Autism and Transitions

Autism and Transitions

“Ooo there you are!” I hussle my pal into the car. We are carpooling to save the planet. She's not a nervous type but if our roles were reversed, I might be nervous too, because foreigners drive on the other side of the road. I reverse out of the drive as she sits in the passenger seat. I glance across at her, ram rod backed and ears pricked. I check, “are you o.k.?”
“We're in the middle of the road Maddy!”

To “read more…..”


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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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And then there was light

I pick up the last few bits and bobs so that I don't trip over them in the morning. An assortment of tiny things that are of great importance for junior. At 1 a.m. I fall into unconsiousness to recharge the batteries.

A small figure appears in the gloom to yell “where it is? Da 'glow bit'?” I peer at the LED, one inch from my nose, two inch numbers, which tells me that it is 5:40 in the morning. Horray! They're beginning to adjust to Day Light Saving after nearly two weeks. Instead of waking at their usual 6:00, they changed their allegiance to 5:00 a.m. without so much as a by your leave. [translation = permission]
I run the question through my lexicon: 'glow bit'? What could he possibly mean? I blink but he is a blur without the bifocals. I am unable to glean any periferal information to assist me. I notice that he is po- going at a rapid rate. [translation = jumping up and down in the same spot jolly fast] This piece of information adds to the 'blur' affect but also tells me that he is hanging on by a thread [ translation = near a meltdown due to frustration, barely holding it together]

I need a clue, I need my brain to wake up and fast. I remind myself that this is better than 2 years ago when he was just a silent apparition. It is better than last year where he would appear and promptly explode all over the carpet. Now we have his physical presence, fully equipped with words, which he is willing to share with us, but lack the intelligence to interpret them accurately.

It's definitely a new one, one I haven't heard before. Why can't he keep the utterance of new vocabulary to a more reasonable timetable? [translation = schedule] We could introduce a new campaign! Half an hour a day when he can bludgeon us with his new words, preferably when we're awake. Thirty minutes for introductions to specific new words where he could appraise us of his progress. But no, we have to contend with these dictatorship assaults, and before daylight to boot. [translation = as well]

I trawl through the previous days events for clues, even though I know from experience that the 'new word' may have entered his being at any time during the last 6 months, and only now surfaced to be verbalized. Play with siblings, [translation = brother and sister] [horray he plays!] basket for of library books, visit to supermarket, [translation = grocery store] thirty minutes telly, [translation= reward for task completion {sub translation = doing chores}] Nothing stands out as 'new'?
Not for the first time, I wish I had a twin, or a clone, someone who could be with him every second of the day so that I can keep up, because every moment I miss, leads to additional incidents of failure, where I am stumped. [translation = lost]

I debate whether or not to ask for more information? [translation = further an better particulars] But I can't find my cheer leaders voice. Luckily it's too dark to need my cheerleader face. If I ask a question in just the right way, he might co-operate and answer. But if I don't understand the answer we'll be no further forward. [translation = probably make things much worse and provoke a meltdown anyway] I determine to be brave and risk the fall out. “Can you use your 'good describing words' for me?”
“Yes, it is pink and it is light.” Come on now, two further pieces of information! Use them!
“Er do you mean it's not heavy, small?”
“Yes, dat is right! You are da good one mummy!” Horray! Reciprocal exchange. [translation = a dialogue where both parties exchange information] I play for time.
“Stinky pinky huh!” I tease. [translation = a not so private joke, that makes him giggle and eases the tension.] “Let me see, what can I think of that's pink and small?” I say out loud using my 'thinking' voice.' [translation = lets him know that I'm functioning at half speed but trying]
“No, it is the small and it is the light also.”
“Er…..light? Like a torch? [translation = flashlight]”
“Yes! Good one mummy. You are da great rememberer! I am looking for the new little pink flashy torch thingy that you were buying me yesterday, so that if I was a dog and you were taking me for a walk, then I wouldn't be squished by da cars because da driver, he would be seeing my pink blinky light, but only in da night time when it is being dark.” Couldn't have put it better myself.

Only 2, the cat chewed the other one over night. I hope he didn't swallow it? Well we’ll find out when it gets dark.

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