Speak for yourself – I am not a conduit

I understand some of it.

Part of it is woolly terminology.

How can it be a bathroom if it only has a shower? Why is it called a sitting room when no-one sits there? Dining room is meaningless if ‘dining’ isn’t in your vocabulary. The situation is made worse by parents who do not use language consistently – where ‘corridor’ and ‘hall’ are used interchangeably, at random. How can it be a corri’door’ when there are no doors?

Then there’s the practical matter – we live in an open plan house, where a ‘room’ may have two and a bit walls, undefined, not delineated by any visual boundary, no doors bar entry.

Part of the problem is that the name of any room is unimportant anyway – off radar.
Why is the garage a garage, when it houses a car not a gar? What about the kitch, what is it? When you leave, does it become a kitchout? Isn’t every room a family room? If you share bunks why isn’t it a bedsroom? It can’t be a spare room or guest room, and a day bed is a contradiction in terms. Only the garden is easy – out-side, enclosed by a ten-foot fence, with locked gates.

When they were little they didn’t have the words to explain the confusion. Now they do, and I’m the one that’s confused. We need a map for our own home, but we keep plodding onwards and upwards.


I sit on the floor with my youngest son, a pair, while the respite worker, Ms. G, sits at the table in the dining room – she’s six, stride-lengths away. Conversation is encouraged by not obligatory. I start:-
“Why don’t you tell Ms. G what happened to your sister yesterday?”
“Can’t remember.”
“Can’t remember?”
“No. You tell er.”
“I think she’d rather it about it from you. It was only yesterday.”
“Yesterday is being a very long time ago for my type of peoples.”
“What about all that drama? Tell Ms. G. She’s listening.”
“Don’t know drama.”
“Yes you do – when I had to rush off to collect her from school and take her to the doctor and you stayed at home and were very good because you used your emergency crisis behavior.”
“Oh yeah.”
“So? Tell Ms. G what happened, how she hurt her finger?”
“I don’t know. I weren’t there.”
“But we told you all about it when we got home again. Ms. G wants to hear all about it, from you.”
I look at his dead pan face.
“SIGH..Basketball is a blood sport?”
“Not that bit, anyway, don’t tell me. Tell Ms. G. Remember what we talked about? Being polite. When someone’s in the same room, include them, address them directly.”
“But she ain’t in the same room.”

I look across expanse, from the open plan sitting room, to the open plan dining room where a silent Ms. G observes and grins at me.

Sometimes I’m tempted to run away and hide amongst the filing cabinets in dad’s home off’ence.’

Quite a long time ago, we used a lot of PEC’s. We still use them as scaffolding. You can buy them from lots of different place and make your own to be more carefully taylored to your own child’s specific needs, however, I can across a new place where you can buy them over here as part of the Autism Network – especially handy if you happen to be UK side.

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Percolation time

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

We’re late, me and my shadow, but I drop it off in any case, together with a quick apology, “I’m sorry it’s a bit late but I was a bit tied up at home.” I hear he little gasp, the sharp intake of breath but I’m in a hurry so I pay him no heed. So many things intervene, overlap and pass over. It is only later, much later, when I am buried in yet more things that the questions trip out in quick succession for me to thread them back to the source.
“Yes dear?”
“Who what?”
“Who it did?”
“Who did what?”
“Dah bad fing?”
“Which bad thing?”
“Tied you to home?”

p.s. if anyone knows how to switch off the Hindi trans-iliteration function on blogger, I should be most grateful, another accident. It is disabled but oddly, it is still works. I’m on a Mac so I couldn’t use this function in any case.

Pop over 5 Minutes for Special Needs Moms. as I shall be on my holidays for the foreseeable future.

Cheers dears

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Literal Minded

My elder daughter struggles with the smoke billowed barbeque on Mother’s Day. Hot dogs for the wee ones, spicy ones for the adults along with a marinaded Tri Tip Steak, a foreign cut that we have yet to truly fathom.

She is a tour de force. Everything has been planned down to the finest detail to take account of each and everyone’s very personal accommodations. I’m ready to retire I am so impressed.

“There you go!” she beams, “the kiddie sausages are ready so tuck in guys!”
“Agh! Don touch em! Don touch em! Don touch em!”
“Why we are not be touch em! Dey are too hot?”
“No eat dah safe chips. Don eat dah sausages made outta kiddies.”

It’s always so heart warming to see the children looking out for one another! Not so long back siblings weren’t even on the radar. Such a long short time ago.

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

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ESL – English as a Foriegn Language


Speech delays are curious things but speech pathologists are there to help. Progress can be speedy when an enthusiastic parent gets on board with the programme. Other parents, lesser mortals, can sometimes be the harbingers of doom.


He sits on the throne. I lean on the door jam, awaiting the director of services to direct. I pull at the handful of wadded toilet paper, waiting. This of course is the perfect time, to have a chat, whilst he is immobile and without distractions.

“So…..isn't that so much more comfortable now that Daddy's replaced those tatty old loo seats?”
“Tatty? Tatty? Tatty? What it is be dah 'tatty'?”
“Oh, well sort of old, discoloured, a bit manky.”
“Manky? Manky? Manky? Man? Key?”
“Oh dear, um well just not it very good nick.”
“Nick? Nick? Nick? What it is be dah 'nick'?”
“Condition, not in very good condition sort of moth eaten.”

He springs up from the toilet as if burnt, “I am not want dah moths ta eat my butt,” he screeches as he disappears from view around the corner.

His future career as an entomologist dashed.

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I used to consider myself an honest person, don't we all? I'm not averse to telling the odd white lie here and there, but definitely avoid the big whoppers. [translation = mortal, not burgers]

With my first generation of children a couple of decades ago, I found that my primary position on 'truth' was compromised. I adopted a new position; 'sitting on the fence.' Then, a youthful and ignorant parent, I worked on the sound theory, that if I offered two opposing options, that my child would have to work it out their own way. Of course I stacked the odds in my favor on each and every occasion; 'some people think it's o.k. to eat animals and earn their living that way, other people prefer to think of animals as friends, now would you like Whiskers fried or roasted for Sunday lunch?' Now that's what I call value free parenting.

These days, when the audience is more literal and is beginning to acquire a sense of humor, I find that my fence is getting a bit rickety, but that happens with age. With this generation's black and white world, my fence is being shaken. I am in peril of a tumble.

“I am special?” he asks before the sun has risen. I blink behind my bifocals. I am not a morning person. When he first wakes up, he has more words available to him than later in the day, as he uses them all up. He seems to be operating on a quota system.
“Of course, every child is special. Indeed every person is special now I come to think of it.” I need my brain to wake up and connect with my mouth.
“No, no, no. Me. Me. Me. Am I the special one?” Oh dear! Who has being saying what to him? Don't mess it up! Encourage and positively reinforce every utterance. If only I could get him to start at the beginning, to fill me in on all the prior thoughts leading up to this question.
“Who told you that you were special dear?”
“No, no, no. Not 'deer,' 'boy!' Am I a special boy?” Oh dear! I fell right into that one. Wake up! Starting firing on all cylinders! Have my neurons abandoned me?
“Who told you that you were a special boy?” Why am I a night owl? [translation = barmy old bat]
“I don know. I mean, I mean, I mean, I cant remember who is saying dat.” I think. Hurry, hurry, before he loses interest. I need to metamorphose into an early bird. [translation = leopards and spots] I think hard. Why didn't I train to be a speech pathologist when I was 18? Can I swap [translation = trade] my paper qualifications in 'uselessness' for a practical skill set?

I have no back-ground information, no pointers or clues. I don't want to provoke a meltdown by trying to extract chapter and verse from him, when he just wants an answer. I think of an answer. Not an answer to him, but an answer for him to use.
“The next time someone says that to you, can you try and do your 'good answering' for me?”
“Er, maybe.” Perfect! Never agree to anything initially, without due consideration of any and all consequences. A sound response that will stand him in good stead, both now and in the future.
“Can you try and look at the person, their face, shoulder perhaps, and use your kind voice to say, “And you're special too!”

Well it's not a lie. [translation = ain't that the truth]

verb [I] FORMAL
to avoid telling the truth or saying exactly what you think.

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