A day spent at Woburn Safari park. Plenty of opportunities for modelling, observing and commenting. We spent the day in the car which was frustrating at times for Dylan. It’s not always appropriate to model during these times but the closed environment meant that Dylan could focus on the iPad without the sensory overload of the crowd, attractions and other distractions which can be such a barrier to Dylan’s ability to communicate.
We went around the park twice in the car before getting out to stretch our legs. As suspected Dylan found the bustle hard and needed his ear defenders on for that added bit of security against the overwhelming noise and excitement from those around him.
Dylan is 13; he doesn’t look like an unruly toddler. We have now approached the age and height that makes it clear that Dylan is different. People move out of his way and apologise that way you would if you got in the way of a wheelchair user. That’s fine, I think it means that I can focus on what Dylan needs and how he’s doing instead of worrying about the opinions of those around us as I have done previously. Lets face it – no one has given us disapproving looks for many years, the looks are more of sympathy or people simply don’t look – like they don’t make eye contact at all.
Maybe its me; maybe I’ve stopped giving a s**t.
Anyhow, as we were at the park and after being sat in the car for a while Dylan *obviously* wanted an ice cream. I went with him to the list of ice creams at the stall so he could see what was available and then ensured that the ice cream of choice was programmed into his iPad ready for him. We queued patiently together until it was our turn and Dylan approached the kiosk and with minimal prompting used his iPad to ask for 3 ice creams.
It was busy and there was a queue forming behind us but the two lovely girls at the stall interacted directly with Dylan, looked at him, waited patiently for him to get his money out to pay and addressed his slow but accurate ‘thank you’ as he put his change back into his wallet. It was beautiful to watch as Dylan strode purposefully away from the kiosk with ice lollies for himself, Josh and Grace.
Tomorrow is day 21 and I’m going to miss this. I’m sure that the pattern of modelling is now engrained in the way we work with Dylan and the iPad but I’m going to miss the recording of it. Looking over the last 3 weeks Dylan has had so many positive interactions and developments which would have been lost in the day to day bustle had I not recorded them on a daily basis.
New words – 22
Total words – 207