Monday, August 22, 2011

It's been a while...

I'm a bit ashamed to have left it s long between blogs. I have no excuse really beyond too much happening. Thankfully, in these busy times the Apple Corp keeps me connected (if not actually responding!)

As I type my first blog entry on my shiny new iPad (birthday present) and deal with the hilarious auto correct mistakes, I really wonder how parents of autistic kids coped without these loel gadgets.

I know times change and needs must and all those sayings I learned from my old aunties, bu really... Seriously... The things that we can achieve because of an iPhone, a lap top and now this iPad, really shock me.

Billy can learn (from spelling games to maths games to electronic books). ?
Billy can play (it's hardly worth going into the things he can play on these gadgets. Billy can cope with overwhelming social situations. Billy can communicate with other kids and his family in was he wouldn't have a hope of attempting in his day to day life. Billy can keep up with his NT peers in a popular culture sense. Bily can expand his skill base in preparation for a future that uses technology we haven't even dreamed of yet.

And then there's me.

I can work. Two years ago, it was a desktop or nothing. Clunky old PCs took a wet week to start up, and periodically ate my work, tempting me to throw them out the window of a moving vehicle. I couldn't drag a desktop into bed with me, I couldn't write while Billy was in therapy, I couldn't sync my appointments with my dreams and try to organize my constant stream of thoughts, ideas and crazy dreams. I couldn't blog easily.

Over the last week, we've been in hospital with Billy, having more tests. We've been working out of home while trying to keep our homeschooler both focussed and calm. We've been celebrating birthdays and friendships and the fact that we are finally living in a place where these things are way more possible. It's been... A little hectic.

But through it all, we've all been leveled out by these pieces of technology that keep us connected and communicating.

I know people will think, 'Hang on, you can't rely on machines to do the communicting for you. Technology isn't human. It drives us apart.'

And to those people I would say, that may have been the case in the past, and/or it may be the case in your family, but it is not the way for us. When you watch your child struggle to utter words, never mind string them together... When you see your child overwhelmed by normal human experience... When you have to turn your brain insideout to try to help your child understand something that a much younger child picked up without conscious thought... Then you see how the latest wave of technology can help.

I can leave the house now, confident that Billy is less likely to be assaulted by the sound of another child having a perfectly normal reaction to life. Billy can share moments of play and connection that do not require a raft of social scripts and prior knowledge prop them up. Together we can find ways to plug gaps, to answer questions, to plan new experiences with ease.

The one problem I can see... Angry Birds.

It distracts me. It enrages me. It beckons me back all the damn time.

To be honest, despite a heinous result from Billy's endoscopy and waaaaaaybommuch work and an ever growing pile of school work (Billy has discoverednthe self motivated research project, which he now uses to fill every last moment of our homeschooling time... Let's just say we have a LOT of information about moorhens and pademelons to process)... Despite these things, it has not been a busy enough week to stop me from blogging. Those birds and pigs are the real reason.

I curse them, and the slingshot they flew in on. More than that, I curse the game developers who made them, and the ones who are (I am sure) cooking up the next cute, addictive app that will distract me further.

If only I had one of those minds that could invent the next one, I could be distracted AND filthy rich. I need hyper focus, wit, a specific knowledge base, a love of repetition and a mind like a steeltrap. Hang on... I know someone like that.

Is almost eight to young to invent the next app craze? Could we turn it into a homeschool project? Would the rest of the world be interested in a Crazy Gazelle app?

I will post this with apologies for auto correct, because. Cannot work out how to scroll back through what I have written. Perhaps Billy could help me work it out. I will ask him...

Just as soon as I clear 3-24 on Angry Birds.


K- floortime lite mama said...

Loved your post
Its very true
This ( the online world ) is one of the best ways to connect for me
I have also been a bit neglectful of my blog - this last time was the first time ever that I was not able to post on Hopeful Parents
Many hugs on all the hospital stints

Lisa said...

Back in my time (says the dinosaur) when these new-fangled technologies were first being reviled as addictive and dehumanising, I watched my eldest son talking to peers for the first time.

We were at a public event, and he was allowed to withdraw and regroup by playing on his... you know, the one before the Nintendo DSi/Lite/DS, hand-held thingy... Game Boy!

Within minutes, other children approached, and engaged him in conversation about Pokemon. Of course, he knew every one of the 150 Pokemon (Gotta catch them all!) intimately.

Knowing *all* about the latest games and/or being good at them, is a great social skill.

meanwhile, a pre-app-designing project could involve a free download of Visual Basic, and following the (online) tutorial to create a 'maze' game.