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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Wading through Treacle

Let me just say at the beginning, that I have long been aware that my children, like many others, are not the kind of children that can be hurried. Although I have the standard stock of phrases at my disposal to engender hurrying, I have yet to detect any crumbs of evidence, that they are effective. [translation = in any way whatsoever] For some strange reason, I continue to use them, frequently. [translation = very old dog sticking with ancient non-functioning tricks]

Elderly brains are quickly confused. If the mother in question visually witnesses a great kerfuffle, [translation = children bouncing around the place] she may mistakenly interpret this as movement. A wiser mother would recognize this phenomenon as prevarication and avoidance. [translation = think zebra herd blending] No-one is actually going anywhere. [translation = circling the befuddled wagon]

Now you would think, where two sons have severe speech delays, I would adjust how I talk to them? [translation = I refuse to define ‘severe speech delay’ because it is meaningless] In my defense, I would point out their receptive language [ translation = incoming messages] is good, but their expressive language is poor. [translation = outgoing messages] That aside they frequently stumble over little hurdles. [translation = sabotage by mother]
“Come along now, get your skates on!”
When I think of the time I have spent translating this one phrase to my idiom blind children, I realize the many other, more positive things, I could have done in the alternative.
“Come on you old slow coach or we’ll never get there!”
Using references to other vehicles when you’re planning to travel in the family car, are not helpful. Translation into the local lingo ‘slow poke’ produces even more dire results. [ translation = of a more violent and personal space nature]
“No dilly dallying.”
I mean! Who invented that phrase? Why is it still stuck in my brain. How can I eradicate it’s usage?
“Last one in is a rotten egg!”
Obviously food references are lost on this rabble but allusions to anything that ‘rots’ does not engender the desired effect. [translation = move swiftly in the opposite direction away from the thing that rots]
“Get a wriggle on you lot!”
Perhaps if it was wriggle ‘off’ or wriggle ‘to’ it might work. [translation = perhaps I am clutching at straws?]
“Stop dawdling!” This has the same magical effect as shouting ‘freeze!’ But at least it stops the bouncing for a second or two. Thereafter two people topple over from the effort of balancing.
"Make it snappy!" only encourages some of the behaviours that we are trying to eliminate. [translation = gives a mixed message and provides a positive reason to bite]
"Jump to it!" [translation = they don't ask 'why' any more, they just 'jump,' which might be considered progress?]
Now that I am in America I have attempted to update my phraseology by using “come on already!” which I hear a lot, but I’m never sure if it’s ‘already’ or ‘alrighty’? Since neither version works, I’ve let that one slide.

I resolve that today will be different, better. I will do it properly. I gather the troops, hunker down, salvage as much eye contact as is available and sequence them through the steps in logical order-
“Bathroom, then socks, then shoes, out to the garage, into the car, seat belts on and drive.” At the signal ‘drive’ two people fall on the ground wailing. [translation = inconsolable] What! What? What now? I know they don’t like the car but really! There sister leans against the kitchen counter rolls her eyes, arms folded in disgust. I massage backs and wait for calm. [translation = restoration of the powers of speech] One sits up, the other props himself up on one elbow, “what dears?” I ask imploringly.
“We be crash. We be deaded…….er dead.”
“Dying den.”
“Dying, why dying?”
“Coz we crash dah car if you not open dah garage door!”

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