Friday, February 16, 2007


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Why am I, I hear you ask?
Because it is 5:30am on a school inset day and I and Beauty should be still asleep.
Who woke us up?
The daft bat of a 21 year old who has been on the computer all night photo-shopping photos of Beauty, suddenly she decides to watch a Grey's anatomy video on YouTube , WITH MUSIC..........!
'I'm sorry' she says
'I thought it was on quiet'.
It woke Beauty up and she got out of bed and came and stood next to me and said,'READY'.
Yep, I'm ready at 5am on a school in-set day to get out of bed and sit in a chair trying to wake up, doing a fair representation of someone experiencing catatonic symptoms!
Autism and it's behavioural tendencies are not reserved for the likes of Beauty,(profoundly autistic children) but can be seen in the likes of you and me and a daft 21 year old! Don't get me wrong, I love the 21 year old but her issues can be a heck of a lot more tiring than the 6 year old. When I look back and assess the signs that were there I can honestly say that yes it was easy to see she was autistic but the Doctor couldn't accept that she was autistic because she could 'pretend play' by pouring a toy tea pot into a cup! Give me strength..........Beauty can do that. Oh good the consultant was wrong, Beauty can pretend pour tea so she can't be autistic. I am sorry for my sarcasm, yes I accept that this was coming up to 20 years ago and autism had only really been defined 40 or so years before that BUT If I knew about it and could read the signs then so could the Doctor. The Doctor was just a little bit older that me, not an out-of-date GP who had qualified in the 1050's.
SnoWhite saw a speech therapist because she had speech but lost it, she had a lot of obsessive behaviours (I know, who doesn't!), a serious lack of awareness of danger and very little empathy but having said that she was the sweetest darling little girl. She very rarely spoke to teachers in school all the way through her primary school years and Fiona was diagnosed with the same type of selective mutism after also having speech but losing it. SnoWhite was diagnosed as having the same type of processing problems as Beauty but at the age of 21, not 2. In school the teachers were just grateful to have a quiet, well behaved girl. I do feel that one of the reasons for so many more children being found to be autistic is the fact that we are now more aware and have the confidence to say to doctors what we really think. If SnoWhite had been diagnosed early like her sister then I would still have wanted a mainstream education for her but I doubt whether it would have been through the medium of welsh. I feel that learning a phonetic language didn't help with her processing and she would have made greater strides just being taught through her first language which she is being taught through now in university.
I once attended a lecture where the idea was explored that we all are on the spectrum and exhibit signs. I can look back on things my parents said and did and yes they each had a number of behaviours that were autistic. I also have a lack imagination in certain areas and have difficulty accepting many things, at times my mind can be very literal. I look back at the behaviours of the girl's fraternal grandfather and he also had a lack of imagination in certain areas and lived a very set lifestyle. Sorry girls! You didn't stand a chance.
And as for Beauty's Dad..............a distinct lack of imagination and rigid behaviours there too.What was I thinking?
Remember the old joke.............look at the mother-in-law to see what the daughter will look like one day! Well I think the same is true with the way we behave.
In the evenings I can be found sitting at the kitchen table reading a book- I also love books. I prefer to stay in rather than go out and I love my that sounds like my mum. Or are they just learned behaviours? Who knows.

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See..........she should be asleep.


LAA and Family said...

Talking about autism running in the family gene pool.... my oldest son did not talk until well after he was 2 years old and he had the funniest mannerisms and utterances! He used to run around the edges of a room with his head turned and he would look out of the corners of his eyes. I'm so glad that I didn't know what autism was back then! By the time we started wondering about his speech, he started talking and that was that.

I hear lots of stories from family friends of my husband's about how difficult he was when he was a child. He was constantly getting kicked out of schools and he just couldn't bear to sit through lectures in college. He has a couple degrees, so he has no problem learning, just can't do it in the traditional environment very well. It makes me wonder how much I should fight to have Samuel function in a "traditional" school environment.

Your daughter is beautiful! Her features are astonishingly similar to what I have seen in photos of my husband when he was young.

chrisd said...

My Sam is a red head too and come to think of it, looked just like that sleeping. Does your daughter have problems with allergies?

You left a comment on my blog about finding time to write.

I'm going to blog about that. For me, writing is not about doing--it's like laundry. Or putting the dishes in the dishwasher.

I feel better when I do it. It's part of me and has been since I was a child. I'm told by other writers that they feel the same way. It's not a chore--it's just there, it's all in there and it's better if I write it down.

sounds a little like persevoration.


Club 166 said...

It's funny how sleep (ours as well as our kids) often become a central issue in our lives.

It's just one more area (that's often ignored and not well understood) where our kids are "out of sync" with the rest of the world.




An Irish Blessing

(A Blessing from St. Patrick)
May the road rise to meet you,

May the wind be always at your back,

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

May the rains fall soft upon your fields,

And, until we meet again,

May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.