Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘Children

Wordless Wednesday 29 Apr 15

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SMWW-Botanical Gardens Bench

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April 29, 2015 at 2:33 pm

Wordless Wednesday 08 Apr 15

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Happy Easter!

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April 9, 2015 at 12:41 am

Wordless Wednesday 03 Dec 14

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Recoleta SM

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December 3, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Summer Bucket List

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We’re now 9 days away from the mega non-stop flight in economy from Johannesburg back to the USA. A flight so long and tortuous, I need a distraction! So instead, I’m thinking about getting to see old friends, and spending time with family. Still, we have two months of no school, and an awful lot of free unstructured time on our hands.

Spectrummy Daddy will be occupied with language training, so we’re looking for things to do. Luckily, there are lots of free museums to get reacquainted with, and I’ve found a park and a library within walking distance of where we’ll be staying.

But what else? My kids have spent most of their lives living on other continents, and as I’m foreign-born myself, we could probably use a tip or two about how to spend our summer. We were lucky enough to be able to take our two R & R trips to the UK this tour, so we got to eat cornish pasties, take tea at Holyrood Palace, visit Stonehenge, and roman baths, and eat fish and chips on the beach. So now we have to even things up and remind them they’re half-American again…just before they get whisked off to South America!

There is one all-American thing I know is at the top of my list: making s’mores. And this time around, I don’t even have to worry about making them from scratch this time around.

So, please, give us some tips on what we need to do, and I’ll add them to the list. Extra points if they are sensory-friendly and accessible to all (July 4th fireworks are probably still a bit of a no-no for us).

Here we go…

1. Make s’mores

2. Kinetic Sand, suggested by Lisa S. on the Spectrummy Mummy Facebook Page

3. What To Do With Kids In Washington D.C., huge list linked by Emily.

4. Mom in Two Cultures has some great ideas for sensory boxes: How To Survive Winter Vacation.

5. Buzzfeed has great list of 33 Activities Under $10 to Keep Your Kids Busy All Summer.

6. American History in a box from After School Plans.

7. America: The History of US DVD set.

8. Pudding would definitely add another meal at the American Girl bistro.

9. Drink a malt in a diner.

10. Veggie chili-cheese fries from Ben’s Chili Bowl

11. Watch the Nats play baseball, and constantly remind Spectrummy Daddy that it is just like rounders.

12. Ride the carousel after checking out the Smithsonian museums.

13. Take in a county fair or town festival.

14. Enjoy a movie at a drive-in – I still can’t believe I have never done this!

15. Disney! Our home leave point is Florida, and the grandparents have already promised Pudding a repeat breakfast with the princesses, and pirates for Cubby. Disney has changes its policies for guests with disabilities since we were last there, so I’ll be sure to report back on our experiences.

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May 22, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Wordless Wednesday 08 Jan 14

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January 9, 2014 at 7:20 am

Lies Cubby tells

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Pudding is a mostly truthful person.  She has told a couple of lies, so we know she can lie, but she just doesn’t seem to see the value in untruths.  Perhaps that is another hidden virtue of her autism diagnosis.

Cubby, on the other hand, just loves to lie.  In fact, he rarely tells the truth.  For the most part, they are so outlandish that we aren’t fooled for a moment.  Here are just a few examples:

I speak Polish.

I’m a Chinese person.

Pudding hit me.  (She wasn’t even at home).

I have a baby in my tummy.

Mummy, do you remember when the elephant squashed me?

I fell down underneath a elevator.

I just got back from holiday in Cape Town (we’ve never been).

I killed Mummy.

Daddy is NOT Batman!  (This may be true).

I don’t want chips.  (Spoken with chips in his mouth).

So, just suppose there were some Oreo-style cookies, and Cubby walked in with this face, you might have known better than to ask him if he’d eaten said cookies:


Don’t worry, he assured me he hadn’t touched them.  And he has such honest eyes!

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May 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Wordless Wednesday 01 May 13

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Earth Day


Taking a well-earned break after working hard at a nature reserve for Earth Day.

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May 1, 2013 at 8:20 am

Happy Easter!

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Cubby Easter

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March 31, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Air Rage

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It isn’t easy flying alone with young children with special needs.  I was returning back to South Africa from England where I went to pay my respects to a dear friend who died suddenly at Christmas.  Though I was traveling with a heavy heart, it felt a little lighter after the short connecting flight to Heathrow.

Pudding and I had embraced a whole new level of interaction.  I was writing short, simple sentences, and Pudding was reading them back to me!  I’ve always kept this blog with the intention of writing for her, not just about her, and every step forward in her language development makes my heart soar, higher than…well, higher than the plane we were flying in.

My kids are great travelers, though it hasn’t always been that way.  Pudding had visited 10 countries before she turned a year old, so we had our share of disoriented, overtired infant travel.  But more often than not, other people congratulate me on how well-behaved my children are on flights.  I just smile and nod, knowing it could just as easily be the other way.

Now though, with Pudding at 6 and Cubby aged 3, it seems easier than ever.  Pudding is content to draw, Cubby likes his little cars.  They both like free reign of the in-flight entertainment system, and they both even (miracle of miracles) actually sleep!

So we boarded the 747, and got ourselves comfortable.  The plane hadn’t even begun taxiing to the runway when the middle-aged man in front of Pudding and snapped at her for resting her feet on the bottom of the seat in front.  I was a little stunned because she wasn’t kicking his seat, she wasn’t pushing hard with her heels (both of which I’ve experienced from a child sitting behind me), but she was simply resting her toes.  Though she is as tall as a 10 or 11 year-old, her legs aren’t quite long enough to touch the floor, but are too long to keep up on her own seat without her knees pushing into the seat instead.

I asked Pudding to pull her legs up and she immediately obeyed, but moments later she forgot, and they were back on.  I gently moved them again, and repeat a few more times.  At this time I was distracted by Cubby, who was sitting on the other side of me, next to a stranger.  I wanted to remind him to keep in his personal space, and not to do anything to disturb other passengers.

I looked back over to Pudding’s feet, and saw that the man in front had reached behind to grab her ankles and throw them off.  Wait, no that couldn’t have just happened!  A complete stranger did not just touch my six year-old, right?

Pudding had clung on to me, and pulled in her legs.  We took off, with me holding on to her legs.  Cubby dropped his car, and when I went to reach for it, Pudding moved back.  A few minutes later her feet sneaked back into the forbidden position, and this time I watched in horror as the man again aggressively pushed her away.

She spooned back into me and I held her legs over myself and Cubby as the aircraft reached the point where we could take off our seatbelts.  I immediately took both children to the bathroom (no mean feat to have three of us in there!) to talk to them.  I told Pudding that she could not let her feet touch the seat in front.  Then I asked if she understood, and inevitably, she said no.

At this point, I figure my best option is to switch Pudding and Cubby’s positions.  His legs were too short to cause any trouble.  I returned to find the man in front has already reclined his seat, with over 10 hours of the flight remaining.  I put Pudding in Cubby’s seat, and before I even get her belt on, it is too much for her.  This is not her seat.  Normally flexible and cooperative, I’ve crossed a line.  Ten minutes of crying and screaming refusal convinces me that she could keep it up for the full ten hours.  I put her back in the original seat.

She exhausted herself with crying, and falls to sleep immediately.  I pull her feet up across my body, and Cubby joins her.  I daren’t fall asleep myself, so concerned am I with her feet touching the chair in front again.

Pudding actually sleeps for a good 7 or 8 hours of the flight, though the man in front was missing for most of that- I assume he had found a vacant seat elsewhere on the aircraft.  He returned for the last 40 minutes of the flight.  Before long, Pudding’s toes had again trangressed his comfort, and he again reached behind to remove them.  It was even more forceful this time, and after checking she wasn’t bruised, I took a deep breath and leaned forward.

In as calm and polite a manner as I could muster, I informed the man that she had poor body awareness due to a neurolgical condition, and was unable to help touching his seat.  But he simply replied that it was annoying him!

Now, I have a long list on any flight of things that annoy me, from the constant hum of the engines to people standing over me in the aisles, or even somebody reclining their seat for an entire 10.5 hour flight even though they weren’t sitting there most of the time, but nothing had ever annoyed me as much as this selfish, ignorant attitude.

So a little less calmly, I reiterated that she can’t help it, but if an adult like himself can’t help from touching a little girl inappropriately, then I needed to call a flight attendant.

And he didn’t touch her again…until we had already begun making our descent, and calling a flight attendant was no longer possible.  He and his wife gave me dirty looks, but I had the encouragement of several other female passengers in the vicinity and the man sitting next to Cubby, who made sure to tell me that there was no problem with the children on this flight, only the adults.

Because I took two car seats, I had a bit of a wait to get all my baggage.  By the time I’d collected all our belongings and made our way through customs to Spectrummy Daddy, there was no sign of this passenger.

You see, while my air rage was contained on the flight, it exploded once we were on the ground.  Here we were no longer vulnerable- a woman traveling alone with two small children.  Whatever this man’s problem, something tells me he wouldn’t have even thought about touching Pudding had a large man been sitting in my place.

On the ground, I didn’t need to worry about the consequences of venting my anger at this stranger.  I wouldn’t be separated from the children who needed me.  But on the ground, I’m left with an impotent rage that this ever happened, and I was unable to prevent it.

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January 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Wordless Wednesday 14 Nov 12

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Written by Spectrummy Mummy

November 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm