Although I take a great many snaps, I can use very few of them, because my children are rarely dressed appropriately.
The skill of dressing, is an art form.
When a toddler first manages to dress themselve's independently, parents rejoice in their success. Pride in achievement doesn't seem a sin but something to celebrate. It is a huge step to master snap fasteners, zips and laces. All of those tasks are too difficult, textures are aversive, fine motor skills are poor, weak and unpracticed, and anyway you'd prefer to avoid the whole clothing issue entirely. Despite all this, there comes a time of realization to that child:- the things that other children, littler children achieve without effort, are way beyond their own reach. When this notion takes hold of a youthful mind, many begin to lose their sense of self worth. A child as young as 5 or even 3, may suffer depression. Unlikely as it may seem, sadly, it is true.
This is where tiny huge incidents of success may help address the imbalance. Small experiences of positive feedback can help re-build their fractured self esteem. A sense of pride in a task completed, becomes a tantalizing goal. It can't be faked. It must be real to be of worth.
A dart board is fun for many a child, and adults! But the needle end would be dangerous for many and truly scary for others. Hence these magnetic darts fit the bill. Despite shortcomings in some realms of fine motor, co-ordination and eye tracking, other skills may be unusually enhanced. They may help compensate.
It is important for me to note that at the time of that photograph my son was in the ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ developmental stage. He has already passed through the ‘dinosaur’ stage. Many people describe autistics as having obsessional interests and sometimes compulsive too. This may be a fair shorthand. It is often true that the interest pervades their lives to the exclusion of everything else. They do not stop to eat or to meet any other of their basic needs. I can see why it’s described as obsessional.
However, I sometimes think that an alternative view would be ‘single interest.’ They have a current single interest but it can change to something else without warning. In our case it was on Christmas day. No more Thomas, so no motivation to open any presents at all, even if we ignore the tactile issue.
If you take a child with an obsessional interest to a toy shop, they will seek out their preferred toys. If you take a child with a single interest to a toy shop, when the single interest has gone, there is nothing at all to entertain them. I know that this is very difficult for people to understand. It is the very opposite of the ‘kid in the candy store.’ Name any ‘thing’ or ‘toy’ you can think of, but to entice a child to engage, is often an insurmountable hurdle. It’s like a secret club where no-one will share the password.
This is not to say that you couldn’t have more than one ‘single’ interest:- dinosaurs, Thomas and insects simultaneously. I could be interested in reading, knitting and gardening or motor cycle maintenance, art and stamp collecting, but anything else? Well it’s just off the radar, perhaps?
However, it may well be possible, with a dollop of luck on your side, to find just the right password, and hit the bulls eye. It isn’t really a secret, it’s just patient, persistence or obstinacy in my case. And yes, that glint is a twinkle of pride in his eye.
Cut and paste
from this little
boxy thing below
p.s. I amended ‘Peanut Butter Bumpkins to include the recipe.