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Saturday, November 25, 2006

The next one

He demands paper and crayons at 6:30 in the morning. I remind him that my parental duties do not commence until 7 a.m. that he is on ‘self service’ time. He pouts, stamps his foot and then scuttles off to retrieve necessary supplies. I am impressed, a sterling start to the day, I should do this more often, even when I’m awake, as it’s important to instigate independence. I can justify my own laziness with this ulterior and superior motive.

I pour coffee and observe him working away at the table where he is making a very convincing attempt at sitting. I keep my other eye on the second hand, as ‘sitting’ is another skill that I’m supposed to be encouraging. [translation = monitoring] I can’t count this particular session because he’s more kneeling/ slouching/ draped/ one foot on the floor. I don’t know how to define it, but it does involve the use of a chair, which is good enough for me. If I was a good mother I would step in and guide him, help his body move into an approximate copy of a seated person, which would help his body learn by going through the motions, so he could practice improving his posture which would increase his body strength. [translation = kinesthetic learning, if your body does it often enough, it gets a ‘feel’ for it] If I want him to learn how to sit then I have to teach him, prompt him. This is because of how we learn.

Say you want to be a ballet dancer or a long distance runner? You read every book available on the subject, research the web for tips, talk to people about their experiences. However, until you actually try and move your body in the manner you have theoretically learned about, and then practiced, often, you with not be a ballet dancer or a long distance runner.

It’s the same with sitting. This is a skill he needs to learn, but if I try and teach him right now, it would be a trade off. He’d scamper away, abandon the picture attempt. Attempt a picture or attempt to learn to sit? and I opt for a picture. He’s in his planet phase of pictures, always the same picture, drawn in order, with no deviations, more of a diagramme really, with labels. Prior to the planets he drew frames from his Gameboy screen, the same frame, the same characters, colour and order. I liked the rainbow one’s best, where the labels were the same colour as the lines. The rainbows seemed hopeful, cheerful and full of artistic potental, but I think I’ve come to terms with the technical drawer instead.

The furniture is better suited to him too!

Be careful what you wish for

My best physical feature, are my ears. [translation = only, as everything else seems to be subject to gravity] They are small and neat, [translation = do not resemble cauliflowers] and luckily, I also have a matching pair, one ear on each side of my head. [translation = it’s a shame that they’re mis- aligned, as it makes the bifocals wonky]

Lately, I have become dissatisfied with their performance. I need a new more modern type of ear, the type of ear that can close itself. [translation = like a flower furling it’s petals at night] Except that they need to close more quickly and efficiently. [translation = emergency trap door] This is due to the development of new developments around here. Now that the non-verbal around here are less so, I find that all too frequently I am trapped in a vortex of noise. [translation = volume control of children needs tweaking]

I am seriously considering having my name changed. The chorus of mom/mum/mummee, where each requires instant administration, is frustrating my ability to be efficient. I think it’s only fair that I should now be able to exploit the speech delays, turn the tables on them. [translation = refuse to submit to speech delays. [translation = make life even more difficult for them.]

Hence, the new campaign plan will be to pick a name that is long and difficult to pronounce, which might mean that I am called on less often. [translation = they’ll give up sooner due to negative reinforcement] Since they’ve already read the book “Chrysanthemum,” I know that I need something more challenging. All dinosaur names are out, as they’d mastered them when they were under three. This means that I have a much smaller pool of potential names than one might initially envisage. [translation = guess]

I’m best off picking a name that is in their area of boredom. For instance, last time they were tested for whatever it was they were tested for, I discovered a wide variety of items with which they were unfamiliar, [translation = were unable to name] such as telephone, microscope and bag. This would redeem my endeavour, [translation = new campaign] providing a beneficial motive. [translation = forcing them to acquire a basic vocabulary, as opposed to the current 'advanced' but 'spotty' vocabulary.]

Indeed, now I come to think of it, I should probably change my name every week to ensure that a whole slew of new words could be acquired. Such a scheme would also have the added benefit of easy review, “no I’m not envelope this week, that was last week, this week I’m chair leg.” Additionally, it feeds into the need to teach them about time, the 'yesterday, tomorrow and today' kind of time, which they find very confusing. [translation = I do too, but for different reasons]

I could start with the word ‘lounge,’ that would make a great temporary name, then we could do hall. [translation = corridor] The possibilities are endless.
There again, ‘lounge,’ may not be the best one to start with.
[Translation = Main Entry: 1 lounge
Pronunciation: 'launj
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): lounged; loung·ing
Etymology: origin unknown
intransitive verb : to act or move idly or lazily : LOAF
synonym see IDLE
transitive verb : to pass (time) idly


Personally, I do not suffer from this affliction. I have the patience of Job. [translation = coming as I do, from a country renowned for their love of their fellow man, as evidenced by their tendency to seek out new lands and colonize them.] British people are well known for their non-judgmental attitude towards all matters of high import. Whilst they also have a tendency to nit pick about matters too petty to mention, overall ‘British’ is synonymous with tolerance. [translation = a consensus of opinion]
“But I hate dah sweet potatoes!” he bleats. [translation = an improvement of 50 decibel yelling, indicating a capacity to wheedle. {sub translation = much higher functioning level of communication}]

“But they’re so good for you, full of vitamin C and a true American food.”
“I am an American?”
“Of course you are.”
“But I fort I wuz dah Californian?” [Translation = how come he can pronounce the ‘State’ perfectly, but there’s not a dipthong within ear-shot = the ‘th’ sound]?
“You’re both, Californian and an American, aren’t you the lucky one!”
“I fink I am a worldian. A universian. A galaxian.” [translation = I wish I hadn’t taken this route.]
“Anyway, the point is, that you need to eat them for all their Vitimin C.” [translation = pronounced ‘vit- i- min –SEE’ = UK, as opposed to VITE eR mn SEE = US {sub translation = say them out loud and you’ll hear the difference, give it a try, think ‘monarchy,’ visualize a glittering crown on your head and then speak, and again, but louder this time] Digression over.

“But I hate intimacy!” he blurts. [translation = I didn’t even know that he knew that word?]
“Not ‘intimacy,’ ‘vitamin C!’”

So it’s not just autism, not just the speech delay, merely an accent that makes
communication so bumpy.

Note to self

[Translation = and to you too] Before we gets bogged down with politically correct terminology, I apologise in advance for using the wrong words. Words like ‘oddity’ and ‘quirks’ are interpreted as derogatory, but I find it hard to describe them otherwise. [translation = perhaps that’s because I’m supposed to be neurotypical {perhaps?}]

I need to write them down before I forget them, [translation = rapid advance of senility] or begin to wonder if they really happened.
I expect that you have advanced skills, as evidenced by your superb ability to find your own car in the car park. [translation = parking lot {sub translation = why ‘lot’ rather than humungeous or medium sized or small?}] Other people [translation = foreigners and other inferior beings [sub translation = aliens and non Americans}] stand in the middle of the tarmac [translation = black top] and gaze at the rows of identical vehicles and wait for divine inspiration. [translation = help from any source]
In this instance, the source of help, is my own personal assistant. [translation = American born citizen]
“Don worry mom, I will be finding it for you!” [translation = a rare incidence of voluntary assistance having recognized external stress source emanated from mother{sub translation = ‘rats’ to the theory of mind}] He sparks up and down the rows of cars like a thing possessed. [translation = too fast for me to keep up] As he runs along the central division of concrete he checks the side of each car, double checks a couple, ‘no it not dat one,’ and sqiffs on by. [translation = runs on tippy toes which adds to the illusion of flight] He identifies what he believes to be the right one, dives off the path, scoots to the rear in a flash, stops. I stand beside him as he runs a tentative finger tip along the edge of the circle, the petrol cap flap. [translation = little door that you open to put the gas in]
“Der you go mom! Dis is our car!” he announces in triumph. I glance inside. [translation = trash contents on wheels]

Of course he’s right.

A better visual cue for me [translation = clue]

Note - think of this as your 'optional' homework assignment = the compilation of a parental data base

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