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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Write On....

It has been the longest time, hasn't it?

Now, keep it under your hats...but the reason? Bloggers Block! I tried so many times to sit in front of the laptop but every time I tried to write, it just wasn't happening. Write went wrong, you could say...

So, anyway, I left it until I knew I would be able to write with a degree of positivity and actually finish what I'd started! Now I feel I can.....

Let's get on with it then.....

First news: I received in the post this week some brilliant little cards. About the size of a business card they are issued by the NAS (National Autistic Society) and are designed to help autistic folk who find themselves in a situation they are unable to deal with. It's easier to just tell you what the card says.......

"This person has autism
> Autism is a lifelong disability that affects social and communication skills
> People with autism may behave in unpredictable ways as a result of their difficulty in understanding language and social situations
> People with autism are likely to be extremely anxious in unfamiliar situations
> Please help by being understanding, patient and tolerant."

Isn't that great?? I have been struggling for ages to write a succinct description of autism and have never managed to get it below an A5 this is just grand! Daisy is much taken with them too, and insists on carrying one with her every time we leave the house. I was expecting trouble but she surprises me (yet again) with her attitude to autism.

Talking of attitude to autism (not a bad link considering it wasn't planned!) Daisy, the Head Gardener and I have been chatting a bit about her PDA and how it affects her life and the impact that it has on us. Currently, she is more, not in denial as such, but wishes she didn't have it. She blames all her negative behaviour on her autism too, which is virtually everything in her eyes, because she feels that everything she does has a negative impact on everything/everyone else. Obviously this is completely untrue, but sometimes is it tricky to find a positive in all the negatives. She is not a savant but she is very good with numbers and her visual memory is outstanding. That's not just me being all "mommy" about it either, she totally understands the logic behind numbers. Numbers don't change; 2+2 will always equal 4 and there is order and sequence to numbers that appeals to her. Already I can see the day when I will no longer be able to teach her maths, as it was always my weakest subject back in school, so I will have to find a tutor! Never thought I would have to say that, and while it sort of disappoints me that I can't fulfil the role, it delights me even more that my Daisy is that bright!

Literature is much more difficult. To set the tone, I bought some English books to use at home school. She took one look at the cover and this was how the conversation went:
Me:       Look, I bought some English books to use in home school
D:         What do I want those for?
Me:       Well, to help you learn English....
D:          (interrupting) But I am already English! I know how to speak English, what do I  need a book about it for?? 

Hmm.....a good and very logical point and a typical example of a NT person (me in this case) NOT thinking before they speak! It has rather scuppered my attempts to get her to understand even the basics of sentence formation and punctuation as she feels she doesn't need to know it. To a degree she is right, I mean everybody seems to text talk (which I hate with a passion I cannot convey) and it will only get worse be used more often and more widely, but I still feel that at least a basic understanding should be in place. Sadly, words for Daisy are deeply unpredictable. Individual letters have sounds that disappear and change when grouped with other letters, making spelling a nightmare for her! She has a good reading level, and has always been able to put meaning to the words when reading aloud and she understands the words she reads, but write them? No way! Even a simple 4 letter words leaves her struggling as she cannot grasp the order of letters and gets very frustrated. Even her brilliant visual memory lets her down as even with the word written in front of her, it takes far longer for her to remember it and she gets very cross with it all.

Despite all this, I remember a time when she wouldn't even pick up a pencil to try, so even though it is a very long road we are progressing in the *write* direction, just with teeny tiny steps.

There....I have written a fairly coherent blog for, I realise with a degree of shock, the first time this year! Good job I do this for fun and not a wage....I'd be in Cardboard City by now!


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