Category: Free Play

Today, we went to the park. We had a lot of fun. J was excited before we got to the park he asked me several times ” Are you going to meet new adult friends?” and ” Are you going to talk to other adults?” He talked about having fun at the park and meeting new friends.

When we arrived he climbed the jungle gym and sat down on the bench. He sat quietly, taking it all in. Then he jumped up and walked towards the monkey bars. He sat down again…thinking. Climbing up the steps to the big slide he called out ” You are going to be down there? Where I can see you?” I reassured him. He stood at the top of the stairs with a little girl for several minutes while I waited below. He slid down with a smile. He challenged me to climb up the slide. I failed that challenge; I got half way there and kept sliding down. He smiled at me and gave me another challenge ” Climb up there.” That was a easy task. J smiled when I completed the journey up the bars.

We ran across the park to another jungle gym. J climbed through the tunnel and jumped off. J jumped off the play equipment dancing to “Happy” by Pharrell . Then he climbed up to another jungle gym, where a little boy was. J asked the little boy ” Hey, do you want to dance with me?” The little boy obliged and another boy came and joined the dance-off.  J showed off his spins on the ground, wild arm movement, and eye-catching body swaying. He and the other boys captured the attention of  parents and grandparents.

I had to intervene on J’s perception of entitlement. He wanted to swing and a little girl got off the swing to twist the swing. The cavalier J hopped right on the swing. I told him it was not his turn she was still swinging. He promptly moved to the next swing where her little brother was swinging and tried to get the little brother to converse with him. The little boy chatted with J and J attempted to take his swing. Again, I said it was not his turn. The boy graciously gave J the swing and J said ” Tell him thank you”  and he did. We marched over the hill to search for the loud music. J tried to dance, he covered his ears and squinted his eyes exclaiming ” It’s too loud!”. We backed up several feet until he stopped covering his ears and he rhythmically danced to Katy Perry’s “Roar” . People smiled and complimented his as they passed him.

J found  a tent with lanterns for “Light up the night”. He held a white lantern and walked around the tent. A tall gentlemen asked where his lanterns had gone and I said my son had it . He asked for the lantern back. J gave him back the lantern without provocation. J asked me ” What are the lanterns for? What do they mean?” I told him he needed to ask the man. He did ask and the man told us that each lantern has a meaning that red was for supporter, yellow was for survivor/fighter, and white was for the fallen heroes. He listened to him intently.

Lastly, we found a tent to paint on banner paper. J immediately began to paint Pato. There was a senior woman next to him, I asked him to ask her if she would like to paint with him. She said yes. The woman was kind and talked to J about his picture and said they should come up for a name for their Duck. She spoke to J, he didn’t speak. So, I spoke for him. In this moment, I’ve realized I am quick to speak for him. I need to allow him to speak even if it takes him a while to process or tune in. The woman introduced herself as Diane and Diane painted with J for about ten minutes then excused herself. J painted for about two hours. He painted with ease with a brother and sister aged 8 years and 6 years old. Then a sister pair came. He spoke to the girl ” Hi, my name is J. What’s your name? How are you?” He was in her face and she ignored him. He was in her personal space. He repeated Himself, then realized she was not going to acknowledge him. He went back to painting. Moments later a older boy came by, I invited him to paint. J began to try to control the boy by holding his arm so that he wouldn’t paint. I corrected his behavior. I redirected J to introduce himself. The boy mumbled “My name is Wesley.” J said ” “It’s too loud, I can’t hear him.”  So, I told him he could ask him again. Wesley mumbled his name again. I then told J Wesley’s name. J complained that it was too loud. The volume didn’t seem to increase to me. Three more children came to paint and were standing in J’s personal space and across from him. The little boy used a louder tone of voice to be heard and was standing less than an inch apart from J. J drew a red circle, according to him it was not the way he wanted his red circle to look. He began to scream and was inconsolable. I told him we needed to leave because his heart was racing and he needed to go home to do art in his art studio. He stopped screaming to feel his thumping heart. He was kindly given several pieces of paper and we trekked back to our minivan. J cried, screeched, and stomped to the van. The way he stomped and tantrumed was unnerving and weird. It was if he was itchy and spastic. His movements seem involuntary and hypnotic.

I drove across the street and ordered us ice cream from McDonald’s. We sat in the parking lot eating our ice cream. He screamed in horror when he dropped his spoon, empty cup, and when his water bottle poured all over the floor. I told him he needed to calm down before I would drive the car home. After he finished his ice cream He revealed ” I’m happy, now! ”

Today, I was incredibly proud of J. He talked to his peers without prompting. He was engaged and happy. Before he fell asleep He said he had a great day!


I am adjusting J’s playrooms to be more functional. He has really been interested in using his foam blocks. I moved his blocks into smaller bins and moved them to the bigger playroom. He has more floor space to create block structures.

I moved the easel from the doorway of his Art, Music, and Study room. His magnet board was transferred to the rug. He has lost interest in his magnet board, I thought by moving it would bring it back into his attention. That is not the case. This evening I will clear everything off of it and put his magnet triangles on it. They are primary colors, so it might capture his attention.

I also removed his wooden blocks and plastic blocks from the bin and put them on the shelves. He played with them last night.

I have put some level 1 and 2 books in a basket on the floor for him to be able to read and relax time. His favorite book in the basket is Pete the Cat the book inspired his jack o’ lantern to be Pete the Cat. His pumpkin has blue ears and blue whiskers. He made at preschool today.