I had a big panic on Monday about Lady’s maths abilities and convinced myself that I’ve been failing her because she wasn’t able to do something she had previously been able to do. It appeared that what she could do in one setting, like a computer game or worksheet, she couldn’t do in other settings. She wasn’t generalising. Well I spouted on for a while in a ridiculous and destructive way about how I’d have to send her back to school as I clearly wasn’t capable of helping her to learn myself, blah blah…
Well I calmed down after a while (and apologised for my stupid behaviour) we thought about what we needed to do. We’ve decided to go back to using the Maths Enhancement Programme. I think we would both benefit from following a prescribed course of study right now, for maths anyway.
So each day she has worked through 4 or 5 pages of that, and she’s enjoying it and gaining confidence in her abilities to think logically about the problems. I also asked her to start writing a story. She has added an instalment every day and it’s getting very exciting. It’s about a little boy, named after Duncan, who meets an evil, child-gobbling witch, whom she’s named after me. Ummm, nice. With this, playing the piano a bit, playing with her brothers a lot and reading and learning/playing on the computer, the days have been full and fun.
The boys spend most of their days playing together. There were a few sunny but cold days and they were outside a lot. We went to a local playground on Wednesday. Duncan was on the roundabout for ages. It wasn’t enough for him that it was turning, he was spinning while on the contraption too! How can he balance like that? I felt dizzy after a few minutes on it! He also copied his big sister in her game of rolling down the grass bank. Thomas is much more stoic. He calmly walks around and has a go on everything. He jumped onto the big swing and I asked if he would like a push. He said ‘no thank you, I will do it myself’ and he did. He loves it when other children are in the park and always makes friends with them.
He’s such a cute boy. He and Gordon have a special game they play; he holds Gordon's face and asks ‘if I kiss you, will I be in TWOUBLE!!!’, Gordon says yes, Thomas kisses him, then much tickling and laughter ensues!
Duncan is still big into dressing up. He’s been Pinocchio, Grumpy from Snow White and Fizz from the Tweenies in the past few days. He’s very resourceful, and has decided that if the correct costume can’t be found in his dressing up box or someone’s wardrobe, then Mummy can draw it and stick it on him. Yesterday he came downstairs with my pink t-shirt, asked me to out it on and had me draw white flowers to stick on it. We then used Lady’s dressing gown belt as Fizz’s white belt. He was upset that we couldn’t make his legs yellow and wore a pair of pink tights instead. Yip, I’m raising a transvestite autistic!
I asked him to fetch the sticky tape for our project and he went running off to the table saying ‘I get the sticky tape, hooray, I found it’ then handed it to me saying ‘thank you’. It was the 1st time I’ve heard him refer to himself as ‘I’. He also did some colouring in himself yesterday. He usually gets frustrated at his efforts as he wants the finished project to look exactly like what ever he’s copying. He coloured Lucy from ’64 Zoo Lane’ and gave her bright pink skin. I asked what colour his face is and he said ‘pink face’. He then divided all the family into pink versus brown faces. Mummy, Duncan and Thomas are pink, Daddy and Lady are brown.
I must end this, as he has just told me he wants a beanstalk. He means the big ones that grow from magic beans and have giants at the top. Right, do you think ebay does them?
(An aside, for anyone who wants to know what to say and how to help families with a child with autism, or any disability, could read this excellent post by Estee.)