27 Oct 2007

All creatures virtual and small

Duncan enjoys the PC game Dogz 4. He has adopted, named and changed the appearance of loads of virtual dogs. I have to 'cull' a few every week or so. Among the names he's chosen are, John (a dalmatian he's turned pink, and who wears a top hat and glasses) a pig called Michael (who wears what looks like pink pyjamas), a dachshund called Duplo Train (he's red, blue and yellow), another called Sky Rider (another mixture of primary colours) and a poodle called 'jymp pynis'. That last one recalls one of his current favourite words.

Yesterday he was playing on YouTube. I found him a lovely film of the story, 'Where the Wild Things Are' which he and Thomas watched many times. Then he found some videos of Dogz 4 pets, including one of puppies. He's decided he wants his dogs to make puppies, so we're trying to make the John and Jane dogs fall in love!

Google is his friend. He uses the toolbar, and types as few letters as possible, then scans the suggested search words, to find the one he wants. It's helping him learn to read and spell. Sometimes he doesn't spell things quite right, but it's always a very good effort, 'cheez and unyin crisps' isn't too far wrong!

He can now decode really well when we read together. And I find it interesting, that after he works out the words bit by bit, he re-reads the whole sentence so it is smooth and makes sense. It's also clear that reading is and will continue to help his spoken language. Often he works out a word and seems to realise for the first time, 'oh that's how it's said' when he can see all the letters that he just wasn't able to hear somehow.

Today I dropped Lady and Thomas off at their jujitsu class and took Duncan with me to an enormous hardware shop. I had to buy a mousetrap. (I'd been reading in bed the night before when a little mammal intruder scuttled out from under my wardrobe door, then in again. There wasn't much I could do at the time except block up gap to try to contain it.) I choose a live trap thing so if it works, we'll have to release it away from the house. Duncan was fine, and had fun with some singing and dancing Christmas stuff, and a Jack in the Box (well teddy in a box really) which made him shriek with delight. When I'd sorted the purchases, he insisted in leaving the shop the way we'd entered, even though there are separate entrance and exit doors. I realised that he always does this now. When we're in the supermarket, we have to push the trolley back through the shop, instead of along the back of the checkouts. It's a funny little thing to need to do. But it's easy enough to manage. I hope he won't feel the need to leave the way he came in if we ever visit the new Ikea when it opens!


kristina said...

Our IKEA has a double escalator in the front----Charlie tends to enter eagerly and leave (understandably) fatigued (me too). Thanks for the "Where the Wild Things Are" video suggestion!

Marla said...

My daughter loves You Tube and is a real pro with using my lap top now. Have you ever played Webkinz? That is lots of fun! My daughter loves it!

Sharon McDaid said...

There are some great videos on YouTube, in among all the dross.

Marla, thanks for commenting here. What is Webkinz?

Casdok said...

Yes never heard of Webkinz!

And i had to laugh at your Ikea comment!!

Patrick said...


When the time comes, you might be able to take advantage of our ASD leaning to 'follow the rules', and merely explain that the rule is to enter through the entrance, and exit through the exit.

Sharon McDaid said...

Ah Casdok, you know what I mean about Ikea!
Patrick, I can try that. In fact today we were leaving a shop which had separate entrance and exit, though both doors are side by side. He started to protest when I walked towards the exit and he pointed to the other door. I explained how we come in through one and go out through the other. He did something he often does, and said the exact opposite of what I said :-) but he did follow me out the exit.