Monday, 21 September 2015

Autism and the Everyday #4

There are some things about autism that are hard to live with.
  It's all relative because, let's be honest, autism is hard to live with.
Full stop. 
Let's talk language and specifically, echolalia.
I'd never heard the word echolalia until
The Boy Child started working with a Speech Therapist a few years ago.
As he has made progress with language,
 The Boy Child has built up a stockpile of phrases he can use 
in response to a multitude of situations.
He doesn't, however, always get it right.
He will know that a response is required from him
if he is to participate in a conversation.
But which is the right response?
On occasion, I can see his brain scrolling through
the memory file marked responses and I brace myself. 
An example of when his choice of response is totally wide of the mark:
Little Friend: "Blah, blah, blah, shouldn't we ask your Mum, blah, blah, blah."
The Boy Child:  "What?  My stupid g*t of a mother?" 
These words were uttered when we were at friends for supper.
There was a stunned silence and six sets of eyes swivelled round to look at me.
Now, both The Brainy One and I knew that particular line
 came from a book by David Walliams.
But nobody else did.
Even though our friends completely get The Boy Child, 
situations like that one are still embarrassing, 
awkward and humiliating.
He doesn't understand that words have power.
That they can hurt.
And that sometimes the situation might call for no words at all,
if you are unsure which words to call upon.  
  

5 comments:

debs14 said...

Oh Ruth - you must hold your breath sometimes when you hear someone ask him a question - I blame David Walliams! I guess to TBC, he's read it in a book so it must be ok. It must be so hard to teach what is, and what isn't appropriate! I'd never heard of this speech condition before, there's so much more to autism than I realised.

Sian said...

Ack! There isn't really anything I can say that's going to make it any better..that's hard..x

Louise H said...

Maybe you will laugh about it one day, maybe you won't but you should never worry about what others think - they shouldn't be so narrow minded! What a lot of thinking your son has to do just to give an answer to a simple question. We need to support each other as parents - it's a tough job, and for you probably tougher still.

Ladkyis said...

next time he quotes from a book - and we know he will - no matter how inappropriate You train yourself to instantly come back with "Well quoted! and which book was that from?" Turn to the onlookers and say "he reads so much I have a hard time keeping up"
Face saving for both of you. You are amazing, you do know that don't you? and you are doing such a good job.
We've got your back, girl, and you can do this

Alison said...

Just catching up Ruth and was going to leave a comment on your most recent post, but this one called out to me.....Ladkyis is right- you are amazing and we DO have your back xx

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