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

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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

My apologies

I’ve attempted many blog posts, but something is happening: Frances is growing up and writing about her can be an invasion of privacy.

So, while I find the line between my story and her story, posting will be somewhat sporadic.

In the meantime, she’s still as funny as ever.

We had been watching a YouTube video in which a conversation regarding the limits of our knowledge had suddenly turned rather philosophical.

Frances: That guy confuses me

Me: It means we don’t know what we don’t know… Like, we don’t know that God doesn’t exist, right?

Her: Now you’ve got me thinking. Jesus…

😂

“I’m going through changes…”

It would seem that my posts have slowed down…But, don’t worry, I haven’t abandoned my posting. (Haha, see what I did there?)

Life does get busy here, but I do want to write more often. This is my goal!

Anyway, I’ve been wanting to share something that I’ve just noticed and which I think is cute: At the barn, there’s a policy/tradition/point of etiquette that, before opening an arena door, the person seeking entrance will loudly say, “door” and someone else will say “okay” or “no” in response.

(This avoids startling the horses and riders and also avoids someone getting run over by a cantering horse that’s really riding the rails. But that’s not the cute part; I digress.)

Recently, I’ve noticed that, before entering a room at home, Frances will knock and say “door” loudly; if she doesn’t hear “no”, she’ll go in.

It’s probably a good idea. 🤔 But I do believe that I will have to think about a way to encourage her to not open the door unless she hears “okay.” That would be more helpful for her.

I’ve also noticed a really very significant change: Frances, who has now turned twelve, will play outside! For hours!! By HERSELF!! This is absolutely huge — the trifecta that we’d long wondered about, waiting to see if it would happen — and I just can’t adequately express it.

Yay, Frances!!

#asd #aspergers #autism

All lined up

Lining Up
You can see everything you have, and it’s all in order

I’ve always enjoyed the fact that Frances lines things up. In fact, to be honest, years before she got her diagnosis, I started noticing that she did this. It didn’t concern me because, as I said to Pink Cup Dad once years ago, Frances “always has a good reason” for doing so.

“Like what?” He asked.

“Like all of her baby dolls are watching TV.”

“That’s not a good reason…”

I can actually see his point now. She would have lined them up and THEN decided that they were watching TV because she doesn’t have storylines or narratives when she plays. The lining up is the priority and not the activity of having them “watch TV.” Her behaviour isn’t, and wasn’t, typical play behaviour.

Nothing has changed about this activity as she has aged, except that she isn’t interested in baby dolls anymore; she is intensely focussed upon horses and horse dolls and horse riding and horse-doll collecting and horse documentaries…

While waiting for an appointment recently, she sat on the floor and lined up her (Schleich) horses. She didn’t have a story that preceded or accompanied the lining up of the horses; she didn’t have one afterwards, either. I think it’s just what a herd of twenty-plus horses would look like if they were going somewhere.

Frances actually has many RBIs (repetitive behaviours and interests), and this is my favourite: she’s been doing it since she was about 13 months or so.

The behaviour to me seems harmless; if she likes lining up objects, why shouldn’t she? Certainly, it can be messy: I’ve literally seen hundreds of my books continuously lined up and looped around objects throughout the entire house because my 18-month-old daughter was THAT focussed. I was very impressed even as I picked up every single book.

I know that it’s a behaviour closely associated with autism and ASD. I like it.

She did ask for it…

So, recently, Frances and her class went to an art gallery. Pictures of the field trip were promptly posted online, and one, in particular, caught my attention.

Among her classmates, Frances is sitting opposite the presenter or guide for the tour. Quite clearly, Frances is speaking, and the guide is listening.

Frances speaks her mind...
Only ask if you really want the truth…

Out of curiosity, I asked Frances if she could remember what she had been saying. I mean, the photo suggests that it is an interesting conversation, and I love that someone had captured the precise point at which she was speaking, too.

Frances: The lady said that she was used to dealing with much younger children, and that we should tell her if she speaks to us as if we’re kindergarteners.

Me: Yes…But you were speaking. What did you say?

Her: I said, ‘Um, just to let you know — you’re speaking to us as if we are kindergarteners.’

(Her honesty, though legendary, is spoken in neither malice nor rudeness; she simply took the guide’s instruction at face value.)

😂

Trauma bay?

Since she was three years old, Frances has had an intense interest in all things medical 🏥. It shows up everywhere, especially at 11 years old.

The other day during March break, Frances announced, as she typically does (literally) in passing, what was on her mind:

“Mum, if someone were saying, ‘I can’t feel my face when I’m with you’ to me, I would say, ‘Stroke! You’re having a STROKE!’” 😂

Yes, one of the benefits of having a child who focusses so intensely on her subjects of interest is that you are fortunate enough to suddenly find yourself in the most entertaining (as well as enlightening) of conversations.

Recently, I was discussing with someone an event that had occurred while I was hospitalised last autumn and described the cautiousness that my care team had demonstrated regarding some cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary symptoms. Frances couldn’t help herself, she interrupted because she just had to know:

Did they give you TPA?

No…

Did you hear, “Code Blue” over the loudspeaker?

No…

Did anyone say, “Everyone to the resuscitation bay!”

No… (LOL)

She speaks now of becoming a surgeon which, I’ve told her, would probably allow her to continue her equestrian ambitions.