Sweet dreams

I arrive just as spouse is tucking them in to bed. “Right, so no pull-up then!” he announces in a booming tone. I stop dead and pout. No pull-up? Who is he to determine withdrawal of pull-up privileges? Is he responsible for the laundry? The inevitable carpet cleaning? Now there's a man who is totally out of line. I think about pulling rank. I decide to keep my own counsel instead, and content myself with thoughts of the following morning's 'I told you so scene.'

The nerve of the man!

I kiss my children good night, hide my pout and return downstairs to smolder. What could he have been thinking, to change the rules in such are arbitrary fashion? No preamble, no warning, no carefully implemented campaign. The man must be completely barmy? I can think of no rational reason why he should have chosen tonight to turn the bed time routine upside down. I froth, stew and steam. [translation = voodoo dolls] I won't have time to do an additional load of laundry tomorrow. The knock on effects could be earth shattering! No spare bed linen. Bare bed. More upset to bed time routine. No sleep for anyone. Curse the man!

In between fumes, I consider my own plan. It's not as if we haven't attempted this 'dry at night' campaign before, it's just that it has yet to be successful. There's no reason that we shouldn't implement a new campaign, we just need careful thought beforehand. How can I have 'beforehand' if we're already after? [translation = failure at the first fence is not a good reinforcer] All campaigns must be orchestrated with the finesse of a conductor. I suppress a growl. Spouse looks across at me. He is unable to detect the steam coming out of my ears, “are you alright love?”
“Fine!”
“Anything wrong?”
“No, nothing. I'm fine, just fine!” I do my best flounce and depart. [translation = high dudgeon] I swear he the most annoying person on the planet. Who does he think he is? Why is the other adult in the household such a complete nit wit. The venom and bile accumulate, but are well leashed.

I debate whether I should lift him later before we go to bed ourselves. Should I haul 56 pounds of sleeping boy onto the toilet? I decide to delete. I stomp back into the family room, because flouncing more than once in any one day, decreased it’s impact. “You’ll be o.k. lifting him later?” I announce rhetorically. He blinks in my direction, “er, sure, if that’s what you want?”
“Me? What I want? And how exactly do my ‘wants’ suddenly come into the equation now?”
“Hmm what?”
“You asked if that is what ‘I want,’ but you weren’t concerned with my wants when you pulled the pull-ups!” I snap with the perfect enunciation of the truly incensed.
“Pulled? Pull-ups? What are you on about?”
“You told him he didn’t have to wear a pull up, without us talking about it first!” I squeak. [translation = and inadvertently spit at the same time]
“Ah! I see.”
“Well?”
“Well what?”
“What do you have to say for yourself!” [translation = Lummy! I’ve turned into my husband’s mummy]
“Well, I er, didn’t have much choice really.” I wait. I wait a bit longer. I suppress a sigh. “Why did you have no choice?”
“Well, it was him wasn’t it.”
“What was him?”
“Him,… I mean…, he said it, he asked, er, he said he didn’t want to wear a pull up any more…… now that he was a big boy, although……those weren’t the words he used………but that’s what he meant,…….I think, yes, that’s what he meant, I’m quite sure.”
“Well why didn’t you tell me that in the first place! That changes everything!”

Moral – before you flounce, feel free to ferret around for the facts first.


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Slice and Dice

Some autistic children have problems with co-ordination. This brief post is my idiots guide to 'mid-lines.' There are many scholarly articles available and an OT can give you a much better explanation. For the rest of us, where speed reading the relevant chapter is the only way to survive, this is my synopsis.
Take one child.

Place in a standing position under a guillotine and slice him down the middle so that you have a front slice and a back slice. The front slice doesn't talk to the back slice, there is a communication problem, most likely bad wiring.

Duct tape the child back together, return to the spot under the guillotine and turn him [it's probably a him] 90 degrees and slice again. Now you have a right side and a left side with the same faulty wiring problem.

Last time. Lie child on the ground, on something soft and slice him in half so that you have a top and a bottom. Same problem.

All these sectional pieces of child fail to communicate effectively with the other bits. Some or all of the pieces may be effected, because autism is a spectrum disorder. Is this your child, or you, come to think of it?

Test the theory.
Take the child's favourite food. Place child in front of table with the favourite food in sight. If your child is right handed, place the food on the left. If the child reaches for the food with the left hand, [remember he's right handed] this MAY mean that he doesn't want to cross his mid-line, the right / left one. This in turn MAY mean that you might want to investigate a little further.

If you are female and wear a garment for your female appendages, does it do up at the back? If you buy one's that do up at the front, maybe you have a front/back mid-line issue? Maybe you have short arms or fine motor troubles or arthritis?

If you always put your shoes on without the use of your hands, prefer slip ons and avoid shoe laces and the like, maybe you have a top/bottom midline hic-cup, or lack flexibility, or have some deplorable foot fettish that we really don't want to know about?

With a bit of luck, this mid-line business is completely irrelevant to you and yours. If on the other hand, you're starting to get a bit worried, furrowed brow, brain working overtime trawling through your child's life for 'evidence,' cease forthwith!

Firstly, you need to check it out with a professional and save valuable worrying time for other things.

Secondly, if there is an issue, like most things with autism, it isn't fatal. You may not be able to 'cure' it, perish the thought, but there are lots of things that you can do to help reduce it. Being aware of the condition means that you are in a position to help. If your child remains in a diced condition up to and including adulthood, it isn't the end of the world.

Lastly, I have one crumb of additional useless advice to offer. When you try and think of a visual or verbal prompt to assist your child, try and avoid ‘left hand helps right hand!’ uttered in a cheery tone, as I can tell you that after three and a half years of saying it, I wish I’d come up with something better.

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