As the geekier among you know, as well as those who read my Patch article yesterday, today is Pi Day. (3-14, get it?)
As is custom at our house, after he gets dressed in the morning, Kai goes down to the kitchen and watches the BrainPOP movie of the day on the iPad. Today’s movie was about pi.
After he watched it, my wife told him about Daniel Tammet, a man on the autism spectrum who once memorized and recited pi to over 22,000 digits. They found a video of Tammet performing the amazing feat. The clip below is a short version:
For those interested, you can learn more about Tammet in the five-part video which begins with part 1 here:
Kai watched the short video and was fascinated.
I don’t know if he will try to memorize pi to hundreds of digits (or more). Frankly, I’d rather he do something else with his mind and time. But, I would not put it past him.
After he saw that video, he went on to watch some of the other videos about pi that he loves, including some with The Pi Song.
But our real cause for celebration came later, as he was preparing to go to school.
For the first time, he tied his shoelaces all by himself!
It was a day that I was not sure would ever happen. And it is thrilling to know that he again accomplished something that seemed so difficult for him at one time.
But, I can’t take credit for it.
My wife asked Kai’s swim instructor extraordinaire, James, to teach Kai how to tie his laces. Yes, that is the same person who taught Kai how to ride a bike.
James worked with Kai on tying his shoes during his regular weekly sessions. Through years of teaching other kids, he had come up with a technique that helps kids learn faster.
But the real progress came when my wife video-recorded his lesson with Kai so that we could replicate it at home.
My wife and I took turns working with Kai at home, though she had more patience than I.
And today, we saw the culmination of our efforts.
Over the past couple of weeks, we have been giving a lot of thought as to how self-sufficient Kai can be when he is grown up. Today, we have a bit more hope.