This delightful fellow comes to me from my blog sister and guardian angel, Sister Wolf, who, on a recent trip to San Francisco, scoured the alleys of China town for me to find these treasures.
Can you tell what they are?
Yup, Kid's Chopsticks. The little silicone man on top holds the choppies at the right width to allow a little hand to pick up, in this case noodles, like a big pair of tweezers. Genius huh?
The chopsticks are slightly smaller than usual so the balance between the squeezing end and the picking up end is perfect.
You see, we eat a lot of noodles and such in our family and while Mr Hammie and I are pretty adept, it hasn't been easy to teach The Boo.
The way I learned to use choppies (as described on the Teppen Yaki Chopstick Packet) was with a pencil grip for the first one, (if you have a pair practice holding one and writing your name now) and then sliding the other one under that; to sit firmly against the base of your pointer finger knuckle,and the end of your ring finger. The second chopstick just stays firm, while the "writing" chopstick does the moving and creates the pincer grip for picking up.
I learned this at an early age, and with 6 people at the table whenever we had chinese; you had to be quick to get the last prawn.
So I thought it was simple enough. But No, not if you can't hold a pen properly.
Autism comes with a range of challenges, with motor co-ordination and planning not the least of them. A lot of the kids never learn to write at all, as they miss out on the early occupational therapy needed to develop an adaptive grip and start scribbling. We had a reasonably early consultation, and thanks to a diet of upper body exercises, tailored motivation and a special "Trip Trap" chair, Boo began draw and write; legibly. Just. (He types at 150 words per minute so, no biggie)
Not so easy to transfer that skill to using chopsticks and since I didn't want to put him off eating, he used a messy combination of fork and fingers, until now.
So instead, I just gotta stand back an take a look at my environment, and figure out what I can change about that.
In this way I have adapted my life to fit my kids. Not the least of which was giving up all the people and places that took more energy than they added.
Some people's idea of normal is about a million miles from what I can comfortably fit in with, and trying just causes me heartache, stress and tears. Remember Last Christmas ?
And I have learned not to attempt playdates, or attend birthday parties in those Indoor playcentres, that remind me of a Hieronymous Bosch Painting:
I didn't learn this easily. Experience can be a bitter teacher. Like the first time I left out my Clarins Night oil in a little glass pot on my bedside table. And came home to find that Boo (age 3) had used it for chicken nugget dipping sauce.
I keep the key velcroed to the back and that way I ALWAYS remember to lock it. Learned that trick after I came upstairs to find Boo in full make-up. Eyes, Eyebrowsers, cheeks and lips all done with a spray of Chanel Allure to finish the look.
The box may not look very dainty or pretty, but it sure beats finding your Benetint cheek stain has been used to paint ones eyes, cheeks and bedspread. And don't ask me about the time he found red nail-polish and thought it was benetint - !!!
(If it happens to you, try acetone free nail polish remover followed by a swipe of aloe vera)
See, Adaptation. We learn, We adapt, We survive.