Friday, July 31, 2009

Look, I see a motor home!

We are on day two of our eastern trek vacation. Currently I'm typing this blog on my laptop in the front seat of our car. Talk about staying connected! Fantastic! Technology is wonderful. I thought I had better get some thoughts "down on paper" before we continue on with the vacation. My memory span seems to be shrinking as my and my age and my waist line grow.

Thursday we left East Lansing by 8:00 am. Not bad considering we had decided we'd leave between 7:30 and 8:00. I've mentioned before the Sneathen's are nothing, if not efficient. We had a stop on the way that was over 45 minutes. That is a very long aside about a prescription and I don't want to bore you with it. We arrived to our destination of Niagara Falls that day by 2:00. The kids did remarkable in the car. As I believe I mentioned, the car ride was making me nervous. Daniel has the unfortunate problem of getting car sick. He seems to be fine if he's just riding. All of our attempts over the years at using DVD players have ended with Daniel either a. moaning and crying from a stomach ache/headache or b. us scrambling to grab a wadded up McDonald's bag from the floor of the car for him to throw up into. Either way they are both unattractive options. With his memory, that sticks with him...forever. He doesn't want to repeat it. Reading and playing Nintendo DS obviously end with the same results since in all instances he is staring at something with the world whizzing past his window.

Last year we bought Daniel an Ipod for his birthday. My thought was that he could listen to "his" music and we could mercifully listen to something ourselves. You see, he also has had a "thing" about the radio. When he is in the car, it must be off. There has been no negotiating this. I have always chalked it up to the fact that it is too random. You don't know what's next, you don't know if annoying Dj's will talk for 15 minutes, or if a "scary" commercial will come on for something that terrifies you. If I tried to leave it on, panic would ensue and he would start escalating. So, we left it off, and drove in silence. Well, not silence, since he is normally chatting or singing or repeating videos. After a while MY sensory system would go into overdrive and the constant noise. Therefore, driving long distances has been avoided. Luckily for Zachary he can happily play his Nintendo DS, read, and/or put the head phones to his Ipod in his ears and can check out of the whole situation.

Before Charlevoix, our vacation last week, I loaded up Todd's Ipod with songs, and bought an adapter for the car so we could listen to Todd's ipod through the stereo system. This worked on the way to Charlevoix and he tolerated this music. After a while he'd ask for it to turn off. It wasn't a real long time that he would leave it on, but it was helpful to break up the monotony of things.

Yesterday, on the way to Niagara, somewhere in Canada, we, for the 927th time this year, suggested that Daniel listen to his Ipod. The thing that was different this time was Daniel said, "I can't listen to my Ipod, I'll get car sick". DOH! All this time he thought he'd get car sick if he listened to music. Why not? He gets car sick when he tries to do anything else! We assured him that when you listen to music you don't get car sick, it's only when you are looking at something with your eyes. He decided to give it a try.
This picture is Daniel and how happy he was after he figured this out!! Can I just say this? OMG! It is unfriggin' believable. He is SOOOOO happy. He is listening to his favorite symphonies. He is LOUDLY (since he has headphones on and doesn't understand that he is yelling!) saying the things that he always does, like, "LOOK, it's a motor home" (literally every single motor home he says this about since looking inside our neighbors this spring, thanks Laura!) Or "here come the bassoons" or "it's the baritone, just like I play". He can identify any instrument by sound in the midst of listening to a symphony. It is quite amazing. The fact that his mind replays the video from Fantasia as he listens is an obvious advantage. It seems like he is seeing the whole video as he listens. He is saying things like, "the dinosaurs are fighting, the dinosaurs are stuck in the mud, one just died" This is him describing what is going on in the video as he listens to the music. He knows the visual at the exact moment in the song. He is in his GLORY. We all are. It has totally changed our driving dynamics. At this very moment, Daniel is listening to his Ipod, Zachary is playing his DS, I'm blogging and Todd is mercifully listening to XM radio, to WHATEVER he wants! It's AMAZING! Who knew all we had to do was lock Daniel in a car for 5 hours to figure all of this out? So once again, it goes to show you that getting our kids out, experiencing life, trying things, as scary as it can be sometimes, is, in my opinion the way to go. I could have paid his therapist big money to try to help us with the music in the car issue, but we didn't need to, we figured it out. We are now wondering if the radio will now be acceptable to have on even if he doesn't have on his Ipod. Maybe he always thought he'd get carsick if he listened to the radio. We haven't had the chance to figure that out yet, even though today's drive is 8 hours, he's had his Ipod on the WHOLE time . . .LOOK mom,I see another MOTOR HOME!


Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

That's great that you figured that out! My younger son has always had terrible problems with getting car sick, so I'm with you on that one. And Nigel also LOVES Fantasia. He is constantly humming it and could also probably talk about what's happening at what part just by listening to it. Funny that he and Daniel both love that movie so much. Hope you guys have a fantastic trip!

mama edge said...

"So once again, it goes to show you that getting our kids out, experiencing life, trying things, as scary as it can be sometimes, is, in my opinion the way to go."

I am going to chant this several times a day until I get as brave as you.

Jodi said...

I'm so grateful that you are able to blog while on vacation! I love keeping up with all you're doing, and continue to be inspired by your stories. Like Mama Edge, I LOVE your quote about experiencing life and trying new things! :-)

Here's to being brave - you do it well!