Don’t hold your breath

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.

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I mean it’s not like they’re cast in stone but generally speaking a parent knows their children well. Over the years some things are just given. We know their likes and dislikes. Things that are possible and things that shall remain impossible, forever. On the whole, there is no point in perseverating over the impossible things. Far better to accept that the impossible things will remain impossible, forever. Better still to work on their strengths, to enhance them and encourage them.

Writing or penmanship skills would fall into the later category around here. I put my faith in technology. I accept that they will never willingly write anything, ever. It is a less preferred activity but fortunately keyboards are high on the preferred list. Luckily my children are growing up in an age where pretty soon everything will be digital. Even as I think about this I hear of new devices, assisted technology, voice recognition programmes, pens that record and transcribe, which make the whole writing issue a complete bust. I only wish that I had anticipated these developments a few years ago, as it would have saved me many a sleepless night.

You can dress it up in technical language but I have a shorthand version, ‘don’ts, won’ts and can’ts.’ It’s very important to be able to tell which is which. ‘Can’ts’ are the easiest, the child cannot do whatever it is because at the moment, it is too difficult. A parent can spend lots of time with ‘can’ts’ to help teach the skills to conquer. ‘Won’ts’ are more tricky as they generally cover aversive issues. They are brick walls that can be whittled down with time and a good de-sensitization programme. Lastly there are ‘won’ts.’ You could call it a catch-all category for everything else, but around here the key is a lack of motivation. They simply have no interest in whatever it is. They can be very broad, dressing skills, eating skills, toileting skills. They are very difficult to make interesting. This is why so many parents of autistic children are suckers for ‘themes,’ everything from dinosaurs, Thomas the tank Engine and Pokemons. Once you have an interest you can tie it into all the ‘won’ts.’ One day, some genius will produce themed toilet paper, wipes and soap, and all my troubles will be over.

But I digress.

Hence, early, oh so, so, early in the morning, I exist in my usual fog as I wait for caffeine to kick start my brain. My son has stolen down in the night to park his bottom in front of the computer screen. Eyes glued to the little pictures he provides a stream of verbal information that is too obscure to give me the slightest clue. Kirby? What on earth is he on about now? I rub my bifocals on my dressing gown in the hope that the clouds will clear, so that I may offer something intelligent in reply or failing that, something relevant.
“Yes dear?”
“You have one?”
“Have one what?”
“Er…….a thing?”
“Which kind of a thing? A big thing or a small thing?”
“Yes, I definitely have lots of small things. Can you think of any more describing words about the small thing that you want?”
“Er…it is be have lines……it is be have curly wire… is be have…..a cover.”
“A notebook?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah! You are have a small notebook for me?”
I pick my jaw up from the floor because I know that this is really a trick. What would he want with a notebook indeed? Whatever one might usually use a notebook for, I am quite certain that he has other plans, although I’m at a loss to guess what that might be. “Sure. Come upstairs with me to Daddy’s office and we’ll hunt one down.” Together we rifle through supplies until we find one that fits his purpose. But what purpose?

The notebook is now full. He requested another!

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Notable Quote

– things you never expect to hear

This comment was neither coerced nor prompted. I swear this is something never before heard from any child on the planet.

“Oh my gosh! The carpet looks beautiful!”
I defy anyone to challenge that one. I think it was because I’d just vacuumed and the fibres of the carpet seemed mown like grass.

On a side note. A request for information from all dog lovers. Thatcher’s tail is still blue from the sidewalk chalk. If anyone has any hints as to how we may return him to his pre-rainbow days, we should be most grateful.

Whilst the geeks were all off at Maker Faire I was mastering livescribe I have a long way to go but assistive technology has finally won me over.

Today I am also over “here” at “5 Minutes for Special Needs Moms.”

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You can fix anything.

fix anything

Or view it here on “U Tube.”

p.s. it’s not my IEP woes, but my pal’s that need fixing. We all know what a long lasting headache that can be.

Slurping Life
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Full Circle – ball and chain

I remember it quite well from a very long time ago. It happened many times which is one of the reasons that I remember it so well. My mother would finish whatever it was that she was making. She would present whatever it was to me and say “so what do you think?” I would think whatever I thought and I would say whatever I said but somehow it was always the wrong answer.

They say that we are destined to repeat the lives of our parents.

I pull off a few stray threads and microns of fluff from the newly finished cardigan, slip it on, even though it’s really for my daughter, and present myself to my spouse. “So what do you think?” He looks up from his computer screen. “Ooo very nice, it’s looks just like a suit of armour.” I pout and move into the hall where his first born son is also glued to a computer screen. “So……….what do you think?”
“I think I’m gonna conquer dah world of Spore.”
“Ah….no…..what do you think of this……the cardigan I’m wearing……’s new…….I made it.” He looks at me, all of me whilst he attempts to retrieve the word cardigan. He gives up and gives me a hug, which is probably better by far.

I skip across to my daughter, engrossed.
“What do you think? It’s for you dear.”
She pauses and lifts the needle sharp pencil from the paper.
“For me?”
“Yes, just your colour.”
“Well if it fits you it ain’t gonna fit me is it!”
“Oh I think it will. It’s a tad short of me but it will be perfect for you.”
“Yur kiddin. Right?”
“No, I wasn’t actually. Here try it on, it’s all nice and warm now.”
“No point. I know it’s not gonna fit.”
“Why? I mean how?”
“Coz I already tried on all yur clothes and they’re too small.”
“When did you…?”
“Whilst you were out at the supermarket. The boys were fightin about who was gonna go up the laundry shute and who was gonna go down the laundry shute so I knew Dad would be too distracted to notice.”

I trot over to my youngest son. “So……what do you think of the new cardigan?” He blinks at a distance of 12 paces. “I do not like dah knot.”
“What knot?”
“Dah knot jus dere.” I look down at the tiny knot, a cheat by the manufacturer who joined the yarn in the middle of a hank. Darn it! He sprints across on tippy toes for a hug. “Ooo that’s nice. All these free hugs.”
“No. I not hug.”
“No? Seemed like a hug to me.”
“Test what?”
“I am test for dah soft.” He releases me with gentle pats, the kind of pat you give a cushion before you sit on it.
“Oh! And?”
“Pass as in ‘give it a miss’ or pass as in ‘passed the test for softness’?”
“Check it out man!” He snuggles into my diaphragm to purr, as claws knead my rib cage.

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Snack on a stick – why the fox wears gloves

There is no end to the variety of food that you can pop onto a popsicle stick. Many may ask….. ‘why would you want to put a snack on a stick?’ to which I would reply, ‘why wouldn’t everyone want to put their snack on a stick?’

A snack on a stick is the perfect solution to two major issues:- people who need to keep their fingers clean on pain of death and people who like to cook things to eat. It’s the neophobic OCD equivalent of ‘physician heal thyself,’ or so I like to think.

I would go as far as to predict that sometime in the not so distant future, a certain young man will come into his own as an entrepreneur. He’ll set up as a sole trader in these unique snacks, unless someone else pinches his idea first. Even if someone else gets there before him, this will still be all well and good, as millions of people who currently suffer from digitalis will be relieved and set free.

[Double click on the flower for a reality check]

I need to do a little research here, as thus far most snacks on sticks seem to be made of venison for some bizarre reason that I can’t quite fathom. Thereafter there are lollies [UK] and corn dogs [US] but otherwise there appears to a vast gaping hole in the market. We don’t plan to exploit this gap, rather we hope to plug all the little bleeding hearts and open mouths with delicious yumminess without risking dirt and damage to digits.

A while back we investigated snacks in cones, the cones that you usually use for ice-cream, which seemed like a cunning plan. However the texture of the average cone is not conducive to those who suffer from tactile defensiveness.

Another underlying issue is the difficulty some people have with physically holding either a stick or a cone. Some people cannot manage the pincher grip or if they can, do not have the physical strength to maintain the grip for very long. Other people have a grip that finds it hard to discriminate, such that the cone crumbles due to over-grasp. Either of these conditions can spell disaster to the potential snacker, although practice may help improve the situation.

I detect a certain level of incredulity creeping in here, so I shall repeat a tale of yesteryear for demonstration purposes.
[mainly because I cannot find that particular posting]

Not so long back we had a young visitor for a play date. When it came to snack time I put out chocolate chip cookies for four children and a bowl of goldfish crackers for my son. The visitor was horrified that my youngest child was being discriminated against. I explained that he did not care for chocolate chip cookies, without any further details. At that time he could only eat ‘single’ foods, Goldfish crackers, raisins, Cheerios [with a spoon so that there would be no physical tactile contact, due to the dusty crusty nature of the average Cheerio, and no milk]

Our young friend knew that I was a liar, that all children, indeed, probably all people, love chocolate chip cookies. He took matters into his own hands, on the sly, and sacrificed one of his own cookies to offer it to my son. His subterfuge failed due to the ear splitting scream of horror that thundered from him as he ran from the room at top speed.

I can still remember the expression on that little boy’s sweet face, a combination of disbelief and supreme surprise. That kind of mystification has haunted many a child who has witnessed similar behaviour on occasions too numerous to mention. An early introduction to cognitive dissonance, where two accepted facts vie for the same ground. Now if that cookie had been mounted on a stick, who knows how much faster we might have arrived where we are now?

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Sun Valley Rutile over Woo Blue

5 Minutes for Special Needs

I examine them closely, just like my homegrown judges did. Save me from visual acuity!

They are all small, deliberately, as there is only so much clay and time that I can afford to throw away.

This is the only one I like.

All were thrown at the same time with the same clay. Fired in the kiln at the same time. Glazed in the same manner on the same day, yet each one of them is different from the other.

9 are useable the rest are “poo pots.”

One has a sharp shard from someone else’s explosion. One has two mysterious white spots from goodness knows where.

Three are on the pink side. Two are still pooish, brown and fatally dull. That leaves 4, only four and of that four, I only like one. How many bowls will I need to throw before I can make a set of four? It’s the kind of maths question that drove me quite dotty when I was small. Now I am big and I still have no answers.

On the other hand, some people’s names just slot together like magic. A marriage made in heaven, or rather Ireland but lets not be picky. Happy Anniversary Anne and Ned!

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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Help yourself to a slice of pi

Tackle It Tuesday Meme
Try This Tuesday

Anyone for “pi?”

My teeny tiny tackle this week is to master international parcel mail. I purposely made the latest batch extra small and extra light so that I can use the flat rated, still hideously expensive, parcel rate.

I’ll keep you posted as to my success…….or otherwise. I may need a guinea pig to practice on, someone trustworthy who can let me know that I effectively sent them a pile of broken china.

Don’t forget to check out other “tacklers” as well as “Trish.” You don’t need to have a blog to join in, merely a postal address. Afterall Father’s Day is the 21st of June both here and there, and quite possibly everywhere.

Come to think of it, what better guinea pig could I find than “crystal” afterall I’m sure she’s the perfect match for the “farming life.” I may not share her extraordinary insight, but we do share a “single handedness” and an awful lot of “laundry.”

Cheers dears

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Make your mark

This is quite a coup for the tactile defensive amongst us, to say nothing of the fine motor skills and the good old indefinable ‘motivation.’

I’m told that you can buy them “here” at S&S Worldwide, although I couldn’t spot them myself, or at “Oriental Trading” on “this page.”

I have spent a fortune at that shop over the years. I used to be annoyed that everything came in multiples, however as whatever it was used annoy my boys intensely, it usually took several or many tries before we were even in with a chance.

In this particular instance I have his Occupational Therapist to thank. Now there’s a woman with spectacular powers of persuasion!

And if you have a free mo, try out this test or better still persuade your small people to try it out. You can’t be too careful.

Test Your Eye Color Blindness TestClick here for more blooper videos

Or you can check it out over here on “Metacafe” which I accidentally read as ‘metcalf’ but sadly I’ve not come across a similar dyslexia test!

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.

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And this Animoto feature, was pinched from “Susan” at “5 Minutes.” Thank you!

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Career Opportunites for the ever so slightly deranged

Today I am also over “here” at “5 Minutes for Special Needs Mums.”

I sometimes think that I missed my calling as an air traffic controller. So many of the campaigns around here are premised on the scaffolding of visual aids. They used to be mainly PEC’s, writ large but these days anything goes.

Not so long back I would send my little darlings to school with a whole collection of aide memoires, dangling from their back backs. From the Incredible 5 Point scale, to talismen, many and various, as well as other clues to help them cope. I do believe that they looked like Christmas trees out of season, all the year round. They needed them to be physically available, as visual and tactile work well together for some children, especially mine.

It’s all about helping them to express themselves, sometimes in a socially acceptable manner but now they all talk, they have trouble taking turns with their announcements and questions. Currently, they believe that the best way to get results is to shout. They have naturally adopted the ‘squeaky wheel’ policy, figured it out for themselves, with ear splitting results. It seems to be a case of ‘he who yells loudest’ will ping mum into action. Thus far, it’s working rather well as I dart around fulfilling the latest request.

However, I plan to retire from my post as ‘short order commando cook’ and implement yet another new campaign, roughly along the lines of ‘how to take turns.’ I have yet to polish off the details.

I either need to print all the rules on a serviceable T-shirt and adopt it as my new uniform or alternatively make up a sandwich board to include the never ending list of ‘how to’s’, reminders and cues.

Pop on over and enter your “name” for a thoroughly free review of your blog.

In my next life I’m coming back as a sheepdog as I already have fabulous herding instincts.

Lastly, coming soonishly = lucky numbers.

Any requests?

Cheers dears

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Homework Helper

Two new great positions to aid concentration:-

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

Now that definitely made me happy, especially since he figured it out for himself!

If you want to bring a smile to your day [weekend?] then nip over and visit a happy “bunch of mums.”

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