So, last night, Frances came into my room with a piece of Scotch tape and a washable marker, then proceeded to get my fingerprint.
She said, “Thanks for the sample” as she left. Very mysterious.
There are times when I just don’t press the issue. Take, for example, the time that the cat was a pretty shade of purple and nobody seemed to know why and, certainly, nobody confessed. The cat didn’t mind, so I eventually left the matter alone. But, I still wonder: who…? Why?
I wonder if I’ll ever know why she wanted my fingerprint… 🤔
Me: Can I give you a muffin?
Frances: Gypsy moths are an invasive species.
Me: Okay. Here’s a muffin.
Because it remains a challenge for Frances, her social/pragmatic language often produces very unusual exchanges between us.
This one caught me off guard one recent morning, and I had to stifle a giggle.
I will always help as much as possible to make being with others easier, yet this is one facet of her personality that I absolutely adore.
Frances: I think people are getting bored of me talking about horses at school.
Me: You’ve got to let others talk about themselves.
Frances: I let Sally talk about her guinea pigs, but it was so boring.
Me: You have to let yourself be a little bored, and then others won’t mind being a little bored when you speak of horses.
I wanted to include this conversation, which happened before school, because I think I’ve found another way to reach Frances. (Also, it illustrates a difficulty that children with ASD may experience.)
I’ve heard professionals advise Frances to do a “social fake” where the child pretends to be interested in what someone else is saying. It doesn’t work with Frances. She doesn’t believe that her conversations about horses aren’t always riveting to others. So, I tried another approach by asking her to be bored for a few minutes.
By letting her know that others feel a little bored sometimes just as she does, she may start to realize when people don’t want her to speak and interaction could go more smoothly.
It’s just a thought. I’ll let you know if it does, or if it doesn’t, work.
She was seven years old at the time.
At her riding lesson, Frances interrupted grooming her pony to remind me of something: It was the birthday of her friend’s guinea pigs and she wanted to record her birthday wishes — with the pony — in a video.
Though it was a very serious occasion, I found it difficult not to laugh at the cuteness of the situation.
I also couldn’t help considering it from a guinea pig’s perspective…
The other day, Frances entered her father’s office and announced:
“My fish is reluctant to swim.”
I don’t know how much time Marshmallow has left with us, but I’m a little worried…Fish should be willing to swim.
For the first time, Frances is going to a day camp that isn’t operated by people that she knows.
It’s a big change, but it’s not as big as it could have been–she is also attending with two of her cousins with whom she is very close.
On the first day, there were no tears at separation, but there were many reassuring words and hugs (when she permitted).
It’s a nature-oriented camp that involves activities such as canoeing every day. Pink Cup Dad and I both enjoy canoeing, and we’re happy that Frances is enjoying being on the water (and that she is so closely supervised).
She is surrounded by the outdoors: (animals, dense forestation) with lots of activity (hiking, canoeing, crafting).
She has also met a girl who seems to be very protective and friendly towards her and who enjoys horseback riding, too. This has allayed some of my own fears. This is her new “best friend”. (While she uses this term with everyone with whom she connects, I’ve no doubt that she means it when she says it.)
I signed her up back in February and indicated on the application that she has HF ASD. To my knowledge, she has not required one-to-one support at all and has managed well while just having her cousins there with her.
Next year, perhaps she’ll be ready to attend a camp without her cousins. I can see this happening for her.