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Boing, boing, boing

Slurping Life

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One heck of a fun day!

I just wish I’d had the video to hear those squeals……all the way up…..and all the way down…..again and again and again. Now that’s my kind of proprioceptive input.

In addition today, if you have a spare moment or are looking for other autism sites you may with to nip along to “Nurse Practitioner” where you can investigate a “list” of diverse sites about “autism.”

And don’t forget to add your name to the “book giveaway” and spare a thought for “Nonna.”

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The Tale of the foolish old woman

Try This Tuesday

Once upon a time, there lived a wise old woman in a little white Cape Cod house, deep in the depths of sunny San Jose. The frugal woman gathered together her gold coins from the hidden corners of house and set forth unto the deep discount store, there to buy a couch for her wee green room. There she searched in vane for just the right one, not too big, not too small and not too expensive. Woe be upon her, as she left empty handed with nought to put beneath her bottom.

The wise old woman shared her little white Cape Cod house with wee little, Italian man, fond of cream and garlic, and partial to padding beneath his bottom. When he heard the wise woman’s lament, he rallied to the cause and set off that very same day to fulfill the old wise woman’s dreams.

Many days passed until the venerable delivery van arrived at the little white Cape Cod house, where to reveal a hansom and jolly expensive couch. The old wise woman clapped her hands with glee when her eyes fell upon the illustrious couch. What a clever wee spendthrift Italian man he was.

Thereafter, during subsequent years, the old wise woman’s children trampled the couch quite thoroughly, wherefore to gain sufficient deep proprioceptive input, until it was no longer an illustrious couch, but a tatty old dung coloured heap.

The old wise woman pondered the meaning of life. After much thought and deliberations, the old wise woman decided that life was incomplete. Completeness came in the form of a large hound, with hair and whiskers and a wiggly, waggly tail. The old wise woman took her children aside and advised them verily, that henceforward the whiskery waggly dog must refrain from parking his hairy bottom on the not so illustrious couch. The aforementioned rule would be enforced ruthlessly.

Day after day, day after day, time passed, yah so slowly, yet permanently stuck of fast forward, as children and family learned to adopt the new rule.

All grew older and bigger, and some grew still wiser.

The old wise woman conceded her many foolishnesses of the past, but that in her next life time, which would surely arrive all too soonly, she would revise the laws of logic. First she would buy a dog, then she would buy a partner on the internet, on a sale and return basis with a 5% discount for cash and $6:95 crate free shipping and handling charge, then she would buy some children to avoid stretch marks and teach everyone to sit on the floor, just as they do in the rest world, in this very big planet that we share.

Moral:- there is very little wriggle room for the wise.

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All the same



I prepare supper during the 30 minute television session, a reward for job chores, or task completion as my professional pals tell me. I clatter in the kitchen half listening to the radio news and half listening to the television.

My son appears by my side, pogoing with unsuppressed excitement. Each hand grasps the other. His even teeth are exposed in a happy grin. He continues to bounce waiting for words to formulate and percolate. I stir the sauce in the pan and count each stroke as he brews up to 15. I turn myself towards him with my 'expectant' face on. He is on the side of slender, enjoys a wide ranging diet, can be tempted into trying 'new food,' and is the slowest eater on the planet. Like most children he loves ice-cream. Dessert is usually the reward for that which comes before. He is often hungry but not really a foodie, more of a re-fueller. I believe that there are children who relish their food. I distinctly recall from my own childhood that meals were merely a hurdle to overcome before you could go back to doing what ever you were doing. Whatever you were doing, was always far more interesting than meal times and my mum was a very good cook.

He gives up the word search, stops pogoing and grabs my wrist to pull me in the direction of the family room. This is hand leading, a skill more often associated with very young children, a recent development that I am thoroughly enjoying. After two or three steps in the right direction, some words catch up with him, “come on! Come see this!” This is an added bonus for me because shared or joint attention to some trivial matter, is also a common feature of early childhood that has been absent here.

He pogos in front of the television screen, his right arm crooked and poised. His timing is off, but nevertheless, his arm shoots out a second or two later to point at the advertisement, “look!” I oblige. I witness an advertisement for a junk food snack, a savoury one, chicken dunks. It looks utterly repulsive. I imagine that the list of additives will be far longer than any real ingredients. The 'food' comes with free toys. The free toys are not Pokemon, and not related to any other current interest of his.

He has never shown any interest in food of this kind. There again I have recently discovered that he swaps food at lunch time with his pal at school. My son gives his preferred snack to his pal and in return, his pal gives my son something that he doesn't like, some kind of chips. My son knows that most children like these chips. His Aides tell me that he does a jolly good job of expressing genuine glee on receipt of something that he is indifferent to, at best. I am uncertain if he does this to please his friend, to fit in with his peers or both? Quite frankly, I couldn't care less, as either or both are such a huge leap in “social awareness” that it's enough to send a mother to the junk food aisle post haste. Having just read how other parents cope with their “adult autistic offspring,” I find that I cannot help but treasure every tiny indicator that things might turn out otherwise. Not better, just “happier.”

This is not the kind of food I want any of my children to be eating because I am a pretentious food snob with the income and free time to back it up.
“Please! We be having dah fun food?” he whispers breathily. His sister looks over with equal longing. To have two of my children enjoy the same dinner would be quite a coup for someone like me, the short order chef. I look from one to the other, teetering on my pedestal, or is that food pyrimid, when the little one crashes in to dash their hopes, “dah food is not fun! Dat is sooooo stoopid! Food is never dah fun!” he spurts in a tone of outrage and bewilderment.

Now although both boys have speech delays, my older son has greater difficulty, which causes no end of complications. However, lately it he has been more proactive about this obvious discrepancy. Rather than fight back with words, his weak suit, he avoids arguments by simply launching himself on his little brother, knocks him flat and lies on him. Initially this appears to be very aggressive behaviour, but neither seems to object particularly. The little one gives a little ‘poof’ of surprise, as they topple over. They both lie there for a little while wordless and calm. After a few moments, the big one rolls off the little one and all seems to be well. It’s a coping mechanism that seems to work for both of them. Hey! They’re brothers afterall.

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Don't try this at home

Your mission, should you care to take it………is to herd three children from the school yard [translation = playground] to the car parked by the curbside at a distance of a mere 50 yards from where you currently stand?

Recipe – take two people, one adult and one child. Ready? Stand together so that as much of your body is in physical contact with the other. [translation = it doesn't matter whether you're front to back, back to back etc.] This is your starting position. Set? [translation = get ready] It is now the smaller person's duty to rotate around the larger body, whilst remaining in physical contact at high speed. Go! The bigger person must now walk towards the car whilst the other continues to rotate.

The smaller person must move their feet with greater agility to avoid entanglement. [translation = a bit like French skipping] Additionally the smaller person should repeat a phrase of three words continuously, preferably rhyming, at just the right pitch and at 50 decibels in order to ensure that the adult brain is incapable of functioning.

Now, would be the ideal time for the small person to stick their head under the upper garment of the adult such that flabby female flesh is exposed to those who look on bewildered. It will not help to yell 'proprioceptive input' at the aforementioned audience at this time. [translation = or any other time come to think of it]
Continue thusly in the general direction of the car.

Additional garnish – choose from the following [wisely] –
Hold the hand of the child that falls down a lot.
Ensure that you haven't left the third one behind.
Be aware of personal belongings, yours and theirs.
Add crowd.
One pinch of noise [wide choice available to tune into or out of]
A smattering of well wishing comments from friends.
Traffic safety persons [with whistles]

Yes, it is 'oh so cute' when they are two, maybe three, but at six and a half, the general public do not vote this way. They register deviant and give a wide berth to the spectacle.

Repeat as necessary, [translation = daily] until phase passes or a suitable 'intervention' can be manufactured.

It would probably be wrong for the adult to break free at this point and run away, right?
[translation = where is a trampoline when you need one?
Why isn't there a swimming pool there instead of a storm drain?
Why didn't I bring his weighted vest?
Don't you dare carry him!]

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Early days 1 – battle of the sexes

I had two girls. I knew I could do girls, but as a raging feminist, I was doubtful whether I could manage boys. After a few months of my pregnancy, I suspected that rather than being 'with child' I was 'with boy.' I found that my favourite staple food, bananas, had turned to poison. I started to seriously consider what I would do if the bump was born a boy?

I would teach him to cook and darn socks. I would ensure that he was in touch with his inner child and his feminine side. I would make him into the perfect mate. What were you supposed to do with boys? Everyone, just everyone always said how different boys were. I was worried.

When the first boy arrived I liked him a great deal. He was cuddly and quiet, a peaceful adorable baby, except if you put him down. He had been installed with a motion detector in his bottom. As long as he was vertical and attached, life was bliss. So the difference between boys and girls wasn't that great, possibly even preferable. It looked as if I was going to be able to do boys after all!

By the time the next boy came along I discovered another difference between girls and boys. Boys did not like push chairs. [translation = strollers] That was o.k. too. I put the little guy in one of those modern contraptions that straps the baby to your chest and carried the bigger one, both vertical, both quiet.

Of course they talked late, but boys do, don't they, everyone knows that. It was only much much later that I began to understand something called deep proprioceptive input. [translation – squishing a child helps them become more grounded. It is calming and reassuring which helps them feel safer too] It was later still that the connection between autism and sensory integration began to make sense.

In the meantime, whilst I may look like a stick insect, I have the upper body strength of a building contractor, but that's what happens if you carry two small people until they reach 45 and 59 lbs respectively.

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