Our library’s summer reading program started this week. The reading challenge this year is read twelve books and when completed the kids get a book bag/back pack! This is a big deal for us. We have been getting new library bags this way for many summers. Z is confident that he’ll be first to complete the challenge in our house. The kids names will be entered in a drawings for e-readers and such, too.
I took Z and J to the library the library to get their challenge forms, check out some books and to see the first of five wonderful weekly children’s programs, Animal Tales! This is an “edZOOcational” live animal show. Today, we got a close up look at some very unusual creatures, Paraguayan Screaming Hairy Armadillo, Harris Hawk, Woma Python, and Egyptian Fruit Bat.
Z was called on to assist with the African Spurred Tortoise from by enticing it with a tomato to come out of his shell and crawl.
Z got to pet the Woma Python!J’s favorite place away from home is the library, and one of his least favorite places to be is anywhere where he has to sit still, be in a group, pay attention to someone, or listen to spontaneous sounds like laughing, clapping, or animals. I tried to be hopeful but prepared for a meltdown. I have learned that I can expect the unexpected with J. I had help come with us. A23 (the girl who adopted our family and who I love like a daughter) had a day off and agreed to come with us. She would have stayed with Z had it been necessary for me to leave with J. I explained to J that whether or not he got to bring home DVD’s and Wii games depended on how he acted during the animal show.
J did not sit with the children, but laid in the floor in front of A and me in the adult section. I thought he was “zoning out”, but then I caught him looking at the animals each time the handler introduced a new one. I was proud of him. I know it’s not normal behavior to go to a program and lay in the floor, but he was calm and quiet which is a BIG improvement. I didn’t notice any looks of disgust or sympathy from the other moms or librarians and I heard no comments about him either. Very unusual, but very nice. J was happy when the animal show was over and he was able to pick out some DVDs to bring home.
If your local library doesn’t have a summer reading program, you can do it yourself with help from PBS and Education.com http://www.education.com/summer-reading/?cid=20.311 or here for some cute printables http://creativemamma.com/free-printable-summer-reading-kit-for-kids/
For more about Animal Tales (they travel all over performing for schools, churches, and libraries) http://www.animaledzoocation.com/programs/
For another post about J https://stilllearningsomethingnew.com/2013/04/02/autism-i-am-aware/