Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Posts Tagged ‘special interest

Wordless Wednesday 20 Feb 13

with 4 comments

IMG_4297

IMG_4298

Hello Kitty duct tape for the win!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

February 20, 2013 at 7:17 am

Adventures with Phineas and Ferb

with 6 comments

It is tough being the sibling of a child with special needs.  It is even tougher if you have some special needs yourself, in a similar-but-different way to your big sister.  Ask Cubby.  It seems like his formative years have been spent watching his sister in therapy, then having to go through the same thing himself.

So when your world is chaotic, and you don’t always have as much attention as you like, you tend to attach yourself to something that you really care about: a special interest.  A thing that marks you out from others.  A way of expressing yourself.  A way of being yourself, independent of all those other demands.

Cubby used to adore Thomas The Train/ Tank Engine, but as he has developed, he has opened up to other interests.  He likes cars (and Cars), super heroes, and Phineas and Ferb.

Although it is shown on South African TV, I had no idea Phineas and Ferb was big here until I heard they were coming to our local mall a couple of weeks ago.  I knew what we were going to do that day- we were going to meet them!

I collected Pudding and Cubby from school, and explained to them what was going to happen.  I explained that there might be bright lights and loud noises.  Probably lots of people and waiting in line.  They still seemed game.

When we got there, I knew it was an experiment in sensory overload.  We waited gingerly on the periphery as I tried to figure out a plan of action.  The queue was pretty big, as families waited in line to get their photo taken with Phineas and Ferb.  It was free, so some older kids had wised up to this, and kept cutting in to go round and round again.

Image

All fun and games for Phineas and Ferb until we spectrummy three turn up.

Cubby made it clear that he was not going home, and Pudding seemed to be okay too.  We joined the line.  I tried to make as much space around us as possible, as we don’t like being touched by strangers.  That isn’t the majestic plural either- I hate it every bit as much as my kids.  Of course, some scheming local kids decided to take advantage of the space around us by filling in the gap, but as long as we made it (eventually) to the front, I wasn’t too concerned.

One of the unfortunate aspects of hypotonia, is that Pudding and Cubby’s muscles tire easily (except when I want them to tire out, of course), which makes standing around for a long time particularly uncomfortable.  They decided to lie down, which didn’t exactly help with the whole people cutting in front of us thing.  Nor did it do wonders for my stress levels, but we somehow made it to the front unscathed.

Image

What, you are tying to touch me back?! 

 

I had assumed that Pudding wouldn’t want to actually meet Phineas and Ferb, but she surprised me by telling me that she would- and that she was going to touch them.  For a tactile sensory-seeker, there is no concept of not touching giant felt people.  What she hadn’t counted on, however, was that Phineas also wanted a hug/ handhake/ high 5.

No.

Only Japanese cats with no mouths would be granted such largesse.  As she explained to Phineas, Ferb, and the rest of South Africa:

“NO YOU*DON’T WANT PHINEAS AND FERB- YOU* WANT HELLO KITTY.”

Pudding still has a lot of trouble with her pronouns, but I don’t discount the possibility that she was actually commanding the promoters and people of Johannesburg to replace this duo with her esteemed special interest.

Image

You might thing this is bad photography, but I swear this is what it looked like.

 

A couple of women rushed on to the stage to help out, but unless I wanted things to get really out of hand, the only way to calm things down was to scoop Pudding up and remove her from the stage.  I was going to let Cubby have his moment!

I left a bewildered Cubby to hold hands with his heroes and have his picture taken.  It was awesome too- but I can’t find it anywhere.  Afterwards we found some beanbags to crash on.  The kids got the proprioceptive fix they needed, and after a few moments, we were all regulated again.

Image

Take that- sensory overload!

 

We were all calm enough to draw on special Phineas and Ferb paper.  Again, Pudding chastised a confused staff member for not having Hello Kitty paper.

Image

Ooh, you can see his photo in this picture- told you it was a good one!

All was well.  My breathing had returned to normal.  Pudding decided to tell me then that it was,

“…Pudding’s turn.  Want to go to Hello Kitty now.”

Image

She knows what we’re going to do today!

And you know, she was right.  Because it is tough being the sibling of a child with special needs.  It is even tougher if you have some special needs yourself, in a similar-but-different way to your little brother.

In our never-ending game of ping-pong, in which we parents are the ball- it was Pudding’s turn to be served.  I’ll tell you about that tomorrow.

Wordless Wednesday 13 Jul 11

with 4 comments

That was then...

 

...and this is now, two years later.

 

Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone!

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

July 13, 2011 at 6:57 am

Sudden Interest

with 15 comments

Abby Cadabby

Image by Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr

Now, perhaps I should have realized on Saturday.  I was buying toothbrushes, yet again, because my kids like to chew on them.  I picked up the Elmo one for Cubby, and the Ernie one for Pudding, but she stopped me, and told me she wanted the Abby Cadabby one instead.  Hmm.  I bought the one she wanted, but kept thinking that I should have taken an Ernie one just in case she changed her mind.  After all, Ernie is numero uno in this casa.  She requested the Abby toothbrush every morning and night, but I still didn’t think of what that signified.  I just thought she preferred it because it was pink.  Because the whole deal with special interests is that the kid has them for a significant amount of time.  Not a few lousy months.  Not a new one all of a sudden.  Who can keep up with that?

On Wednesday, her bus home from school was late.  And when I mean late, I’m saying that she got on at 12.15, and at 1.30 there was still no sign.  I called her teacher to check it had left on time.  It had, and she contacted transport to find out what was going on.  They were stuck in traffic, having gone back to a previous stop for something they’d forgotten.  Finally at 2.00 the bus arrived.  It was too late for us to make her occupational therapy session, which is only takes place once every two weeks anyway.  Not great.

Pudding’s 4 year-old bladder simply couldn’t take such a long ride.  I felt awful for her, because I knew she would have been desperately trying to hold on.  Normally the ride is 45 minutes long, which is pretty tough on young kids, but adding an extra hour to that when you can’t understand what is happening must be awful.  She seemed pretty nonchalant though, and got changed after some extra long hugs.  Yes, I needed to get my clothes changed then too.

With fresh clothes and no plans for the afternoon, it wasn’t long before Pudding was itching to go out.  Spectrummy Daddy emailed with the suggestion of the book store, and I leaped at the idea.  It has a train table for Cubby, princess and Sesame Street books for Pudding, and a coffee shop for me.  It isn’t very often we get win-win-win for the three of us!

Pudding became enamoured with a girl eating a cake-pop.  Okay, the cake-pop was pink, I’m pretty sure the girl herself wasn’t that interesting.  It still hurt to see Pudding’s awkward advances rebuffed.  And it annoyed me that, due to her allergies, I couldn’t treat my girl to a delicious cake-pop when she’d had such a bad day.  I took Pudding over to the Sesame Street section to distract her.

Then she saw it.  An Abby Cadabby doll.  Some other kid had already got to it and pulled off the tags, so I had no qualms about letting her play with it while we there.  Cubby was content with the train table and randomly pulling books of the shelves for me to pick up.  I was content with a bench and a vanilla latte.  And Pudding was content doing a galloping lap of honour with Abby Cadabby.  Every once in while she’d canter over and tell me something about Abby, and I lapped up the moment of happiness in what could have been a very bad day.

Only then it occurred to me just how thrilled she was with Abby.  How Ernie hadn’t been mentioned at all.  How I didn’t have the thirty dollars or so to buy another toy, and even if I did, I couldn’t just get everything she wanted.  She loved that Abby, and I was going to have to part them.  Curses!

When it was time to leave, I carefully explained to Pudding that we were leaving, and Abby had to stay in the store.  She began to cry and jump up and down, so I quickly took the toy and put it on the highest shelf, then grabbed both kids and got out of there quickly.  In the car, for the next 20 minutes or so until we picked up Daddy from work, all I heard was:

“I want Abby Cadabby.  Want Mummy to get it.  Got to the book store Mummy for Abby Cadabby!”

I tried to console her with the fact that Ernie was at home, but that just fueled the fire.  Ernie’s reign is over.  Abby Cadabby rules now.  We heard the demands right through bedtime.  Finally I came right out and asked her:

Me: Pudding, do you have a new special interest? (Before you say it, I know!  I should not try to be smart with someone who is probably much more intelligent.)

Pudding: Yes.

Me: Well, what is it?

Pudding: Abby Cadabby.  I want her.

So there you have it.  She threw Ernie out of bed, but then reluctantly took both him and Upsy-Daisy.  Reminding us all the while that, in fact, Abby was the one she wanted, and I should go to the book store for her.  And, you know, repeat for last night.

I know we’ll end up getting her the Abby doll, because we’re suckers for special interests, and for putting smiles on that kid’s face.  But I’m determined to make her work for it in some way.  I want her to learn that belongings have value, and you need to earn them.  We’ve never had much luck in the past with reward charts, but I wonder if this would be enough of a motivator to work.  Any tips?

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

March 25, 2011 at 7:09 am

Upsy-Daisy

with 7 comments

Before we knew about such things as special interests, Pudding had a special interest. Her name was Upsy-Daisy. Anyone who has been to England in the last few years is familiar with Upsy-Daisy and the other protagonists from “In the Night Garden” a TV show by the creators of The Teletubbies. I don’t know why it never crossed the Atlantic, but back in England with the under-five set it is hugely popular.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

September 24, 2010 at 6:55 am