Writing and posting from the iPad. Just cause I can!!
Monthly Archives: September 2012
Stuck trying to understand The Great Autistic ones needs called for a mental health day today. I mused upon things while mowing the lawns. At first I dreamed about a Rosetta stone but that’s for Translating not understanding or mind reading. Strike that one off the list of useful crap to own.
So then me being me I pondered the help I could get from a Palantir. But then I remembered that a Palantir does the whole mind reading, inner thoughts, great eye watching you. And I was like “yeah, nah, non verbal communication, over it!” Besides Sauron seems kinda OCD and I have enough going without another bunch of letters complicating things and anyway The Great Autistic has the whole ceaseless watching, reading my mind down to an art form.
Then it struck me. What I needed was a help desk for autism
“Hi you’ve reached the ASD Inc helpline. How can I assist you today?”
“I see so you have a early millenimum model and it’s stuck going circles and humming. Is that correct?”
“Right I understand and it self adjusted the shiny/shapey settings to milk tankers and the alphabet in Hindi? Yes and I assume you don’t speak Hindi?”…………….”Ok well that’s understandable we do outsource to cut down our user costs . I wouldn’t be too concerned about that at this stage?” “However if the unit switches to Serbian you might have to re-boot”.
“Have you tried to reset using the flap maximum input to licking windows and tastes like cookie……..Not licking windows? Licking what sorry?…………Well yes that IS a problem but if the dog isn’t complaining I think it’s ok to leave it there I can’t see how that would cause the humming”
“Has it be in water in that past 24 hours? Sometimes a gentle pre-soak first can shift the lever if it’s stuck…………………Oh you did and you added bubbles?”……..”Adding bubbles ISN”T advisable Mam that tends to loosen things to much then excessive nudity can occur and I need to remind you we cannot be held accountable for public acts of indecency and weeing on the carpet.”
“Did you change the user input to smells like purple sounds…..No?”…………… “No I’m sorry I can’t tell you want purple sounds like either”.
“Mam that language isn’t appropriate and not very helpful either”
“I understand you’re frustrated but these models are not for beginners so I am sorry about that. Do you have a front loader with glass viewing window for a washing machine? Have you tried putting the washing machine to full cycle and placing the unit in front of it? That can also re-set the flap?’……….”Sure I’ll wait”
“Oh excellent so it re-set the flap but now the hum is louder?”
“Well Mam you do seem to have a rather unique model there. I assume there first thing you tried was plugging it into the net and putting milk tankers on endless youtube repetes and filling the unit with chocolate and cheese?
“Mam if I have to remind you about the language I will have to terminate this phone call”
“Oh well perhaps you should have tried that first then. Yes I’ll wait”
“Oh well I AM pleased. The hum has decreased, the flapping has slowed down it’s not stuck in circles any more…..but….sorry….what?
“You have a twitch and the vodka bottle is empty?”
“Sorry Mam that’s another department. Let me transfer you.”
“Thank you for your call. Have a nice day”
I was talking with an acquaintance today who said “I don’t really know anything about autism” so I gave her usual speil about learning disorders blahda blahda blah and she said “well yes I know that much from reading your blog, but that’s about it”
Oh a reader……………….*cue dance of rapture*
And then it occurred to me through my little squirrel type brain how many times I hear words similar.
“I don’t know much about autism but I saw/read/heard/tried this >enter movie/book/fad diet/touching story/product/therapy here< and thought of your little boy”
Or for the more extreme minded folks I know
“Oh now I read this thing where this parent feed their child ONLY boiled yaks piss, with cucumber dipping sauce and cherry blossom flowers and now their kid ISN”T autistic ANYMORE. You have to try it too! You’re gonna regret it if you don’t. I’m going to start using it cause a hippy living in a yurt in Siberia tried it for their hayfever and it CURED IT!!!!!! And they got taller too!!”
Ok so that last one might be an exaggeration but you get my point
So here’s the thing.
My Son is 7 1/2 years old. He has classic low functioning autism. Classic low functioning autism is ONE I repeat ONE of the disorders under the Autism Spectrum Disorders label.
Now I know that folks out there talk about all sorts of kids as “Autistic” but in my mind it’s kinda like this;I say my boy has classic low functioning autism. You say your kid has Aspergers. So they both have autism right?
WRONG!!! They both have ASD. Or are “on the spectrum”
To me telling me your aspies, pdd, whatever label, kid is like mine is like telling a patient with a brain tumor you know how it feels cause you get headaches.
So to illustrate why I get a mite bit riled I’ll explain my boy. As I said he’s 7 and a half years old. He was diagnosed at 14 months old. This is extremely unusual.
My son IS NOT toilet trained. He can pee in the toilet on command, but that’s it. He’ll wet himself and not know or care, he’ll poop in a pull up and then take it out with his hands and drop it on the floor. No matter how hard I try I can’t break that cycle.
My son CAN”T really speak. He has some words, if you’re used to him you can understand them. One or two are really clear. If he’s doesn’t have the word he has no ability to use other words in it’s place. He appears to be able to read. He has no real pen grip so he can’t write. He does use a keyboard but if left to his own devices he’s likely to type out a few words about cookies or ice cream then start surfing the net for milk tankers. He really likes milk tankers.
He CAN’T dress himself or consistently pick out his own clothes. He CAN”T bathe himself, turn ton taps, wash his hands, wash his hair, use a cloth to wipe his face. He has no awareness of hot or cold. He can often be directed to put on socks and shoes but not always.
He DOESN”T sleep very well. he often wakes up in the middle of the night and plays, watches movies, yells and screams for snacks. He won’t turn on the light or open his door.
He ‘asks’ permission to do EVERYTHING open doors, pick up toys, play on swings, turn on lights, flush toilets. EVERYTHING.
He has NO CONCEPT OF SAFETY, he can’t tell what a road is and won’t stop to cross it, he’ll stick his fingers in fires and plug sockets, he’ll lick scissors and jump of high objects and walk in front of people. If he drops something and it smashes he’ll try pick it up. He also CAN”T tell us if he’s sick or hurt. He often has pain transference, if his foot hurts he’ll rub his head. Or just scream
He is in MOTION about 18 hours a day non-stop. Flapping, spinning, rocking, bouncing, jumping, running. You name it he moving.
But all these things are EASY to deal with. The one thing about the great autistic one that’s tough?
He Doesn’t Eat.
He won’t can’t doesn’t eat anything hot, cooked, wet, sticky, or cold. He can’t even touch most foods with his hands. That’s right HE CAN”T EVEN TOUCH fruits, vegetables, hot meat, cold yoghurt’s, breakfast cereal. Anything that’s not on HIS approved list he can’t even touch, let alone smell, touch with his tongue, taste, chew or swallow
So his “diet” is as follows.
Popcorn. Microwaved extra buttered only.
Potato chips. 4 flavours of 2 brands only
Cookies. Chocolate chip prefered. Nothing with oats, bran, friuts, nuts or anything useful. The more sugar the better
Fruit filled cereal bars. Dunno what people in other countries call them but over here they look like this There’s 3 brands 4 different flavours he’ll accept.
Sandwiches. White bread only, strawberry jam only and something we Antipodeans call vegemite
He likes something called a savaloy or perhaps you might call it a hotdog. But only at room temperature and with the skin peeled off.
And our Godsend. Cheese. This kid LOVES cheese. And we’re very lucky that he’ll drink milk
That’s the extent of his “healthy” foods.
Attempts to force the issue or introduce new foods result in panic attacks, projectile vomiting, violent tantrums, headbutts, self harming, meltdowns and near catatonic states.
My boy can and will devoure his own body weight in ice cream, lollies, chocolate, fizzy drinks if he could. He will eat hot french fries from Burger King, but not from McDonalds and certainly not from home. He will eat ice cream but he’s likes to pick it up with his hands first.
So his ‘diet’ is sugar, starch, wheat and dairy. With some highly processed meat products thrown in for balance.
So the very next time you have a suggestion for me about the evils of processed white flour/sugar/cows milk and how I’m poisoning my child. I will have a suggestion for you.
Wanna hear it?
So while it’s nice that you thought of me and mine and were trying to be helpful. Please read the post, understand the post, and learn from the post.
And you want to know how to help?
Send cocktails. And chocolate. HE”S the one with the food issues NOT me.
Not too long ago we put an application in to a local community funding group for an ipad for the great autistic one. They said yes. We said thank you.
Seriously everyone who’s anyone has said “oh he’s low functioning autistic? You gotta get him an ipad”
“OK great, they’re THAT good?” “Yeah yeah they’re awesome, he’ll love it it’ll be a great tool for him”
So we have the money for one. We’re buying it in 2 days time.
It’s a 64gig wifi whatchamacallit with a dooferdong and a thingyamebob. AWESOME huh!!!!!!
I just hope to all hell the kid can use it.
Cause I sure as hell can’t. I got excited as anything when I worked out how to put a darth vader ringtone on my cell phone. Now that darth pissing me off I can’t get rid of him. Goddamn sith lord, he’s the bane of my existence!
So yeah an ipad. $1,000 of what exactly?????……I know it has something called apps and it’s not waterproof and I am assuming that due to a lack of opposable thumbs with won’t make me margaritas but I could be wrong, I’ve seen lots of lovely heartwarming touching videos with small children “finding their voices” and telling their mummy’s and daddies “i love you’ with their apps, and doing maths and drawing pictures and lots of lovely heartwarming things
all together now …………. “awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww”
But us and ours? Well if the dog doesn’t eat it, the husband doesn’t stand on it, the teen doesn’t drop down the toilet and I don’t lose my freakin mind with frustration and beat into submission with a hammer. Then I’m sure the cat can figure out how to get it to feed him. I’m damn sure the cat plots against us with the great autistic one.
Some kind of freaking cat/kid vulcan mindmeld
As for the great autistic one and his ipad?
Time will tell. As long as I can convince him not to use his penis as a stylus we’ll be all right.
I guess if all else fails I’ll give it to the ten year old to program.
Or the cat.
So internets have at it. Tell me all about your ipads, I know I’m the only autistic parent on the planet without one these days
Talking can be overrated. Really it can. I’ve just spent one hectic crazy week staying with some friends. Helping out and doing some serious babysitting.
The family has 2 boys 1 aged 4(actually nearly 5) we’ll called him Matey and one aged 2 & 1/2 we’ll call him buddy.
And man can these guys talk!!!
Holy snapping duckshit they talk.
Matey can take 5 minutes of chatting before making his point, it’s usually about sandwichs.
Buddy has a very FIRM grasp of the following
“No. I do it myself” “No. I don’t want any help” “No. You can’t help me” “No. I don’t want you to do it”
Did I mention Buddy is VERY independent???
My Mr Boo aka the great autistic one doesn’t have any of these. He has almost no spontaneous language what so ever and what little language he does have isn’t exactly USEFUL. Odd? well yes “duck duck frog meow”. Hilarious? Absolutely “zubbledee zubbledee, lion lion JoJo”! Insulting? On one memorable occasion yes “cry baby no happy hahahahhahaha.
But talking like these little dudes
“Tinks, hey Tinks, hey did you know that ummm that I was wondering if you are playing plants vs Zombies you, ummm you I mean you should just use the mushroom that looks like a sort of rainbow one because BECAUSE that one he make the bad guys no no I mean he makes the ZOMBIES yeh the zombies be on your team for a while. Then. THEN they can go and eat the other ones not on your team. Did you know that? They the best mushrooms I think. They are my favourite ones”
And this guy is 4(actually nearly 5)!
So let’s compare this to the great Autistic one. Well for fun and giggles I spent two weeks patiently stalking him as he stimmed around the house playing his favourite game of 3,2,1,,,,,,,,,,,,,,GO and we managed to turn it into “zomBE wan brain zomBE wan brain zomBE wan brain zomBE wan TICKLE” I decided to spell it as he pronounces it but we can also note here that sometimes he can get stuck in a loop and spend several minutes on the zomBE wan brain part. But we haven’t had that request in several weeks now and I’m wondering if it’s gone again as so much of his language does.
And little Buddy.
“herego herego I make a tower a you. No that’s not a your tower that a MY tower. I go make a tower for you. You no help me I do it myself”
Nothing to compare there, The great autistic one doesn’t ‘make’ anything for us and the only time he brings us things is to request use/help/assistance. And he can only do that if the word is programmed into his brain. If there’s no word then depending on his motivation to interact with the object it can takes between 5-30 repetitions to program the object label in and regular opportunities to re-enforce, can be up to another 20 times. But then there’s no guarantees the word will stay put.
But back to Matey and Buddy
These 2 wee dudes are awesome. But man they wore my ears out.
I’m knackered and all I had to do was listen.
One thing I found difficult though was NOT pre-empting them, but giving them the chance to use their language.
Weird. Reminding myself to shut up and let the little guy talk.
So what have it internets? Anything you wanna share? Do you find dealing with neurotypicals odd or a refreshing change. Let me know your thoughts
I’ve been having a thoughtful day.
I want to come off like this guy
But on closer inspection I turned out more like this guy
My thinking was all about autism and education and the pros and pitfalls of unschooling and I had this incredibly succucent analogy about cake and ice cream. And I thought and I thought and I thought.
Then my brain went runny and leaked out my ears.
Long story short my brilliant, witty, intelligent, thought provoking post. Turned into this.
First rule of homeschool. You do not talk about homeschool
Avid readers want to know what about the pants? A running battle with the great Autistic one and his school has led us not into temptation -to high five some in the face with a chair- but rather to have far more interesting and as the Almighty Spock would say logical place.
Simply. Ultimate Dadda and I are no longer content to sit idly by and watch from the sidelines as our sons needs continue to be dismissed for the greater good of the group. I find that to be illogical and the mere fact that the school can’t understand why we’re not happy? It baffles me to the point of rage.
- It’s not common sense if you’re the only one that has it. It’s just sense
So the solution is simple.
Homeschool. In a class of one it’s a little hard to be ignored by the teacher.
(Unless the world suddenly comes to it’s senses and allows the Great Whedon one a second season of Firefly)
Homeschool. Were pants are optional not destroyed. For the good of the class.
Homeschool. Where the teacher can bribe and cajole co-operative behaviour with cookies and jellybeans
Homeschool. It’s ok to eat the paste.
Homeschool. Where “go sit on your seat” is magically transformed into “go have a swing”
Homeschool. It’s ok for the kid to not have a clue cause the teacher doesn’t either.
But the very best thing about homeschool?
No more i.e.p.
And the world was a kinder gentler place filled with rainbows and unicorns.
- Equine therapy???
So what do you think internets. Please share your thoughts