And..? 😂

I recently lost my phone and returned to using my laptop.

Frances: What are you doing?

Me: I’m just trying to restore some functionality to my digital world…

Frances: It’s been an hour!!!

#asd #autism #aspergers

Boundless energy

If I’m not mistaken, around the time of middle school is when children seem to slow down. They stop “playing” at recess, and instead they stand around talking with one another or in groups. They may go for walks. It’s quite a change when it happens.

This hasn’t happened yet for Frances. She still plays, but yesterday she said that she might only play at home from now on in order to fit in. (More on this later.)

Her bouncy energy hasn’t diminished any either, and she will still skip, instead of walking, up to someone. I love it.

Yesterday, she returned from a sleepover (at the house of a great family that I’ve mentioned before): they know Frances very well, and the older son has Aspergers.

She had gone over on Saturday immediately after her riding lesson. I’m guessing that she was her bouncy and enthusiastic self when an activity was suggested because the mum said, “Frances, you just got off a horse!”

It was said with jocularity, and Frances giggled when she told me about it.

I do hope she retains this energy for as long as possible. Speaking as a mother of “advanced age”* (🙄),I’m always hoping for more energy.

Overcoming inertia gets harder for me by the week! 😂

* that’s how a brochure, that I had received from my doctor while pregnant with Frances, actually referred to me. I was in my 30s. 🤷‍♀️

Andddd we’re back!

There has been no shortage of activity in the Pink Cup life. In October, I found myself finishing a 20-week group that I had attended with Pink Cup Sister, and while the first group was ongoing, I started a 10-week group with Frances. With all the other regular appointments, I am at that hospital (and other hospitals) very often!

In the fall, we experienced a major family emergency, and it meant that writing was very much out of the question.

So, here we are. Last night we finished off Frances’s 10-week group with a little party. Thankfully, it included pizza because I was so tired, and not having to make supper really helped me out.

So, what about Frances? She had the respiratory flu for a couple of weeks and ended up losing weight she couldn’t afford to lose (as she is tall, lanky and ‘light for her height’). Now that she is restored to better health, she is once again my beautiful blur of boundless energy.

In the group setting, I noticed that she had a little difficulty knowing when to take her turn during a card game and was noticeably resistant to another child’s helpful statement of the rules. The game was being moderated, so I appreciated the opportunity to observe her.

I noticed that, as soon as she could, Frances headed to a part of the room with toys, grabbed a large doll house and its accessories, and focussed on that activity. Once she started this solitary activity, she would answer questions but did not turn to look when doing so. The other child was a boy who wasn’t interested in doll houses, and I’m certain that Frances was relieved by this fact.

She was great with her manners, usually saying ‘thank you’ when given something. She still sometimes says, “you’re welcome” instead (which I find adorable). She does not yet use ‘thank you’ when offered something, but that is something that will come in time, I think.

She doesn’t believe that the group offered her anything useful, but, personally, I secretly disagree. At any rate, I should receive the summary report shortly. 😊

Back at the keys

Frances has resumed piano lessons after a year’s break. Our teacher is so close to our home which makes it much easier for me when Pink Cup Dad is working.

Frances and Beethoven
Frances plays Beethoven

Thank you?

I was explaining to 12yo Frances that, even though I’d once been in a cycling accident, I hadn’t ended up in hospital with broken bones.

She said, “See? You’re decently smart.”

Ok, but I…It’s just…I don’t know why she thought that might be an issue for me? 🤷‍♀️ 😂

#asd #zingedagain

Frances and school

I’ve heard other parents of children with ASD say the same thing: their child catches every cold going around. The same is true of Frances.

I grimace when she mentions that a student at school is sick because, invariably, I know that Frances will be sick very shortly thereafter.

So, last week, my dear 12yo started coughing, had a sore throat, and was quite warm to the touch. She ended up missing a couple of days of school.

This didn’t sit well with her Grade 7 teacher — at all. She let me know that her class moves quickly, and that Frances would have a hard time getting caught up, that she couldn’t stop or slow down for Frances, etc.

So, I asked if I could help with the writing classwork; the teacher didn’t give me an outline, so I couldn’t help.

I asked about math — apparently, Frances couldn’t move on because she hadn’t done the previous lesson correctly.

I’m sure you know me by now, and you will not be surprised to learn that I ORDERED the damn math textbook on Amazon, and it arrived the following morning.

Anyway, the lesson that Frances had done incorrectly? Well, it quickly was evident that she knew how to verify equations perfectly well.

So why the drama? It isn’t necessary to make a child think that she could fail her grade simply because she took two sick days.

I hope that this isn’t a sign of things to come. 🙄

The funniest part of all this is that, during my eagerness to ensure that Frances was up to speed, she said, “You seem like the kind of person who enjoys doing math…”

(She LOVES math, so it wasn’t an insult.)

I can assure you that nobody has ever said that about me before now… 😂

Interview with Frances, Aged 12 years, 5 months

Current job?
~Student. I’m 12
Dream job?
~Anything that makes me enough money to run a Friesian and Lippizaner care centre attached to a vet’s office where my friends can come and ride my horses for free. Not Mummy
Favorite food?
~Salad
Favorite type of cat?
~Calico
Favorite candy?
~Anything sour
Favourite ice cream?
~Mint chocolate chip
Your favourite colour(s)?
~Black, lime green, white, and gold
Favourite holiday?
~My birthday, duh
Night owl or Early Bird?
~Night owl
Favourite day?
~Holidays! Sunday
Tattoos?
~I’m 12
Like to cook?
~Yes, whatever doesn’t burn the house down
Can you drive a stick shift?
~I’ve been shown how to drive a tractor
Your vehicle colour?
~Black
Do you like vegetables?
~Yes, of course!
Do you wear glasses?
~Yes, I think that’s kind of obvious
Glasses you wear?
~Black Raybans. (Can I wear Gucci?)
Favourite Perfume?
~Chanel No. 5
Favorite season?
~Winter
Favourite music?
~Billie Eilish
Favourite kind of movie?
~Horror
Favourite show?
~Stranger Things
Favourite author?
~Stephen King
Favourite graphic novel?
~Smile by R. Telgemeier
Favourite activity?
~English and Western horseback riding
Pets?
~
Pink Cup Cat, Pink Cup Dog, Pink Cup Pony
Where do you want to live when you grow up?
~L.A.
Favourite restaurant?
~East Side Mario’s

#asd #aspergers #autism

Shaking my head

Just in case you’re wondering what the Pink Cup Family does on a Saturday afternoon (after returning from the barn), I provide you the following glimpse.

Apparently, we just laze about in the living room discussing things that have little or no relevance to what any of us is actually doing, and Frances’s wit simply thrives in that kind of environment.

For example, though I don’t know how we arrived at this topic, there was this exchange between Pink Cup Sister (16) and myself.

Me: Many people who deal drugs don’t actually do drugs themselves…They’re in it to make money; they know if they get hooked, they won’t make money.

Pink Cup Sister: Are you saying drug dealers are smart?!

Frances: We’re saying they’re a •cut• above. (She is smiling, looking down at her iPad, probably waiting for us to catch up.)

This made me laugh aloud, but how would she know anything about the language of recreational drug use or the hierarchical structure of that kind of activity? She’s twelve! (Well, she does watch reality police and medical shows at night before bedtime.)

I do, oftentimes, catch Frances covering her mouth while silently giggling and walking away; it’s usually because she has detected something that a kid her age wouldn’t normally catch.

It’s a new behaviour this year, and I’m loving it.

I’m not saying that Frances doesn’t have her moments, but this kid is just all kinds of wonderful.

#asd #aspergers #autism

Lego in motion

Not only has Frances been nonstop energy 18+ hours per day since she was 13 months old, she has always sought or invented alternative methods of transportation.

At the age of three, she began asking for a “motorised vehicle,” but we’ve always thought that she moved around enough without the assistance of a motor. The last thing we needed was a way for her to move around more or faster! 😂

At any rate, using her imagination has resulted in great things.

In the photo, she is eight years old.

What I love about this photo is not only does it show her cleverness, it proves that “toys” are what the child makes of them. Frances hasn’t played in a typical way nor has she usually used toys in the way that the manufacturer intended; however, she has always found ways to occupy herself and to learn and to have fun.

Frances invents vehicles