Sunday, April 29, 2012

Destructo Stories and Editing

I'm in the middle of a very tough edit right now. This is a book that I wrote awhile ago, it's a sequel, and instead of writing a science fiction romance--because the first book is a science fiction romance and so the sequel needs to be--I wrote a science fiction book with romantic elements (and the romantic elements aren't well balanced). So now, I'm working my butt off with my editor to get the book into shape and have the balance of elements work better.

In the middle of this, I've considered that I should start blogging about Destructo. :) Destructo is my, now, three and a half year old son. I tweet about him all the time. He got that nickname early on because, well, he kept destroying everything in his path. He's a funny little boy and I like talking about the things he gets up to each week. So I'm going to tell longer than Twitter sized stories here, when funny things happen.

But also, it looks like old Destructo is going to have to go into Speech and Occupational Therapy and a specific pre-school setting. He's way ahead in some things. He can spell and is pretty close to being able to read, he knows his numbers to literally a trillion and counts well, he knows his colors, shapes (lots of shapes), how to write (he's even practicing fancy letters and numbers now, not just block letters and numbers), he sings, and he plays both alone and with other kids. He absconded with our first iPad when he was 2 years old and is better getting around it than I am (so it's his iPad now). He can use the computer and the mouse pretty well. He just hasn't figured out the right click yet, but otherwise, he's good on the computer (even if he does keep trying to press the screen to get it to do things--he's a touch screen boy). He's fearless in a lot of ways, but cautious when I want him to be (like around strangers). And he's really adaptable because we travel with him all the time. In fact, he loves going on airplanes and is a little obsessed with trains.

BUT he doesn't communicate well. He talks using the minimum amount of words necessary to get what he wants but not more. He is quite behind other kids his age on communication and expressing himself, and so he needs some help to catch up.

Going through the evaluation process was...scary. Because they kept directing us to reading topics that pulled up "Autism", and as far as I can tell, my kid isn't autistic. If he is, fair enough and we'll deal with that. But I don't see any of the symptoms, except his slow communication and the fact that when he's in a stressful situation and doesn't want to do what I'm telling him, he pretends to ignore me by not making eye contact. He does have some other behavioral issues that concerned the evaluators--like the fact that he doesn't like to have the game he's set up disrupted. But let's be fair, fully grown "normal" adults don't like to have what they're doing interrupted.

D is very affectionate, he hugs and kisses us all the time--at our request and sometime even at his own instigation--and he gets along very well with other kids even though he can't talk to them well. He does make eye contact with adults and children. But maybe not as much or as often as other kids his age. I can't tell, because he just seems like himself to me, and I watch him interacting on a non-verbal level with other people all the time in an age appropriate way. He doesn't pretend to be Superman but then he doesn't know Superman. He does imitate our dog, Pluto, Mickey Mouse, Charlie Brown and Pocoyo--the things he watches. He doesn't pretend to be those characters doing novel things, though. He just imitates what they've done in the videos he watches.

Overall, and after all my reading and discussing this with other people, I'm confident my boy is just reluctant to talk more than he has to because he's too busy learning other things. The Speech and Occupational Therapy will help that and get him ready to integrate into a school setting without a lot of excess growing pains. And once he meets other kids regularly that he wants to communicate with, I have no doubt he'll start making the effort. He's really social and loves playing with other kids. But in the meantime, he's getting some help.

What does all this have to do with editing? Nothing. Only that I'm in the middle of one of my hardest ever edits while all this stuff with D is going on. It's a little exhausting, and more emotionally draining that you might expect. It seems like a ridiculous time to start writing on my blog more (since obviously I haven't been using my blog all that much). But some of this stuff is too extensive for Twitter. So I may be here more often. (At least, I'll try.)

Life is all this stuff happening at once, and recording it just seems like something a writer would do. :)

Happy Reading!

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