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Saturday, March 10, 2007

Name, rank and number - A new love of speech delays

With homework completed we move onwards, but not necessarily upwards, to the review section. [translation = torture session] Every day we must practice his full name, his address, telephone, date of birth and birthday. We learned these facts a few years ago. We were given specific instructions to learn them forthwith. I am uncertain whether typically developing children have to be specifically taught these things, nor how much difficulty they experience to acquire them. For some reason, this is a common gap with autistic children.

Mine have no interest in their acquisition. Quite by chance I learned that they could absorb them and retain them, if we sang them. Problem solved. Or it was. Now it has recurred.

There are two problems with my solution. Firstly, if you cannot recall the tune, which is often the case when quizzed and under stress, then one cannot remember the pertinent information contained therein. Secondly, in most casual social situations, singing this information to the questioner, is less than satisfactory. Hence, we start again, from square one. I am sorely tempted to search out and hire the supermom referred to in my pal's "sidebar." The task ahead is more painful than pulling teeth, but we soldier on. We may be on it for 3 minutes or thirty minutes, depending upon the number of meltdowns, his, although I may feel susceptible to one myself.

We cover the same daily lengthy explanation as to why ‘singing’ is not allowed. I am uncertain who I am trying to convince.
“One last time. When is your birthday?”
“But I am already done it!”
“I know. You did it two times. Now we are going to do it for the third and last time. Third time lucky!”
"Fird? Lucky? Why is dah fird is being lucky? Dat is dah stoopid one."
"Er, it's just something you say, something that er.....some people think."
"Why dey fink dat?"
"I don't know really, now you come to mention it."
"You are finking dat dah free is lucky?"
"No. Actually I think that seven is lucky." Why did I say that? We're drifting.
"You are dah stoopid one to be finking dat. You are needing to be using your brain."
"You are right. I am wrong. Now come along, when is your birthday?"
“Well done dear. It gets easier every day doesn’t it.”
“What size it is?”
“Er, what size is what? Your birthday? You’ll be seven remember dear, we just did that bit?”
“No! What size is your brain?”
“Currently about the size of a walnut I fear.”
“No, dat is not correct. The walnut size is belonging to dah mouse. You are dah human.” I resist the urge to squeak.
“Indeed, you’re probably quite right. What size is your brain?”
“I not sure. I fink it is between dah grapefruit and dah melon, but I am hating dah fruit. Can I fink of dah uvver fings?”
“Things that aren’t fruit?”
“Yes! You are correct.” Oh good, progress.
“How about the size of a football?”
“No! I do not have a pointy brain, that would be owie………. Ah you speak dah English? You are meaning dah soccer ball?”
“I am! What a clever chap you are!”
“Not really, because I only using one furteenf of dah brain capacity.”

I never seem to know where he picks up these things, but they certainly give me pause for "thought."

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