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Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Drones – message received and understood

A chum of mine, [translation = British] refers to her daily life with her autistic child as ‘Groundhog days.’ This refers to the film where the actor repeats the same day of his life, again and again without apparent end. Parents of young children often repeat the same life lessons until they are acquired, but for autistic children the process may take longer.

Last summer one of my boys had a chance encounter with a bee. The bee and my son were outside the house, in the garden at the time. [ translation = a rare event, now sadly, all the more rare as a consequence] The bee did not attack him. As my son floated in the pool so did the bee. The bee was in it’s last death throes when they happened to come in contact and it stung him. My usually silent son, made known his condition. Fortunately he removed himself from the pool prior to his quite reasonable meltdown. [translation = otherwise he and the bee might have come to the same untimely end]

He survived, the bee did not.

Thereafter, again quite reasonably, all insect life became untrustworthy. [translation = a source of fear] Although he has endured many hours of vision therapy, his ability to accurately determine what something ‘is’ varies. [translation = if in doubt, stay well away] Our daily meltdown count was still quite high a year ago. This additional trigger, began to make life unbearable. [translation = Summer produces a higher incidence of fast and slow moving creepy crawlies and flying insects]

Something had to be done.

Sometimes, logic doesn’t work. Fortunately for me, one of my sons is keen on rules. [translation = reflects the need to place order and form on chaos] In such situations, the best thing to do is lie. I highly recommend it, especially if you have already used up ALL the usual arguments in your favour.

........... ...... .... .. .

“BEE!!! BEE!!!BEE!!!”
“Yes, it is. Tiny bee, big you. Who is most scared?”
“ME! Bee! Bee! Bee!”
“Do you know that there is a rule about bees?”
“Rule?” Aha! The magic word. Now what is the rule? Think of a rule! A helpful rule. The right rule. A rule that will work and not backfire and make the situation worse!
“Yes. The rule is……..you know how a bee dies after it’s stung you?”
“That’s one rule. But the other rule is….. that……every person in the world is only allowed to be stung once per lifetime.”
“That is rule?”
“Indeed it is. Everyone knows that rule. I have been stung, Daddy has been stung and now you have been stung, so you will never be stung again. Otherwise it wouldn’t be fair. Would it?”
"Stung is dah same as sting?"
"Correct! Good thinking!"
He looks at his sister and brother, “they are sting, er stung...er...stunged?”
“It their turn sting?”
Oh dear! I dither, hoping that other small people are out of earshot.

Overall, he is dubious, but placated. Bee phobia diminishes considerably. [translation = over time and with the changing seasons]

We move forward a year to a day when a wholesome looking young lad and his crew come to deliver my replacement sofa. Spring has sprung and the Spearmint bush in the front garden is a glorious mound of white spiked blooms. If you look more closely or open your ears, it is easy to note that there may be as many as a hundred bees labouring away. Mr. Wholesome is engaged with the removal of several miles of plastic wrap from the furniture.

My son observes him from the front door, half in and half out. [translation = keen to make a new friend, fearful of an old enemy] Mr. Wholesome’s attention is drawn to the buzzing noise. His eyes are of additional assistance and track across to pin point the location of the sound. At the moment that his brain registers the bees, his body ignites as he stumbles back to pin himself to the white picket fence. [translation = the effect of a burning bush] My son reacts also and flees, for a second. [translation = a perfect reflex to perceived danger] This is the same child who walked into walls that he didn’t notice, would not reconise me if I took my glasses off or wore anything other than blue jeans and a white t-shirt, and has a high pain threshold.

His better nature catches up with him. He gallops over to Mr. Six Foot Two, cowering but not impaled near the fence. “It’s o.k., it’s o.k., it’s o.k., don’t be worrying, they are not be harming you!” As he says these words he approaches Mr. Wholesome on soft feet. [translation = the same way come close to an injured animal] “It’s alright now, I’m here, I’m here, I’m here,” says Master Four Foot One. Mr. Wholesome’s gaze flicks between the bush and the boy as he wraps his arms around himself. His biceps pump and flinch, whilst his knees quake. “You can be dah brave one now. Look at you. Tiny bee, big you!” [translation = with appropriate hand gestures to assist a potential visual learner]


AS said...

Oh geez. It's so good.

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a precious story. And, all rules have exceptions, which is another rule to learn if need be (bee?)hehe. You are inventive as we all need to be.

I'm still laughing about your matches in the bathroom and your cultural learnings. Our British principal, new to the US, wondered why the grocery clerks got all wide eyed when she kept asking where the spirits were, repeatedly.

We still laugh about our first trip to England when the tv commercial guy was shouting, "You, too, can gain a million pounds." It was a contest and money was the reward - pounds, not dollars, but it put us all in laughing fits and has become a regular expression.

Sorry to bee off topic a bit. You need ladybug experiences....

Domestic Goddess said...

The groundhog day is a perfect analogy. I feel like I do the same thing over, and over and over again...
BTW, my e-mail is thedgoddess at gmail dot com...

Anonymous said...

When it warmed up the flies came out and were in the bathroom (antique farmhouse = bugs), eldest.. "I can't use the toilet there are flies in here". Me "you live on a farm... there are flies"..

"Round and round and round we go.... where it stops... nobody knows...

Next trick is to get the little one to go barefoot again...


kristina said...

Oh no, by that rule I am in for it having never been stung.....

Joeymom said...

Andy loves bees. He'll chase one around for hours. I have no clue what I'll do if he's stung, but I think I'd better start thinking up a plan...

Heidi said...

Luckily I was stung as a child! What a sweet story.

Melissa said...

Man - you are quick on your feet! Great rule :)

Anonymous said...

I am loving the bee story. Smart you! You are dah big one!

I also love getting exactly the flavor of the funky syntax shake-up! My son does the same thing, but with a few odd other quirks. It's fun to me to hear another child's version of the same charming little "English as a Second Languagesque" habit. I sometimes think mine sounds like a little Russian mad scientist in an old movie.

Michelle said...

glad you were able to help him not be so afraid with that 'rule' but yes, now you'll need an "exception" to the rule in case he does get stung again

Julie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

My girlfriends friend has autism. The school called one day because he wanted to eat outside. They couldn't gain his cooperation. She talked to him, "Jordan, you have to eat in the lunchroom. It's a rule." Problem solved!

Oh, and I won't tell your son that I have been stung twice. :o)

elasticwaistbandlady said...

I usually tell my kids when facing elements of diversity, "It just BEES that way sometimes."

Unknown said...

I loved that story and I'll have to try that rule.

DS got stung by a yellow jacket and his hand swelled up like a balloon, poor kid.

He's terrified of insects, except butterflies.

His mother (aka, me) is terrified of all insects.

Have a good weekend-

VAB said...

When we were trying to decide where to move, we narrowed it down to two choices, Vancouver or Montreal. They are very different cities with different languages, climates, etc. I explained all I could about each city at length and then, after going through it all, I asked our guy which he would prefer to move to. He thought about it, and then asked the decisive question, "Which one has less bees?"

Danechi said...


I think that should have indicated to the school that their policy was the problem.

Most autistics (including me) get very overloaded eating inside school cafeterias. They're crowded, usually filled with fluorescent lights (and at least around here, the schools don't even bother to replace their lights when they go bad, making it even worse than it already is), and one of the loudest places a student will ever encounter on campus. If I eat in the cafeteria, I'll have a bad headache for the rest of the day, plus will lose most of my processing ability, if I'm *lucky*.

I'm a little disturbed by your girlfriend giving commands, or being told to give commands to her autistic friend. She shouldn't be above him in authority just because he's autistic. It's even worse if she's giving him commands to do something that's probably already intensely overloading. :-(

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