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Monday, October 29, 2007

Drug Barons and corporal punishment

We continue along the medication super highway with one of our sons. The matter is a huge issue for many families autistic and otherwise, but we reach a fork in the road, an unexpected hic-cup. As always in such situations we are caught out and ill equipped to deal with the rapid fire fall out. The best policy at such times is to deal with each child individually, each according to their own unique needs. The carefully tailored answer by an adult can prove that the road can only lead onwards and upwards.
“You are not hug me?”
“Sure I’ll hug you.”
“No, no, no you can not be hug now.”
“I thought….you want a hug later?”
“No. No hugs not more.”
“Oh are you too old for hugs all of a sudden?”
“?” He helps me out as it’s only 5:25 in the morning.
“It’s dah rule?”
“It is? Whose rule?”
“Dah school’s rule.”
“No hugging allowed in school?”
“?” We have already had two false starts and I don’t want to push my luck by asking a stupid question, or alternatively another cumulative silly question. His little brother steps forward to offer his assistance. “No be hug him!”
“School rule.” Oh dear, we don’t appear to be making any progress.
“They have a new rule in school?”
“Yes dis week it is being ‘SAY NO TO DRUGS!’” he bellows at a force ten gale.
“Ah yes, and rightly so. You wore red shirts yesterday, today is crazy sock day…….what has that got to do with hugs?”
“It be dah sign.”
“There’s a sign at school that says no hugging?”
“No! Dah sign it be say ‘HUGS NOT DRUGS.’” I’m not one to criticize a catchy phrase but I’m still no further forward. They look at each other, as if determining who shall be the bearer of bad news. There is a mental coin toss between them, before the little one speaks on behalf of the elder. “Well he be dah drug kid……dah pill....he is eat drugs…….so we cant be hug him no more.”
“Oh no, that’s not drugs…..a drug……..it’s…….medicine, of course, yes, that’s what it is, the pill isn’t a drug it’s a medication. Medication is great, just like the asthma inhaler.”
“Dey are be two drugs in him!”
“Medication!” I hear spouse bumble down the stairs.
“Yes two, but they’re medications not drugs.” They look at me, liar that I am. I can feel myself crack under the pressure of their disapproving silence. Their Dad ruffles their hair and picks up the dregs of the conversation, or rather, interrogation.
“Are you be lie?”
“Are you be dah porky pie?” Deny, deny, deny! He looks on, bemused, the other responsible adult in the household, unshaven with only 4 hours sleep under his belt.
“No, I am telling almost the exact truth.” What is an acceptable definition of ‘drug’ in this context for 6 and 8 year olds? I glare at their father willing him to bail me out, but there is only a sleepy vacant smile on his bristly face. I clutch at straws, “you know, if you buy it at the Chemist…er…the Drugstore even, then it’s medication and that’s good. Right?” I should have kept that rhetorical.
“If you not buy it at dah drugstore it is bad?”
“Who what……..where else you are buy dah drugs?”
The sleeping adult wakes up to add his contribution, “just don’t buy them on a street corner off some dodgy….ouch!

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