Saturday, February 24, 2007


Yesterday was my nephew's first birthday, so we went over to my brother's house for a tea party. It can sometimes get a bit fraught over there as, not only do they not particularly see our point of view with regards to home education, they live in a ground floor, two bedroomed flat.

This does not make for an easy time with my three lads!

I also find, when they are more "cooped up", that Samuel noticably gets more and more unsettled. He starts off with just the usual charging around (not good as they have a very nice home with lots of very nice things in it!). As any attempts are made to stop this happening, he settles down into a lot of repetative actions. For Samuel this is usually singing made up words/tunes over and over again, or clapping, or "dancing". If he manages to stay still - or is "made" to by Nanny - then he starts whistling tunelessly and repetatively.

At one point he was distracted by watching their pc as they downloaded the pictures they had just taken, off of their digital camera. My SIL asked him to tell her when it had finished - which I could have told her was a bad idea! We had a count down for the next 9 minutes as once he gets locked into a cycle like that, he can't seem to break it.

It makes me realise, yet again, how tough school was for him - and how it was only ever going to get worse day in day out. I cannot begin to imagine how he could have coped - or how the teachers could have coped - with that sort of behaviour in class.

No wonder so many aspies get labelled as "disruptive" - especially if they have not actually been diagnosed as having aspergers in the first place.

Even with the best support in the class for him, how could this have worked out? Or in a special school - surely they stil have to impose some sort of discipline, for numbers sake, which must mean that these kids can't be allowed to have the freedom of expression and movement that they so often need?

Maybe I'm wrong, as I have no personal experience of a special school, but I just find it hard to imagine how it is much better.

Where my husband is out of work at the moment, Samuel is clinging more and more to him everyday. He feels that his Dad identifies with him the most, as his Dad seems to also be an aspie.

His family has definately become his security blanket. Is this a bad thing? Some days I worry - especially when you listen to uninformed people who do not understand HE (like some of the comments on Friday's BBC article...).

But the lad is only 9. We are still repairing the damage that school did to him. Therefore he needs a lot of help to feel able to face the world. He believes he is "odd" and "wierd" and until he can get past that point, he won't have the confidence he needs to move forward and celebrate his unique abilities and gifts.

In the car home yesterday he was showing off to us how he is learning his times tables. As I suspected, his aspieness is proving a huge bonus in the rote learning of tables! He went through his 2x, 3x and 4x tables with only one minor mistake.

William then piped up from the back and showed off his addition. The numbers got higher and higher, and we had to try not to laugh as he said "10 and 10 are...[whispering counting 10, 11, 12...] 20!"

Interestingly, at one point Samuel said "1 x 3 is 3" and William said "no its not, its 4". So I had to explain to him that "times" is different from "add". I'm wondering therefore whether to do some visual maths with William around multiplication just to lock that concept in.

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