Book Choice – reciprocal exchange we love you


“Tell you what!”
“Wot?”
Horray! Months of speech therapy just to elicit this particular typical response.
“You pick the book and I'll read it to you for a change.”
“I am not being dah reader?”
“Just a thought.”
“Which book I am reading?”
“Doesn't matter. Anything you like.”
“You are not er….doing dah choosing?”
“Right.”
“Wot I choose?”
“You tell me?”
“ANyfink?”
“Anything.”
“Anyfink but dah diamond book?”
“Which 'diamond' book?”
“Dah one wiv all dah diamonds.”
“Which one is that?”
“Agh! I not say it.”
“Why won't you say it?”
“Coz den you will be remembering it and you will be making me be reading it again.”
“I don't make you read books!”
“Liar! Liar! Liar!”
I try and work out which nerve I've touched? But he relents and takes pity on me. “It's o.k. Your old lickle brain is not working good, but I have a brain of good remembering, because it is big.”
“You're right! Clever big brain. So what book do I make you read?”
“Agh! You are dah stoopid one! You are making me read dah books dat are coming home from school.”
“Oh. Yes, you're quite right, you do have to read those ones, but I don't remember one about diamonds?”
“I fink it shrink!”
“What is shrinking?”
“Your stoopid brain.”
Fell right into that one! He's probably right there too. In case you wonder why I don’t correct him, guide him to more appropriate responses, this is merely due to the fact that I am too happy wallowing in the ‘joy’ of experiencing ‘conversation.’ [translation = reciprocal exchange]
“O.k. I give up. Which one was the diamond one?”
“'I'll love you forever'! It had dah diamond periods! Remember!” he bellows, angry breath blasts my face.

Of course! How could I have forgotten? His book of the week from school, “I’ll love you forever,” had diamond shaped periods [translation = full stops] instead of the ordinary round black dots. How could I possibly expect the poor child to read such a nightmare of a book again. Publishers should take far more care with their punctuation, or more importantly, the shape of their punctuation, unless they wish to alienate a whole generation of potential readers.

And humble apologies to all those who favour different punctuation,spelling, font and colour schemes, all of which are beyond my technical control. [Translation = especially those annoying little cross bone tool icons in the side bar – enough to drive you…..

to an irritating place!]


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Contextual referencing

“What it is?”
“What is what dear?”
“Er,…it is saying 'nun a dee abuv?”
“Say it again?”
“Nun a dee abuv.”

They both have a tendency to do this, blurt out a question that is connected to something that happened yesterday, last week or last year. They don't reference their questions, that is to say, put them in contex, so it can be the devil's own job, trying to detect where, when or what the question stemmed from? [translation = very difficult]

Why don't I just ask for the context? You’re right I could, perhaps I should, but at this stage of their verbal development we want to encourage them to talk, reinforce their efforts in a positive manner. [translation = frightfully American] If you respond to each question with a barrage of additional questions, you'll just put them off, they'll stop trying and we'll go back to our world of silence. [translation = the old parenting style]

I stand in the middle of the kitchen with my x-ray eyes, willing inspiration to zap me. I lean on the kitchen counter to take a deep breath, so that he'll think it is a natural pause in our [potential] conversation. My finger tips touch the edge of the fifty page questionnaire. [translation = exaggeration, but still yards to long {sub translation = yards}]

I glance at the open pages:
‘no. 56. Does the child
a] always resist physical contact
b] never resist physical contact
c] not applicable
d] none of the above.’

Shouldn't have left it out! Should have tidied it away. How could I have forgotten that he can read anything if he is so disposed. [translation = hyperlexic] He lifts a delicate finger tip to his lip, tentative, cautious.

“ 'd' is not da good one?”
“'d' is a great one. I love 'd'. You are absolutely right!”

His medicine ball head clunks into my hip bone. How can you contain a 'spectrum' disorder in a questionnaire that doesn't wrap round the world 3 times?

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