Monday, May 6, 2013

Weekend Snippets

We went to see a play on Saturday morning. It was a Chicago Children’s Theatre production of a very creative, unique show called The Elephant and the Whale.

The story was told in three parts. In the first part, the actors used a cantastoria to tell this part of the story. The Cantastoria is a big bicycle that also shows pictures of the story.

In part two, they used toy theatres with puppets to tell the story.

And the last part of the story was projected on a screen at the back of the stage.

Besides the creativity of the play itself, this particular performance was unique as it was Chicago Children’s Theatre’s first autism-friendly performance. They sent out a social story ahead of the performance that walks children through the experience of attending live theater to try to help minimize anxiety. They also had a quiet room in case anyone needed to take a break. And, most importantly, the performance was deemed “judgment free.”

Each of us who attended felt welcomed. And as the woman who did the pre-show announcement explained, this was a “shush-free” performance meaning that the kids were welcome to laugh or talk.

And that took off a lot of the pressure we normally feel at occasions like this. When Kai commented on something that happened, we didn’t have to worry that he was being too loud.

Kai enjoyed the experience very much, though probably not as much as my wife and I did. We loved the creativity of the show, and the accommodations that allowed us to attend.

Here is Kai with two members of the cast afterward:

* * * * *

That afternoon, Kai had his usual soccer game. His friend, Nick, attended this week. I reminded Kai to be nice to him, though he seemed to have forgotten his anger.

At one point, Kai laid on the ground, saying he was tired. Nick came over and encouraged Kai to get up, extending a hand to help his friend. That is pretty typical of Nick. I hope Kai can learn from examples like that.

At halftime, Coach told me that Kai was saying he was tired because he went on a “really long walk” that morning. Uh, that walk from where we parked the car to the theater was about three blocks. Yeah, really long.

Still, Kai played nicely for the most part. A couple parents commented to me how Kai has become such a good player. I agree that he has come a long way from when he rarely ran after the ball. These days I sometimes want him to be less aggressive at taking the ball away from the more severely disabled kids who need help in getting a chance to kick the ball.

* * * * *

On Sunday, I got out the hose to clean our deck furniture. Though once my wife let my sister’s dog out of the house, there was no more cleaning to be done. Emi loves “attacking” the water coming out of the hose.

And when Kai came home from his weekly workout with his swim instructor, he wanted to join in the water fun as well.

Here is Kai handling the hose:

But mostly he wanted me to chase after him and get him wet. With the dog competing to get sprayed, it was like having two identical kids.

* * * * *

My wife found a good deal on clams at Costco so she prepared them as the first course of our Sunday dinner. But Kai liked them so much that he didn’t want to have anything else. He’s not much for meat, but he does like steak. But on this occasion, he only ate clams, about 20 of them.

* * * * *

And so it was a good weekend.

A boy, two dogs, and a lot of fun.


  1. Aww...I'm smiling the whole way through! Wonderful that the Theater put on an autism friendly performance! Beautiful, wet times! haha.
    And yum on the clams! You had a wonderful weekend, too!

    1. I read that some Broadway productions have started autism-friendly performances, which is really great. I know many families would not get to the theater otherwise.

      The first time during the year playing with the hose is always a fun time. It was a little cool, but Kai and Emi didn't seem to mind. Ha!

  2. I love all the weekly snippets
    love the wonderful enriched life you have created for your son

    1. It's fun doing different things with Kai. I like exposing him to new experiences, and getting him to try different things.

  3. A fun time for Kai for sure. I bet he really had a wonderful time eating all of those clams!

    It was very nice of the cast to meet with the children. They have a very good attitude in their adaption to high sensitivity children...and to the special needs of their parents.

    1. Kai couldn't stop eating the clams! And while normally I make him try all the different items served, I could not blame him for just wanting more as they were so good!

      It is not to know that theaters like this have an awareness of the needs of kids and parents with autism.

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