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Wednesday, March 14, 2007

From Velcro to zipper

If I had known that bearing children would also mean investing in a truck load of Velcro, I would had bought shares in the company whilst they were still in vitro, but no-one warned me.

To be fair, not many people would have predicted this eventuality. Even now, one of my son's has a serious dose of tactile defensiveness and supersonic hearing. Those two qualities are firm indicators that would guarantee that Velcro, with it’s scratchy surfaces and noisy ripping sounds, would be banned.

However, as it turned out, it soon became the case that PECS with their Velcro backing, ruled the world, or our little corner of it. As long as I didn’t rip them off willy nilly, just kept them on the board, all would be well. Rearranging PECS, adding new ones, removing out moded ones, became a clandestine activity for me. During the wee small hours when everyone slumbered, I would lurk in the kitchen, setting up the PEC board for the next day.

Velcro exists in other areas too, such as shoe closures, an essential tool for any child who has yet to graduate to shoe laces. This is a common enough issue for most young people, but if your fine motor skills are a bit dodgy, it could be a number of years until you can master this feat. Since zips are also a bilateral nightmare boys often transition to them via a Vecro fly in their trousers.

I suspect that most parents feel that raising Frederick or Gemina, is more of a marathon than a sprint. They look forward to the distant time when their child becomes independent and no longer their responsibility. Some older parents and grandparents, also know that the ‘responsibility’ does not end until they themselves are pushing up the daisies, and probably not even then. Whilst I rant and rave about my children’s capabilities and shortcomings, not infrequently, I have cause to note that the ‘spectrum’ is just that, a range of [?]………..possibilites.

We attended the charity bash [translation = benefit] a uniquely American experience, for "Parents Helping Parents [PHP]" Since we are in California, people were dressed accordingly, casual, which includes shoes and shirt, as well as a considerable number of posh frocks. [ translation = fancy dresses] For the purpose of clarity, I should point out that no-one was in costume. [translation = fancy dress] The parents of special needs children enjoyed the company of like minded people, if they had baby sitters. Everyone looks "'normal'" but you can never really tell can you?

The bidding process started for some very worthy prize in the auction after dinner. I continued to chat to my pal in quiet tones. The wine had flowed and there was a great deal of hub bub. My hands operated in conjunction, to help me get my message across. A rogue alien hand, rested on my arm to warn me “careful! Someone will think that you’re bidding with all that waving around.” My hands dropped to my lap, as I wouldn’t wish to be mid-understood.

I nipped out to the loo at an opportune moment. Down the far end of the corridor [translation = hall] a middle aged man knelt on the carpet in front of a teenage boy. The men's restroom was close by. As I went closer, the hub bub of the banqueting hall subsided and his words become audible, “you’re doing a great job, almost there, you can do it. Pull it up a little bit more. If you hold it in your right hand it will be easier. Left hand holds the fabric. Yeah you’re almost there, just a little bit more. Here let me hold the top, that buckle is in the way huh?”

He stood up and hugged him. He talked to the boy’s shoulder as I brushed past, “you’re the greatest guy, do you know that?”

You see what you want to see.

p.s. "Parents Helping Parents [PHP]" is a fabulous organisation that was started by a couple of mums with special needs kids, at their kitchen table.

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