Kategoriarkiv: English

Posts in English or with an English translation, usually at the bottom

Demand gone (totally) wrong

”Mathilda, ta din medicin nu.”

”Jag tänker inte ta min medicin om jag inte… om jag inte får en godis!”

Mathilda har en sån där dag när hon behöver uppleva en känsla av kontroll. Men till och med hon hör hur knasigt det blev nu, och kan inte låta bli att fnissa.

”Eh… alltså… du får gärna ta en godis för min del… ta en godisbit du. Ta tre. Oavsett om du tar din medicin eller inte”, säger jag och pekar mot godishyllan.

Vi har haft en sådan utan problem i tjugo år. Barnen är helt enkelt inte så förtjusta i godis att vi nånsin behövt flytta det. Jag vill förstås gärna tänka att det beror lite på vår avslappnade hållning, men egentligen tror jag inte på det. Äter man regelbundet blir man inte paniskt sugen på godis utan orsak.

Jag känner barn med NPF som länsar skåpen på allt ätligt med jämna mellanrum, och det är nog inte nån reaktion på vad som finns eller inte finns tillgängligt. Det är nog ett försök att självmedicinera en hjärna i energikris, till exempel på grund av ADHD. När hjärnan skriker efter kalium säger den oftast socker. Det är en sån sak som är svår att rå över och knappast beror på om det finns godis lätt tillgängligt eller ej.

Mathilda fnissar. Jag fnissar. Men lyckas ändå säga nåt i stil med:

”Men ta också din medicin. Båda tar du för din egen skull. Godis för att det är gott, och medicinen för att du mår bra av den.”

Vi skrattar en stund till. Mathilda gör ingen ansats att gå mot skåpet. Jag tar hennes tabletter, lägger dem i handen på henne, sträcker fram ett glas vatten och säger:

”Hämtar du godiset själv sen?”

Hon nickar medan hon sväljer.

In English:

”Mathilda, take your meds now.”

”I’m not taking my meds unless… unless I get a candy!”

Mathilda is having one of those days where she needs to feel in control.BBut even she can hear how silly that sounded, and she can’t help giggling.

”Er… well… you can have candy as far as I’m concerned… You go on and get yourself a piece of candy. Get three. No matter if you take your meds or not”, I reply, pointing towards our candy shelf.

We have had a shelf for candies without problems for twenty years. The kids are simply not that much into candy that we have ever had to move it. I’d like to think it is because of our laid back attitude, but I really don’t believe it is. As long as you eat on a regular basis, you won’t be getting panicky sugar cravings for no reason.

But I know kids with developmental disabilites who will raid the pantry for anything edible every once in a while, and it’s probably not a reaction to what is or is not available. It’s probably more of an attempt to self treat a brain in energy crisis, for example because of ADHD. When the brain cries out for potassium it’s usually crying ”sugar!”. It’s one of those things that are hard to resist and hardly an effect of whether or not candy is easily available.

Mathilda giggles. I start giggling, too. But I still manage to say something like:

”But get your meds as well. Get both of them, but for your own sake. Candy because it tastes good, meds because they will make you feel better.”

We keep on laughing for a while. Mathilda is not making any attempt to move towards the pantry. I get her meds, put them in her hand, handle her a glass of water and say:

”Will you get the candy yourself?”

She nods as she swallows.

New category: English

So, I made a new category/tag called English for posts that are in English or translated into English after the Swedish text. I sometimes write in English because we speak a lot of English at home, partly because it is my second language, partly because for some reason my Aspies sometimes prefer English.

Enjoy! And oh, if you see a post in English that has not been tagged English, please let me know!

Master

It’s one of those mornings. Everyone else in the family is getting ready for school and work, but Mathilda is still hiding under the bed cover in her loft bed. There are no signs of her even thinking about getting up.

I have tried friendly reminders. I have made sure she took her meds and ate half a banana. I have talked cheerily about All the Good Things About Tuesdays, and made sure she remembers what time it is: time to get out of bed. All to no avail.

Now I am hesitant. I could, of course, remind her again, but that’s not very likely to work, not on a morning like this. I quickly decide to take my chances with the plain truth.

”Mathilda. It’s getting late. You need to get up now. If you stay in bed any longer, you will be really stressed out later. And you don’t like to hurry, do you? I would really like to help you. But I’m not sure how.”

Mathilda makes one of her distinctive noises, the one that sounds like a moan went for a walk in the park, where it met a growl and a wail, and they all decided to go swing on the swings, only now the swings are squeeking too… She hides her head under under the bed cover again.

All of a sudden Mathildas big brother is in the room with me, calm, confident, a piece of chocolate in his hand:

”Mathilda. Hand!” he says.

Mathilda peeks out, discovers the chocolate and is all eyes. She quickly nabs it from his hand. And her head stays above the cover this time.

Now Mathilda is chewing. Big brother smiles at her. Now Mathilda is smiling, too.

”Get down here”, he says, nodding ever so slightly towards the floor. His tone of voice makes those three simple words sound like a secret joke, like something only the two of them could possibly understand.

I quietly walk out of the room. There is really no need for me now, I am mostly in their way. Behind me I can hear Mathilda climbing out of bed, like a tiny squirrel with curious eyes and a bed head. The two of them laugh together.

Once again, I have been taught by a master.

Afterwards, when I tell Mathildas brother how impressed I was, he replies:

”It’s pretty simple, really. All you have to do is take her mind off things. If you make her think about something entirely different, she’ll follow you to the end of the world.”

Law-abiding citizen

”Mathilda really likes abiding by the rules”, I tell her father, smiling and winking.

”Oh, but I do!” she assures.

And then Samuel appears out of nowhere, like a solemn Lemony Snicket suddenly standing in the kitchen hallway, adding some context to all this heartfeltness:

”I remember all these scenes from Mathildas childhood now: Running out into the road, trying to hit cars, biting strangers, screaming aloud in public… Always following every rule. A law-abiding citizen, right there!”

Distraherad

Tre gånger har jag sagt till Mathilda att ta på sig pyjamas. Nu hittar jag henne i hallen. Med en bok. Distraherad igen.

– Men Mathilda?! säger jag. Vad gör du?

Hon tittar förvirrat upp.

– Vadå? säger hon.

– Vad är det dags för nu, Mathilda?

Hon ser sig omkring. Tittar ut på mörkret utanför fönstret. Tvekar lite. Så säger hon:

– Pyjamas…?

– Ja, precis, säger jag. Och inte bara pyjamas. Det är dags för hela kvällsrutinen. Pyjamas, kvällsmat, tandborstning… Hela grejen. Det är inte så att vi bara sätter på oss pyjamas lite lösryckt. Utan målet är att vi ska i säng. Vi ska göra kvällsrutinen för att vi ska gå och lägga oss. Nu.

– Jaha! säger Mathilda förstående. Varmt, liksom. Hon ler vänligt mot mig. Och står kvar. Med boken i hand.

❤ ❤ ❤

In English:

Easily distracted

Three times I have told Mathilda to put her pajamas on. This time I find her in the hallway. With a book. Distracted once more.

"Mathilda?! What are you doing?" I ask.

She looks up at me, obviously baffled.

"What?" she says.

"What is it time for, right now, Mathilda?"

She looks around. Glances at the darkness outside of the window. Hesitates. And then says:

"Pajamas…?"

"Yeah, that's right" I say. "And not just pajamas. It's time for the whole evening routine thing. Pjs, evening snack, tootbrush… All of it. We don't just put on our pajamas every now and then, randomly. The objective here is going to bed. We're doing our evening routine, because we are going to bed. Now."

"Oh!" Mathilda says. In an understandig, warm tone of voice. She smiles lovingly at me. And stays right where she is, in the hallway. The book still in her hand.

Difference

Mathilda is still in bed as we start breakfast, and she’s not happy about it. Not about the morning thing, not about the breakfast thing, and by the sounds of it, not even about the being in bed thing.

”Might as well take these off”, says Samuel, dropping the headphones to his shoulders. He has heard nothing of the commotion.

”… And listen to Mathilda making squeaking noises”, I smile.

”On the other hand…”

He reaches for his headphones again, and adds:

”Noone’s gonna say I’m not supportive of my sister, but there is a difference between being supportive an damaging your hearing.”

Barn som bråkar – Att hantera känslostarka barn i vardagen: Nu på engelska!

Nu finns Barn som bråkar av mig och Bo Hejlskov Elvén på engelska:

Sulky, Rowdy, Rude? Why kids really act out and what to do about it

Tidigare är boken även översatt till danska (Rabalder i børnefamilien: En bog til forældre om at håndtere børn med stærke følelser) och norska (Rabalder i barnefamilien: Å håndtere barn med sterke følelser)

Why does one fall in love with someone with Asperger’s syndrome?

Dear Mr Attwood,

Thank you for your lecture on Asperger syndrome and strengths in Stockholm today.

You were asked something along the lines of ”Why does one fall in love with someone who has Asperger’s syndrome?”, and as I listened to your answer I remembered something that happened a while back in our home.

You see, my aspie husband had made me very upset one day. I don’t remember exactly how or what it was all about, but it was one of those things that made even my male friends go ”oooooh…” and sort of hold their breath.

Even though I knew he had not meant to hurt me, I was very angry. I was sobbing, scolding him and possibly yelling about how he had really, really hurt my feelings and why did he have to do that?

My husband does not like emotional outbursts. And he found this one to be especially unfair:

”I thought I was being supportive!” he said, quite upset. ”I was, in fact, only trying to help!”

”Well, Adolf Hitler thought he was helping too, when he invaded Austria!” I snapped.

Now, that was not a nice thing to say. I didn’t really mean it like that, the comparison was simply the first one that came to my mind. But the very second I heard myself saying those words out loud, I knew I should not have said them, and I cringed and waited.

And this is the part where the magic of Aspergerese comes into play. For a couple of seconds my husband just looked into the distance, as if pondering the relevance of what I had just said. Then he turned his face towards me again, nodded slowly and said: ”I see what you mean. That’s a fair point. I’m sorry.”

I have yet to meet another man who is not offended by being compared to a dictator invading adjacent countries, for simply trying to be supportive of his wife. But where there is logic, he sees it, and acknowledges it, no matter what position that may put him in. He’s not really interested in being right. He only wants what’s right. And that is simply an amazing personality trait.

regards,

Tina Wiman

Snällt

– Mathilda, om jag skulle berätta för föräldrar om autism, vad skulle jag säga då? Vad är det viktigaste som de behöver veta?

– Hur barnen vill bli behandlade.

– OK. Och hur vill barnen bli behandlade?

– Snällt.

 In English:

– Mathilda, if I were to talk to parents about autism, what should I tell them? What would be the most important thing for them to know?

– How their kids want to be treated.

– OK. How do they want to be treated?

– Kindly.

”Problemskapande beteende” på engelska!

Nu finns den på engelska, boken som bokstavligt talat svept genom Sverige och knappt hunnit lämna tryckpressarna innan den sålt slut gång på gång. Det finns goda skäl till att den här boken får toppbetyg och uppmärksamhet inom NPF-världen. Läs den. Det är väl investerad tid!

Om jag själv får välja stoppar jag allra helst ”Problemskapande beteende vid utvecklingsmässiga funktionshinder” i handen på den förälder, lärare eller assistent som säger att de skulle behöva lära sig mer om autism. Inte för att det är en bok om autism (det är det inte), utan för att det är en lättbegriplig och grundlig genomgång av de utmaningar som utvecklingsmässiga funktionshinder ställer oss inför och en stark röst för individperspektivet i vårt bemötandet av människor med utvecklingsmässiga funktionshinder som till exempel autism eller ADHD. Den är konkret, lättbegriplig och ger både teoretisk bakgrund och en rik mängd exempel från verkligheten.

”But mostly I don’t like the word discipline. Everybody have the right to say ‘no’, and the job of staff and parents is to make people with developmental disabilities say ‘yes’ to what we know is good for them. And when you say ‘yes’ there is no need for discipline. The word discipline implies that the service-user will not do what we want them to. Both experience and scientific evidence has taught me that everybody who can behave, does. If somebody doesn’t behave, we need to figure out why he or she can’t, then adjust our demands both in terms of what we demand, but mostly in how we demand it, so that the service-user succeeds in doing what we ask of them. In my world discipline shouldn’t ever be needed.”

Bo Hejlskov Elvén, psykolog och författare till ”Problemskapande beteende vid utvecklingsmässiga funktionshinder”

Den engelska Facebooksidan finns här: No Fighting, No Biting, No Screaming

Liknelsen om bron

Jag har en bild i mitt huvud som brukar hjälpa människor att förstå lite mer om hur det är att leva med någon som har autism.

Tänk er att det finns en bro som går mellan dig och mig. Du och jag kan gå fram till mitten på bron från varsitt håll och mötas där. Men M som har autism kan inte gå hela vägen över bron. Hon kan bara gå en liten bit, och för att möta henne och nå fram till henne måste jag gå en längre bit, över på hennes sida. Jag måste gå över till henne för hon kan inte komma till mig.

Ibland är det svårt att förklara VAD det är man måste göra extra, men mycket handlar om just detta, att man behöver sträcka sig längre och tänka längre. Att man inte kan mötas på mitten.

 

In English:

The parable of the bridge

In my head I have this image that helps people understand more about what it is like living with someone who has autism.

Imagine a bridge, stretching out between the two of us. You and I can both walk to the middle of the bridge from our side and meet there. But M, who has autism, cannot walk all the way over the bridge. She can only go a small distande, and so to meet with her and to really reach her, I have to go a bit further, in order to get over to her side. I have to walk to her, because she cannot come all the way to me.

Sometimes it is hard to explain exactly what it is that takes more work, but a lot of it boils down to this: stretching out further, thinking farther. That you cannot meet at the midpoint.

Jag vill inte att det ska vara så här

Mathilda satt på golvet i hallen och jag tog argt på henne kängorna efter en helvetesmorgon när allt som kunnat gå fel också gjort det.

”Varför måste du alltid bråka?” fräste jag. ”Varför kan du inte bara ta på dig kläderna?”

Då tittade hon upp på mig, med tårfyllda ögon och sitt – som alltid – fullständigt ärliga ansikte och svarade:

”Men mamma. Jag vill inte att det ska vara så här.”

Jag har svårt att föreställa mig att någon mamma någonsin skämts mer över sig själv än vad jag gjorde i det ögonblicket.

”Förlåt Mathilda”, viskade jag. ”Förlåt.”

 

In English:

Mathilda sat on the hallway floor as I was angrily putting her boots on. It had been one of those mornings from hell, the kind where everything that could possibly have gone wrong actually had.

”Why do you always have to make such a fuss?” I snarled. ”Why can’t you just put your clothes on?”

And so she looked up at me, tears in her eyes, her expression totally sincere as ever, and said:

”But mom. I don’t want it to be like this.”

I cannot imagine another mother ever feeling more ashamed of herself than I did at that  moment.

”I’m sorry, Mathilda”, I whispered. ”Forgive me.”