Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Through his eyes

Every Parent would like to know what the world looks like through the eyes of their child, I think for parents to a special needs child this desire runs a little deeper. To see, think, hear, and feel what our children do would allow us to understand a little about their world. My son finds it very difficult to do the simplest task such as, sit at a desk at school and copy the alphabet on paper, this at the age of 10 would be simple to a child without special needs, but to a child with ADHD it is no simple task. What is it that stops him from completing the task? what is more interesting our of the classroom window? or why would pinging a ruler on his desk grab his attention more?, the answers I will never fully understand because I am not him.
    Creative play, now this you would think any child would love, whether it be painting or using a variety of tools to mark make, but for my son he gets completely nothing out of doing this at home. He would show interest to begin with but after about one minute he would shrug his shoulders, screw up his nose, shake his head, then walk away. When asked if he wants to play he shakes his head and looks at me like I am crazy.
    There is two things that I know for sure that really excites him, objects that spin and balloons. One of his favourites is a spinning top, he could spend hours spinning and watching a spinning top so much so that he has broken a fair few of them.He gets so absorbed by the spinning object in front of him that nothing around him matters, he will pound the handle up and down so hard and fast that it causes the metal inside to get hot then snap, this is how he has broken every one of them that we have bought. All I see is a toy that spins, after a while I am bored of watching it, not him though, he gets huge sensory gratification from watching it. I would love to see and think what he does whilst the spinning top is whizzing around, merging all its colours into one big blur. Balloons are another favourite of his, I think I could practically get him to do anything in exchange for a balloon he loves them that much. The balloon has to be deflated though! a blown up, tied balloon just does not do it for him. When he has a balloon to inflate he becomes so fixated on it that he forgets everything, he is flying free in his own world. Time and time again he will blow it up then release the air allowing it to blow over his face, he will repeat this until the balloon waves its little white flag and punctures itself ( ok so it pops but the 1st description runs through my head when he plays with a balloon), we then have a very upset boy to deal with, for this reason we don't give them to him that often.
I surrender 
Trying to explain things is another thing he finds extremely difficult, the words are there but they don't cooperate with him. You can see the concentration in his eyes whilst he is trying to give a description of what he wants, sometimes we can figure it out, other times we fail(this is where it would be really useful to know what he is thinking). A fine example of his explanation is below

 off school again with a migraine, after a pain killer and migraine strip it eventually goes without him being sick, so then he was bouncing off the walls until he asked for a DVD this is how the conversation went.

T.     I want the one with horses in
ME. which one?
T.     the one with brown horses in, the horses are brown
ME.  a lot of films have brown horses in!
T.     they have a tail and a fat belly
ME.  (giggling) what else is in it?
T.     the horse has legs
ME.  ok horses do have legs!
T.     they run like this on the sand (shows me how they run)
Me . and what else?
Repeated over the last bit a few times then
T.     there is water and trees, they run on the grass!
T.    The horse has grass on its tail
ME. Are there any people in it?
T.    yes blue people and red people
ME. are they children or adults?
T.    there is two boys and two girls
ME. I need to know more is there a lion in it?
T     oh you’re not listening to me the one with the brown horses, that are brown, with a     fat belly, has legs, and the horse has arms.
ME  *thinking what the hell! all I could come up with is narnia prince Caspian
So   I shown him clips of the film
T.     yes that’s it
ME.  I get the DVD out of the case
T.     Nooooo mum not that one, that has three boys and two girls..off he went giggling

He had given up, curled up on the sofa with his d.s and has not mentioned it since. I am still none wiser to which DVD he wanted but I’m 98% certain it was Narnia Prince Caspian.

This is pretty much how any description he gives goes. It takes a while but nine times out of ten we get to what he wants resulting in him being happy and that is all that matters. So if anyone ever figures out how to see the world through his eyes please do share with me.


  1. special needs is a whole new world isn't it and at times its difficult to try to decide what they want. Great post

    1. It sure is, I am getting better at playing detective from the clues given :) Thank you x

  2. That conversation sounds so familiar! Although my girl is only 4 and a half so it's more about Beebies programmes we have recorded. So frustrating for them - and us! Yesterday I found myself sobbing (which I have hardly ever done) because she wanted me to help her write something, but she kept running all the words together and making no sense but was getting upset at me not understanding! Sigh...

    1. hi Steph, it is hard when they can't explain what they want or need, I always think tomorrow is a new day :) 9 times out of 10 we all get there... where ever there is eventually

  3. really interesting post Joanne. You are a great Mummy x