I have moved over to WhittereronAutism.com. Please follow the link to find me there. Hope to see you after the jump! :)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Slice and Dice

Some autistic children have problems with co-ordination. This brief post is my idiots guide to ‘mid-lines.’ There are many scholarly articles available and an OT can give you a much better explanation. For the rest of us, where speed reading the relevant chapter is the only way to survive, this is my synopsis.
Take one child. Place in a standing position under a guillotine and slice him down the middle so that you have a front slice and a back slice. The front slice doesn’t talk to the back slice, there is a communication problem, most likely bad wiring. Duct tape the child back together, return to the spot under the guillotine and turn him [it’s probably a him] 90 degrees and slice again. Now you have a right side and a left side with the same faulty wiring problem. Last time. Lie child on the ground, on something soft and slice him in half so that you have a top and a bottom. Same problem.

All these sectional pieces of child fail to communicate effectively with the other bits. Some or all of the pieces may be effected, because autism is a spectrum disorder. Is this your child, or you, come to think of it? Test the theory.
Take child’s favourite food. Place child in front of table with the favourite food in sight. If your child is right handed, place the food on the left. If the child reaches for the food with the left hand, [remember he’s right handed] this MAY mean that he doesn’t want to cross his mid-line, the right / left one. This in turn MAY mean that you might want to investigate a little further.

If you are female and wear a garment for your female appendages, does it do up at the back? If you buy one’s that do up at the front, maybe you have a front/back mid-line issue? Maybe you have short arms or fine motor troubles or arthritis? If you always put your shoes on without the use of your hands, prefer slip ons and avoid shoe laces and the like, maybe you have a top/bottom midline hic-cup, or lack flexibility, or have some deplorable foot fettish that we really don’t want to know about?

With a bit of luck, this mid-line business is completely irrelevant to you and yours. If on the other hand, you’re starting to get a bit worried, furrowed brow, brain working overtime trawling through your child’s life for ‘evidence,’ cease forthwith! Firstly, you need to check it out with a professional and save valuable worrying time for other things. Secondly, if there is an issue, like most things with autism, it isn’t fatal. You may not be able to ‘cure’ it, perish the thought, but there are lots of things that you can do to help reduce it. Being aware of the condition means that you are in a position to help. If your child remains in a diced condition up to and including adulthood, it isn’t the end of the world.

Lastly, I have one crumb of additional useless advice to offer. When you try and think of a visual or verbal prompt to assist your child, try and avoid 'left hand helps right hand!' uttered in a cheery tone, as I can tell you that after three and a half years of saying it, I wish I'd come up with something better. Any offers?

AddThis Social Bookmark Button