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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

So Far So Good.

Well it finally happened. Harri started with the new therapy centre this week. You know the one I was cheating with behind the back of the former service. Anyway we are two sessions in and so far I am happy with how things are progressing. At 2, he is the youngest child at the centre so is a bit of a rock star. All the staff coo and fuss when they see him. He is a cute kid after all. And he has surprised his therapist with his comprehension skills and speed of learning.

 I was particularly pleased to see how she managed him when he did his inevitable testing of her. Cheeky
monkey that he is, he pretends to not know something as basic as matching identical objects. A task he has never had an issue with but pretends he doesnt know when he is feeling bored or tired or just to test what will happen if he does not comply. I told the therapist this is what he was doing, and got one of those 'yeah, yeah' looks, as if to say poor mother can't handle the truth. Then today she tests him on matching again and of course he blitzes it, as she exclaims, oh you were testing me! Yep, I warned you, he is a cunning little mite.

Anyway he pulled out a new diversionary tactic today. As his focus started to wane he claims he wants to go to the toilet. I was speechless with surprise as he has never indicated any interest in going to the toilet. The therapist pleased at this apparent request is about to rise from the table to take him, when I point out he is playing her, and that he is not even close to starting toilet training. I couldnt help but laugh,  it was a pretty cunning attempt to get out of work. 

Now I await the inevitable conversation about my views of teaching people with Autism to act 'normal'. Something that doesn't sit very well with me. I see ABA as a tool for teaching life skills but I draw the line at the ambition of any therapist to stop ASD behaviours in an effort to have Autistic people behave as if they are not different. The way I see it they are, and there is no shame in that. Stay tuned.


  1. That sounds so like my son at that age. He was smart enough to request things to do other than what he was doing to get out of doing the "hard" stuff. No one believed me he was manipulating them. It took them a few time to realize they were being had. I was just like, I told you so...

  2. Ooooh, I especially like the last paragraph where you said about not liking people teaching ASD kids to act "normal", therapies are about teaching life skills, I couldn't agree more! (Unless the behaviours are potentially dangerous and then they need to be curbed, but I totally get your point).

    And how cute is Harry?? My son usually puts himself on time out when he doesn't want to do something. He'll scream and cry if you try to put him on time out, but is happy to go on time out to get out of doing something. He'll just potter over to a corner, sit down, pat his legs and tell you firmly "ti-out".

  3. Lizbeth and Marsupial Mama, you know I find it fascinating that these kids seem so self absorbed yet can be remarkable at reading people and situations when it suits.
    This is one of the reasons I find our children so endlessly fascinating.

  4. Your post inspired me to write this:


  5. Ooh I'm popping over to have a look.

  6. I agree with you on the pressure toward conformity. Life skills? Yes. Trying to become "indistinguishable from peers"? No. Variety is the spice of life.

    For me, a large part of being a parent has consisted of telling people (sometimes nicely, sometimes not) when to shove off when it comes to my kid. I cringe when I see parents just blindly following the advice of the "experts," as though the experts have all the answers. As far as I'm concerned, the experts are paid to help us, not to dictate to us, no matter what credentials they have.

    When it comes to my kid and the opinions of others, I've always felt that it's best to take what she needs and leave the rest.

  7. That's precisely how I feel about it Rachel. I'm not going to force a square peg into a round hole. How could he not get the message that he is in some way faulty if he is continually taught that how he feels and behaves needs to be modified to fit some preconcieved idea of normality?

    Fortunately I gave already had an pooprtunity to test some of this with the new service provider and was really happy with the response.

  8. I'm so glad to hear that your provider was supportive of your feelings on this. That's very good news, for your whole family!

  9. Ooops proof read fail. 'pooprtunity? Must have had toilet training on my mind.