Language difficulties and siblings

I thought I would include a typical conversation merely as an example of how language difficulties, both receptive and expressive, affect the whole of our household. I am sure those of you with high functioning children can relate to how bizarre these conversations can seem to the outsider. I am sure those of you with children of any colour of the autistic spectrum will sit and smile (or groan!) as you remember similar conversations occurring in your own family. Whilst these conversations can seem hilarious to those of us who know something of how our children think and feel, they can also highlight the fact that when such conversations occur at school or other places, it is all too easy for our colourful children to be misinterpreted or bullied because oftheir differences.

Quite recently I was looking out of the window awaiting my dad's visit. This is the conversation we were having:

Joe: Why are you looking out of the window?

Ben: I go on computer. [Presumably the word 'window' had reminded him of 'windows' so he then dragged me by the wrist into the computer room in order for me to get him onto a game.]

Me: I am waiting for Grandad to come and show me his new car.

Joe: I thought it was rude to show off?

Sarah: It is OK to show people things, just not to show off by acting silly like you do.

Anna: .or like Luke does by pretending he knows things when he doesn't.

Matthew: Grandad wouldn't know a speed limit if it jumped up and bit him.

Me: Who mentioned speed limits?

Matthew: [Addressing his friend who works selling hotdogs at the pleasure beach.] Talking of speed limits, I was told that they wanted you to work tomorrow.

Luke: I somehow don't think a speed limit could jump, never mind bite; it is a regulation.

Joe: So can Grandad's car jump? Wow, no wonder he is a show-off.

Luke: DDR RAM can speed up the computer up to twice the speed of SDR. I reckon that pretty soon all PCs will contain DDR rather than SDR.

Rachel and Anna: [in unison] Luke you are such a freak.

As you can imagine, this whole conversation was followed by a snarl and a curl ofthe lip from Luke, closely followed by Joe who took great delight in telling Luke that his angry face made him look really stupid. Luke retorted that at least he wasn't the one who said that speed limits could jump, to which Matthew in his usual clumsy fashion jumped up to punch Luke in the arm and stomped down heftily on Rachel's foot. Muttering and cursing something about "a bunch of freaks" under her breath, Rachel obviously decided she was going to remove herself from the situation and hobbled off to her room. Sarah gave me a bemused look, raising her eyebrows exaggeratedly whilst Anna grinned at the whole bizarre situation. "What are you sneering at?" growled Luke to Sarah, at which I had to yet again step in and explain that her face was a way ofsaying "my goodness what a strange conversation", rather than a sneer.

In this all too familiar situation, my next job is usually to step in and talk individually with each of the children, listen to them moan about whichever sibling is causing them problems whilst attempting to explain to the girls the way the boys think and understand things and vice versa.not an easy job! In this particular contretemps however, I was actually saved from implementing my more than ample mediating skills by Joe who had obviously watched and listened to the discussions about facial expressions and so proceeded to launch into a hilarious set of examples of what a sneer could look like (all learned from Simon Baron-Cohen's Mind Reading computer programme). For this incident at least, Joe diffused the whole situation and everyone, even an angry Luke, collapsed into fits of giggles. Who says that AD/HD doesn't have a positive side?

0 0

Post a comment