Thursday, 25 March 2010
Part of it is woolly terminology.
How can it be a bathroom if it only has a shower? Why is it called a sitting room when no-one sits there? Dining room is meaningless if ‘dining’ isn’t in your vocabulary. The situation is made worse by parents who do not use language consistently – where ‘corridor’ and ‘hall’ are used interchangeably, at random. How can it be a corri’door’ when there are no doors?
Then there’s the practical matter – we live in an open plan house, where a ‘room’ may have two and a bit walls, undefined, not delineated by any visual boundary, no doors bar entry.
Part of the problem is that the name of any room is unimportant anyway – off radar.
Why is the garage a garage, when it houses a car not a gar? What about the kitch, what is it? When you leave, does it become a kitchout? Isn’t every room a family room? If you share bunks why isn’t it a bedsroom? It can’t be a spare room or guest room, and a day bed is a contradiction in terms. Only the garden is easy – out-side, enclosed by a ten-foot fence, with locked gates.
When they were little they didn’t have the words to explain the confusion. Now they do, and I’m the one that’s confused. We need a map for our own home, but we keep plodding onwards and upwards.***
I sit on the floor with my youngest son, a pair, while the respite worker, Ms. G, sits at the table in the dining room – she’s six, stride-lengths away. Conversation is encouraged by not obligatory. I start:-
“Why don’t you tell Ms. G what happened to your sister yesterday?”
“No. You tell er.”
“I think she’d rather it about it from you. It was only yesterday.”
“Yesterday is being a very long time ago for my type of peoples.”
“What about all that drama? Tell Ms. G. She’s listening.”
“Don’t know drama.”
“Yes you do – when I had to rush off to collect her from school and take her to the doctor and you stayed at home and were very good because you used your emergency crisis behavior.”
“So? Tell Ms. G what happened, how she hurt her finger?”
“I don’t know. I weren’t there.”
“But we told you all about it when we got home again. Ms. G wants to hear all about it, from you.”
I look at his dead pan face.
“SIGH..Basketball is a blood sport?”
“Not that bit, anyway, don’t tell me. Tell Ms. G. Remember what we talked about? Being polite. When someone’s in the same room, include them, address them directly.”
“But she ain’t in the same room.”
I look across expanse, from the open plan sitting room, to the open plan dining room where a silent Ms. G observes and grins at me.
Sometimes I’m tempted to run away and hide amongst the filing cabinets in dad’s home off’ence.’
Quite a long time ago, we used a lot of PEC’s. We still use them as scaffolding. You can buy them from lots of different place and make your own to be more carefully taylored to your own child’s specific needs, however, I can across a new place where you can buy them over here as part of the Autism Network – especially handy if you happen to be UK side.