Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Wrong use of words

Emily is not the most verbally communicative child there is. She has a lot of words, but a lot of them are in the context of songs or books.

We are making strides with her and there are a number of things she says in the proper context. Unfortunately, there's still quite a lot of "what the hell?" phrases she uses completely out of context.

"Call me good? I'm the scariest creature
in this wood"
At the moment, if she wants to be picked up, she doesn't say "up" or anything remotely similar to that. She stands in front of you, arms up and says "call me good". This is obviously in reference to the Gruffalo, when it's dangling the mouse about to eat it, as it'll "taste good on a slice of bread". I guess she equates me picking her up with a monster about to eat a harmless creature.


The other word she's using quite a lot out of context happens when she's upset. If things aren't going her way, she'll look really upset and yell in a high pitched tone "home time". Before you ask, this generally occurs at home, so no need to race her back home. The only thing Sue and I can think of is they used the term "home time" at Dragonflies, but I imagine it was never under duress.

These are all added to her frenzied use of "yeah baby" when she's got the upsets on as well.

I'm sure there will be a further list of words she uses that we'll need a translation guide for. In the meantime, we're just trying to keep our language simple and stick to very basic words for everything. Basically, taking the fun out of the English language.

Who said Autism wasn't awesome?

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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Holly's first tooth

Holly's been dribbling like a maniac for the last few weeks, which is generally a sign for a number of things, including teething.

This morning, Sue yelled through to me quite excited that she could feel a tooth coming through. This would explain the dribbling. We bought a box of "toothy powders" a couple of weeks ago as we assumed the dribbling was caused by this, but now we know! Queue the screaming pain as the teeth start poking through. 

With Emily losing teeth and Holly's coming through, it's quite an oral time in the John household!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

A bit of an audio breakthrough

Emily, being the sensory beast she is, doesn't like anything near her head. Sunglasses, ear muffs, ear protectors, headphones, the list goes on.

For the sake of her's and Sue's sanity on the plane ride to Oz, I've made it my mission to get Emily used to wearing headphones, so she can partake in Singapore Airlines' onboard entertainment system. Otherwise, it's going to be 24 hours of bored Emily, which NOBODY wants.

This week, we finally made a breakthrough.Emily was in that dozy tired state she gets in to when she's tired. Usually at this point, she's more amenable to new things than she is when she's all hepped up and ready to bounce.

I put Dora the Explorer on Netflix on the laptop, but had the headphones plugged in. Emily was quite excited at seeing Dora, but confused at not hearing it. When I put the headphones on her and she got the whole sensory experience, she didn't want to fight the headphones any more.

This is a BIG win for us, even though she still wants to run out of the room - with headphones still on - when the map bit of Dora comes on. I need to persist at this and introduce different shows, and probably different devices so Emily doesn't just associate the headphones with Dora on the laptop.

This does show great promise for a less hellish trip for Sue and the girls to Oz though.

Monday, 9 July 2012

A touch of the malaise

Sometimes, having done all the reflection on Emily and her "condition", I find myself reflecting on myself and some of my actions - and wondering if I don't show some of the same signs as well. I guess it's natural, and in Early Birds we've all been talking about how the things we discuss seem to reflect on us, the parents.

Case in point, as I write this on the eve of my 40th birthday, I'm in Las Vegas on a work trip. Conventional wisdom states I should be having fun!, fun!, fun! and making the most of my time here. What do I actually want to do? Crawl up in a ball and wait until the flight home.

I went for a walk today in the searing 42C heat, up and down the strip, popping into shops and casinos along the way and all I could feel was the utter sadness and desperation of the people gambling away money they could ill afford to lose... that and an amazing thirst.

I guess a place like this isn't for everyone. Being here has helped me realise that. There's also no definition of fun that suits everyone. You don't have to get legless by the pool or lose your shirt on blackjack to tick the "having fun" box.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Happy in a nappy? Not Emily.

For someone who's not potty trained yet, Emily sure doesn't like her nappy.

Now that the warmer weather is here, she seems to take every opportunity to take off her socks (which is fine) and evidently her nappy. This is usually not cause for concern, as we catch her before anything untoward occurs or she's out in the garden where we don't care if anything untoward occurs.

Today, however, she decided halfway through a poo that enough was enough and she needed her cheeks to be kissed by mother nature. I only discovered things when I smelt the sewage like cologne that accompanied Emily's turd stained feet, legs and hands... and very quickly our lovely dining room chair.

A quick trip to the prison hose down room (the shower) and all was resolved, Emily-wise. The dining area still stinks like someone with gastric flu came to visit for dinner, however.

Not to be outdone, I've just had to glue Emily's nappy back on her, as I chanced a glance out the window and saw her happily bouncing bottomless on the trampoline.

If only she equated hatred of the nappy with potty training, there'd be no issue. It's just when he decides the whole world is her potty that it's a problem. A very crappy problem.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

School induction today

Sue and I had an induction workshop today at Emily's new school for September.

It's called Rainbows and is attached to Green Wrythe Primary School, up near St. Helier's Hospital.

We had a quick look around the classroom she'll be in. As the school's theme is colours of the rainbow, the reception class is "red" - this year as there's two classes, one will be Fox and the other will be Squirrel.

We also talked about various other aspects, filled in an admission slip and got a quick look at the school uniform's jumper, which is (no surprises) green.

Both Sue and I felt that this new school was a good extension of what she's had at Dragonflies to date - low distractions, small classrooms (she's actually going to a 6-pupil class from an 8-pupil one) and a decent ratio of 2 students per adult.

We still have to sort out the transport as well as finalising Emily's statement of need, but those are minor issues.

Looks like come 12 September, we're going to have either a "Red Fox" or a "Red Squirrel" in our midst.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Emily loves a goal

I was watching the Euro 2012 final this evening, as I think every man in the UK was.

Gunning for Spain, I couldn't contain myself when they scored their first goal.

Emily was in the bath, with Sue washing her at the time. When the goal happened, and I cheered and whooped and the TV sound was cheering and whooping as well, Emily lept up in the bath, cheering and whooping, and tried to jump out of the tub to come celebrate. It took everything Sue had to constraint the little celebrant.

Once she was out of the tub and dry, she feverishly watched the rest of the match with me, jumping up and down and hollering "hurray!" every time someone scored or ALMOST scored a goal. Thankfully Spain scored three more, so there was ample chances for actual celebrations.

Just wondering how this would translate to Emily going to an actual event. I imagine the sound in a live stadium would do her head in. Also, with football notoriously low scoring, I don't think this would be the best sport to get her whooping a hollering. I think we'll leave it to televised sports at the moment.