over. The lights are really pretty.

Wednesday, January 07, 2004


I have a LOT to get done today, and had expressed the intention of getting up nice and early this morning, at the same time as Mike and Caro. A good thing, too, because that meant Mike felt free to come and share his good news right away, at 6:15 am.

Mike won a race!

Over the holiday, Mike got in touch with his burgeoning testosterone and discovered the SPEED channel--all motor sports, all the time! This motivated him to dig out a computer racing game called F-1 2001, which he has dabbled at now and then, but always dropped again in frustration.

(As you know) Mike has developmental delays, a rather rare set which basically boils down to a SEVERE learning disability. His brain doesn't process sequences like 99.9% of the other brains do, so anything that has to be in a certain order has been and is hard for him. Math, reading, riding his bike, talking...walking.

But (with some help) he is finding his own ways to work into and in the world. It helps he is in the upper 10 percentile for stubborn. (It's not always JOLLY that he is, but it HELPS.) Once he got hooked enough on the concept, he sat down and started working this game. His reading is at beginning 3rd grade, so he's starting to learn he CAN use those word-things on the screen as cues sometimes. But mostly he works off the icons--change one, see what difference it makes, change it again. (This is sometimes maddening for me, and it's a DANG good thing he has his own inexpensive computer.)

I do try to help him, but he gets impatient when I try to change something he already (thinks he) knows, and *I* get impatient when he won't listen. Happily, he found a tutoring mode on this game, and that did the trick. This morning, for the first time ever, Mike won a race!

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