The R Word

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5 Minutes for Special Needs

Guess what we watched this weekend?

If you enjoy caption competitions and photographs, you may wish to nip along to“DJ Kirkby” over at “Chez Aspie” and test your brain power.

Meanwhile I’m still struggling with international postage rates as $45 to the UK is daylight robbery as far as I’m concerned. I may have to limit myself to the good ole US of A initially and expose myself as the tendentious, ethnocentric nincompoop that I really am!

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Business unplanned

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Try This Tuesday

My tackle this week is a hugely tiny task of how to get up and running on “Etsy.”

I don’t know if any of you have any experience of “Etsy” but hopefully I’ll be ready tomorrow for the start of Autism Awareness Month.

If anyone has any advice you’d like to offer I’d be very grateful for any tips you might be able to share. I’m especially looking to anticipate problems, irritations and other annoyances, things that you did not like about your purchasing experience. I am especially terrified of the Post Office / mailing trips as getting to the post office is a complete nightmare for my family and sadly they’re not open when my children are asleep. How tolerant will people be if they place an order and I can’t get to the post office for a week? Not very I suspect.

Additionally I now have a load of commissions and bowls that are already spoken for, for a wide variety of charitable events which means I have hardly any to sell. What a twit. Clearly I am in need of some sound business advice.

Cheers dears

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Try, try, try again

Hosted by “Tracy” at “Mother May I,” but the photo-picture below will whizz you right there with one click.

Just call me snap happy.

red BSM Button


If you look very carefully at the cow you’ll be able to see the State of Montana!

Someone else is thinking of opening a Tattoo Parlour.

Yes is Science Project time of year.

I made my own mark…….

……and gave it the school auction. Gotta support our schools in their endeavours if we can’t go physically.

Lastly, occasionally you too may find yourself doing odd things at odd times, because sometimes an opportunity is too good to miss. The trick is to know when on earth that time might be? Give it a “try.”

Warning! Use hair conditioner not hair gel or you could get yourself into all kinds of additional difficulties.

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How to stop a special needs kid from spitting?[*]

Please scroll down for Smiley Saturday and SOOC 

[*] most interesting google search question of the week

So much depends upon what kind of special needs? Is he or she 2 or 10 years old? But even more pivotal, is the ‘why’?   Why is the child spitting?    Special needs, autistic or typical. I’m confident that together we could come up with a lengthy collective list, but I’m happy to make the first move.

Top of my list would be Copying. Both my boys are exceptionally good at both copying and mimicry. Like most children that begin to attend school, they come home having learned a great many things that they were previously unaware of, such as name calling, teasing, arm pit farting and a great many other egregious but thoroughly predictable habits. Exposure to typically developing peers generally has this effect.

I was very interested to watch my boys, especially the youngest, try to spit. In case you were not previously aware of it, I can assure you that the skill of spitting is just that, a skill, a skill that he lacked. There can be a great many reasons why spitting is so difficult but in my son’s case, in layperson’s terms, it was poor musculature or low muscle tone in the jaw, combined with poor lip closure as well an inability to ‘suck it up.’ This is the kind of child that drools way beyond babyhood. It’s also the kind of child who needs a great deal of therapeutic help to improve the condition as well as a great deal of positive encouragement to attempt something that is so tremendously difficult.

So yes, it’s true, I’m a slacker when it comes to parenting and as soon as I caught him staring at the floor boards willing himself to spit, head hung low and waiting for gravity, I did nothing but watch silently from the side lines. I watched for days as he practiced and practiced and practiced, because these things take time and muscles don’t grow overnight. I cannot tell you how huge this is for someone who is peerless, that is to say someone without peers, groups or otherwise.

It took nearly two months but the boy was motivated, and motivation is a rare commodity indeed. I turned my blind eyes and willed him to succeed, in silence. The end result was still pretty feeble in the great scheme of the school yard hierarchy as compared with other eight year olds but he made his mark and so did his school report because such behaviour is socially unacceptable, unhygienic and terribly disgusting.

As with all new skills it took a great deal longer to teach him the last bit but everything is a trade off my friends.

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My bottom is too thick

Slurping Life
Get the code:-
Cut and paste
from this little
boxy thing below
five broken!

5 out of 42

More accurately, the differential between the foot /bottom is too thick by comparison to the rim / top = I need to be more bold in the trimming department.

Meanwhile, on a happier note since this is Smiley Saturday too, above you’ll see my son’s bed. Granted it is a little messy and may not obviously strike you as being ‘made,’ however, it is indeed ‘made,’ by his very own fair hands without prompting, which scores a ten out of ten in my book.


On another quite stunning note, here is a piccy of another quite ordinarily tiny huge accomplishment. I could remind you about lung capacity, lip closure, co-ordination not to say motivation but you know all that stuff already. Pretty darned impressive for an asthmatic.

Cheers dears

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How to insult someone in a foreign language

I drop the cleaver in favour of the whisk and the rapidly deflating soufflé whilst my children squabble, full of hot air and pent up emotion.
“Jus leave it alone why dontcha! Yah lil ol dipstick.”
“Don’t call him a dipstick dear.”
“It’s not kind to insult people without reason or rather….”
“But I do have a reason.”
“Oh…..well don’t do it anyway. He’ll think you’re being mean.”
“But I wanna be mean.”
“Oh dear. Why….?”
“What it is?” interjects the insultee.
“What is what dear?”
“What is a dipstick being?”
“Ah….well a dipstick is a stick that you poke or rather dip, into the oil in your car to see if there’s enough juice.”
“What kinda juice?”
“Oh not juice, I meant oil.”
“Dere is being oil in dah car?”
“Is dat being dah English car?”
“Er……no all cars run on oil or rather have oil in them and petrol of course.”
“Aha! It is being dah English cars.”
“How so?”
“English cars are being dah petrol but American cars are being dah gas.”

I’ve always wondered about gas fired cars? Just as well some people are fueled by logic.

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The Theory of Mind is still with us

It’s a given when it comes to autism, or rather a misconception. Like all misconceptions it is both commonplace and all pervasive, the myth that autistic people lack empathy.


We arrive at the restaurant, install ourselves in a booth in a rather haphazard manner and begin to examine the menu. Everyone knows off by heart.

A father and a baby arrive at the same time. They wait to be seated.

“Where for it is?”
“Where’s what dear?”
“The kids menu?”
“Oh did we only get one kids menu sheet?”
“Hmm.” I look at my son’s face which is growing closer to my own height. “Maybe they thought you were too big for the kids menu?”
“Twelve and over?”
“Quite possibly. You do seem to be awfully large these days.”
“Um…’quite,’ quite large.” He grabs the unwieldy 8 page laminated menu with alacrity and begins to peruse his choices. He drops it again in favour of the less daunting single page of ‘specials.’ I watch him, animated and engaged. I don’t believe he has ever actively chosen to read a menu, even at MacDonalds, even if MacDonalds can be described as having a menu in the first place.

His eyes are sucked off the page by the arrival of the quite adorable baby and his father in the opposite booth. They had no problem ‘waiting to be seated,’ unlike my unruly brood. The baby cooes and kicks with contentment whilst his Dad quips his order to the server. I examine the specials so that I’m better able to prioritize and limit my son’s choices, as choice is always a hurdle.

The boys gasp collectively for no apparent reason. “What is it?” I ask two people who are staring across the room. I look across the room at the baby and father. The father reads the newspaper and eats from a plate piled high with pancakes, sausages and salad. “What is it dear?”
“Dah baby.” I look at the baby but my view is obscured by a large cuddly toy.
“It’s o.k. his dad will probably feed him in a minute.”
“No! Dah baby!”
“What about the baby?” I look at the big furry mass with the still legs underneath, the stiff arms poking out either side, the silence.
“He dun like it.”
“He doesn’t like what…..I mean…..what doesn’t he like?”
“Dah wolf is scary for him.” Whilst one child speaks, the other takes action as he flits across the passage, grabs the cuddly wolf and turns it’s face outwards, teeth bared, the wolf, not the boy, and slips back to our booth like a whippet. The father snaps down his paper, but not quickly enough. He glances at his baby son who chews contentedly on the wolf tail in his face.

Rats to “the theory of mind.”

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Lay out guys

5 Minutes for Special Needs

Bigger pi dishes require more numbers.

How do you ensure that you transpose all the numbers of pi correctly?

Employ a nit picker! Fueled by Goldfish.

If you enjoy caption competitions and photographs, you may wish to nip along to“DJ Kirkby” over at “Chez Aspie” and test your brain power.

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Cat and dog love

If your family already has a cat and wants to add a dog, or vice versa, how is the best way to ensure that they all get along?

It’s good to begin with a carefully orchestrated plan of desensitization. Never force either animal into close proximity with the other. This technique requires a great deal of time and patience. As with all relationships, it cannot be rushed. Each animal needs to progress at their own pace.

One easy place to start is to feed each animal it’s favourite treat by hand at the same time so that they can then learn to associate treats and the new pet, with positive associations. If this is done on a regular basis, gradually they will hopefully become physically closer.

Currently, our cats are not keen on the dog but will tolerate being in the same room together.

As we have just completed two science projects for school with the children, their enthusiasm for experimentation has expanded in quite unexpected directions. They decided to investigate another possibility to speed up relationship development between their pets with the assistance of these two trusty tools. First spray the dog with liquid cat nip then sprinkle liberally with dried catnip. Wait patiently for the cats to fall in love with the dog. They waited quite a long time until it suddenly dawned on them……both the cats and the dog are all boys. I decided to explain ‘ménage à trios,’ when they are older, maybe, the children not the pets.

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Try This Tuesday
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