Frances: It’s going to be a long night…Actually, the night is the same length but you get what I mean, right?
When Frances verifies rules with me by asking questions (all day long), they’re often — but not always — correct.
I know that there are much more recent examples, but I just happened to have seen the following while browsing my notes.
Frances: You wash your hands after taking off skirts, right? (May 1, 2016)
It’s the point at which a developmental difference is fairly obvious. When she gets it right, it sounds like a curious kid who is focussed on rules; but when she gets it wrong, it sounds like a very untypical question for a child of her age (or anyone) to ask.
She’s quite capable: intellectually, she is about 13 years old (socially, she is much younger), while her actual age is nine. Her questions just sometimes reflect a difficulty with generalizing.
Personally, I love her questions and verifying of rules, and sometimes I feel bad when I have to correct her.
Frances: Do you have a collection of these? (files)
Frances: You just have some that you keep in one place?
Frances: That’s a collection.
(In my defence, she asked me while I was distracted by something.)
Frances: How do you drift off to sleep?
Me: You just follow your thoughts as if you were chasing a butterfly…
Frances: I don’t chase butterflies. I believe they should live.
Frances: Mummy, I think I’ve had enough of pink doll houses!
Frances: Oh, Mummy! Can I show you a video of a dollhouse that I want?
I’ve been composing and recomposing a draft letter to potential hairstylists in order to find one within reasonable driving distance who is able to work with Frances.
We really need to have her hair cut: it’s so hard to take care of such long hair on someone with extreme tactile sensitivity.
I don’t usually obsess over such things, but I want to avoid understating the difficulties in doing her hair while I also want to avoid scaring off potential stylists.
In my opinion, it’s best to be absolutely forthcoming with anyone who will work with my child and her needs, but when do I mention the strong possibility of a fullblown meltdown and what it would look like?
Do I just keep trying different stylists until I find one who is willing to follow her around the room with a comb and a pair of scissors?
We won’t be seeing her occupational therapist until after the completion of behavioural therapy, but, months ago, she told me that finding a stylist who has worked with these special needs before is definitely possible. I just have to keep looking.
So, back to my letter.
Frances discovered Bob Ross and The Joy of Painting this morning on Netflix.
She found his mellow voice and unquestionably effectual techniques quite soothing, and asked, “Would this count as a documentary?”
While technically not a documentary, I agreed to her watching it at bedtime because it has such an hypnotic effect on her. Bob Ross is good for anxiety!
I had never considered this show as a possible means of helping her get to sleep. But, yes — Bob!
(For a reminder or to learn about this laidback painter and his show (1983-1994) go here.)
Someone in the Pink Cup Family recently left the back door open despite my reminders that flies would get into our home. Well, flies got into our home for a week or so, which caused Frances to remark:
“It’s not every day you see a housefly in its natural habitat — a house! Hahaha!”
I’ve read that people with Aspergers/high functioning autism spectrum disorder lack a sense of humour — I must beg to differ.
Frances has a great sense of humour: It just may not involve subjects to which her peers can easily relate since it usually reflects her other intense interest: documentaries (nature, architecture, and restricted growth syndromes — I’ll have to discuss that one later).
Frances spent the past three days going to a day camp designed for children with high functioning ASD.
With three other children, she went to a safari, two zoos and a splashpad.
The hardest part for her were the two children that she didn’t know.
We frequently have to remind her that others are learning, too, but the presence of other children at camps and at school results in a great deal of stress for her.
Yet, she needs to be around others in order to learn and to practice the skills that she is acquiring. She will find being around others less stressful when she has those skills.
There is also the matter of my needing to be rested enough in order to keep up with her and the demands of daily life, so summer day camp opportunities are helpful to the whole Pink Cup Family in that regard.
Today, we resume our regular summer schedule once again, until day camp rolls around again in August, which involves keeping Frances occupied throughout the day (and also many wonderful hugs and kisses from her).