Friday, July 08, 2005



We had an excellent afternoon at the mall where Porter made some great strides in his socialization. After picking up a set of toy rockets, we ambled around the mall before going to the indoor playground by the movie theatres. There was another boy a little younger than Porter by the name of Sky (possibly short for Skyler or Schuyler?). Anyway, initially he aggressively, though not meanly, came up to Porter trying to play with his rockets. At first Porter rebuffed him and his mother scolded him to not play with other people's toys. I thought that would be the end of it since Porter normally keeps to himself. But much to my surprise and delight he came over to me, asked me to unwrap the rest of his rockets (we'd only taken the one he was playing with out of the plastic) and chose one and actively ran over to Sky and gave him one of his rockets, saying "here" as he held it out to him. You could have knocked me over with a feather, it was such a beautiful moment. One of Porter's goals on his IEP was for him to initiate play in a social setting without prompting and here it was happening before my eyes.

The two of them blasted off their respective rockets and flew them around the playground, effectively running an oval orbit around the room laughing together and generally having a good time. They flew their rockets around together even crashing them in to one another from time to time, a clear indicator of actually playing together as opposed to mere parallel play. They climbed up onto large blocks, over the tunnel mound and on top of the giant pencil. At one point, a third little girl joined in on the fun. This went on for almost half an hour as I chatted with Sky's mother. This in and of itself was something of a novelty as I'm usually totally ignored by mothers in parks like I have a large "don't talk to the animals" sign taped to my back. Eventually, Sky and his mom had to leave but Porter kept right on playing. He even offered his rockets to three older women (at least 5 or 6 - gasp) but they turned him down cold. Undaunted, he turned to his sister for solace and picked her and carried her over to me.

And speaking of Alice, as if this wasn't a good enough day already, she had a blast as well. This was her first trip to the mall playground and with her new mobility walked, cruised and crawled her way around the entire area. She climbed onto the pencil, took dozens of trips through the giant newspaper tunnel and followed her brother's exploits with glee. An older girl in an orange shirt dress with no hair on her head (chemo?) and a sweet disposition seemed very taken with Alice and followed her around laughing and trying to play with her. Whenever Alice crawled off, the orange girl would ask her to "come back, come back" and then would run after her. All in all, it was a great day all around.

At left: Porter and Alice play around the giant newspaper tunnel. At right: Sky (far left) and Porter fly their rockets.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours? Get Firefox!