woensdag 24 november 2010

Climing up and down

My mother made these little zwarte pietjes (black Petes) a few years ago, at the same place where I made the ones I showed on Sunday. They have magnets in their hands and feet, so they are able to climb. In our livingroom I attached them to our lamppost. Ready to perform their tricks.

dinsdag 23 november 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy. (Often without me noticing him doing it).

Daddy doing his laces.

Hmm. Maybe we need a carpet to hide those scratches.

maandag 22 november 2010

A new blog

If you're Dutch, and interested in me playing with Pelle I invite you to come over to my new blog, Spelen met Pelle. I'm starting it because I want to eleborate more on our activities and share my enthousiasm for raising Pelle this special way. I hope I can inspire other parents.

I will stay active on this blog, with my creations and also about Pelle's development, village life and everything I love to share.

And I want to thank you for reading my posts. It really means a lot to me.

zondag 21 november 2010

It's the time of the season

It's time to take them out of the closet again.

zwarte pietjeskrans

zwarte pietjeskrans

zwarte pietjeskrans

I made them 2 years ago, during a couple of evenings at Atelier Het Zonlicht, in Haren (sorry, couldn't find a link).

woensdag 17 november 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy. (Often without me noticing him doing it).

zondag 14 november 2010

Dancing into the world.

I am so optimistic about Pelle’s development. I really think he can outgrow his difficulties. Two amazing things happened last week.
Friday, we had a classmate coming over to play. Pelle wanted to show him his favorite film on YouTube, which is about a mill. At first I was a bit hesitant. Because I have this conviction that watching television or sitting behind the computer screen is not good for the development of a child. Children should play, not watch.
But in this whole process of raising my special boy, I have to learn some things. Like letting go off some rigid aspects of my belief system. Because watching this film was not at all about being passive and just absorbing what’s presented to you. For Pelle, it proved to be an excellent way to start communicating with the other boy, asking questions and responding to answers. As I was in the kitchen doing the dishes I overheard them, and was very pleased, because this was really a first, talking so long to another boy. So he has this motivation to talk and share, and when there’s already a common ground (the movie) it’s easier for him to interact.
Yesterday, there was another prove that I need to revise my convictions about watching telly. In stead of killing his imagination, it helps him to elevate it.
Pelle set up a little tent in our living room. Until now, just clicking the poles together and raising the fabric was the fun he had. He could not do anything else with it. But yesterday, he pretended to be a miller, and acted out what he saw in the film. He even stretched his imagination by wanting to close the door to read a newspaper inside. “What does it say in the paper?’, I asked. After some time he replied “It’s about Sinterklaas”. And on he went, opening and closing the door, being busy in the mill and wanting Mark to look at a pretend window. I was thrilled.
It looks like every new skill or development pairs with a relapse into more repetitive behavior. Like he needs to hang on more to familiar grounds while exploring others. I see it as his way to dance in this world. I’m learning to read his performance.

zaterdag 13 november 2010

Coming to town

Today Sinterklaas already came to our town.

We still have to wait for 3 weeks to finally open the presents, but Pelle's shoe will stand next to our chimney this evening and we hope that tomorowmorning it will hold a small suprise for him.

vrijdag 12 november 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy. (Often without me noticing him doing it).

A year ago he used to say about each book: "this is about letters".

dinsdag 9 november 2010

Scenes from the playroom

I wanted to write about our Sonrise approach much earlier, because I want to share my experiences. But it had to wait until now, because only now I feel things are really shaping up.
Here’s a bit of our reality at this moment.
You can see us playing in Pelles bedroom almost every day, for half an hour or longer, until he wants to go downstairs (and after I tried to tease him into one more game).
I started low profile (after initially putting far too much pressure on the whole process), not every day, just as long as Pelle wanted it. But now we’re both much more accustomed to the new routine in our lives and we can delve in deeper. So the hours spend playing are longer and I’m planning to do it every day, except for Saturdays, because I now see so much benefits from this joyful way of being together.
Pelle is not a typical autistic kid in the sense that he lives in his own world. He will talk to you if you’re an adult and wants to connect with you by sharing his interests. He talks really well and sees you in the eye. People call him sweet, and he really is. He’s always joyful and smiling. But he does not play with other children or has many interactions with them. (He’s doing fine at school, his classmates just take him the way he is and I’m very grateful for that.).
My main goal is to learn him how to play and love it. To let him feel the fun and explore his possibilities. Learn him more skills, so he will be able to play with other children some day.
At the moment I’m practicing pretend play with him. Since he likes to be chased, I’m a policeman, wanting to lock him up, or a lion, wanting to eat him. Or I play with a puppet who wants to climb the towers he loves to build, or an old lady who opens the door when he comes to sing for SintMaarten (a Dutch feast on Thursday where the children walk with their lanterns and collect candy). Since I also would love to see him to play a game with cards (like memory) we do funny things with them. The apples, pears and other images on the game from the hungry caterpillar are devoured by us. Afterwards, we’re having a little belly ache.
So here we are, both learning. For me it's about setting goals and working with them while I tune into his world. I’m coming to grips with it more and more and it feels like I can now reap what I sowed the last couple of months. I can take our play one step further and introduce new elements.
I’m dreaming about dressing up and more elaborate role-play. Of him being really concentrated for a long time. Those days will come. Because one of the things I discovered is that my boy is a fast learner. I often have the feeling that I only have to touch his inner abilities and they are growing. Sometimes it feels like magic.
And I’m not the only wizard in our house. Every Friday, Christa comes to play with him. She’s an apprentice from a college nearby and is learning to become a player. It was lovely to see him curled up into her arms as they were reading a book, the other day. I’m so pleased she’s here to help us. I’m going to search for one more player, so Pelle has another different input. The fun has only just begun.

I leave you with two scenes from the diningtable. He's demonstating his foldingskills.

vrijdag 5 november 2010


Every Friday, Pelle goes to his music lessons. Together with other 5-years olds, he sings and plays. He has a lovely teacher, a lively, witty mom of two adorable boys who were born in China. I love their little paradise at the end of the village, where the boys have so much space to play and live a great life.
When she asked me if I could make her a pouch for the flute, I really liked her request, because it gave me the opportunity to make something different (than clothes).
I used an existing pouch as a template and here's the result.

In the making

Voor Angkan

(Fabic from Van Marieke)

For Rian

The fabric with the owls I bought online in the States (sorry, don't know where anymore).

I had a lot of fun making them. Even made photos along the way, so maybe I write a tutorial, someday.
Wishing you a lovely weekend,


dinsdag 2 november 2010

As Pelle sees it

A weekly picture, made by my boy. (Often without me noticing him doing it).

maandag 1 november 2010

One For The Road

Firetruck T
Originally uploaded by oddwise
One of the last T's I plannd to make for Pelle, this season. I wanted to use the velours applique (ready made) from this shop, before he outgrows this kind of images.