Sunday, October 8, 2017

Piano Therapy

Strangely, Calder began to look morose towards the end of lunch today.

Me: How are you feeling, Calder?
Calder: Sad.
Me: Why are you sad?
Calder: (no answer)
Me: Because?
Calder: Because.

Then he started crying! And continued crying when showering.

Is it because someone gave him rice cake with chilli this morning, not knowing he does not eat spicy food, and he ate it up before I could help him change the food?

Is it because I took too long queuing to buy chicken rice for lunch?

Is it because the wall fan is missing from the bedroom?

Discomfort from some adolescent hormonal surge?

Or he's falling ill?

Because Calder cannot express himself, looks like it's going to be another mystery never to be solved.

Since showering didn't help, I decided to let Calder play the piano.

So he played one song after another until he stopped crying and looked calm again.

And smiled.

- 35 mins of "piano therapy".

Thursday, October 5, 2017


After fetching Ethel from piano class at Level 3, we proceeded to the lift. I noticed that Ethel's skirt bow had come undone so stopped to help her tie it. Meanwhile, Calder walked so fast he was soon out of sight. When Ethel and I reached the lift, I was astounded to find a whole lift of people waiting for us because Calder was inside with his finger on the "open" button. !! What must they be thinking of this tall boy stoically holding the lift for his family? It never occurred to him that he was inconveniencing other people.
Flustered, I apologised and reminded Calder he must wait for us outside the lift next time, not inside.

Symptom of autism - buay paiseh (no sense of embarrassment).

Monday, October 2, 2017

Good books

When choosing books for Calder, I look out for:

A. Familiar topics
He's happy to read about transport and parts of the body and ... food!

B. Nice photographs
Calder likes things real because they are more familiar compared to cartoons.

C. Simple layout
I steer away from those with text tilted in all directions scattered all over - they are confusing to look at.

D. Brevity
Calder likes to read aloud, so the book cannot be too long, otherwise he would feel too tired reading.

E. Rhyming
A bonus. Rhyming adds pleasant predictability.

Following some of these criteria, good books we have found include:

1. Step-By-Step Transformations series by Cavendish Square Publishing.

2. Healthy Plates series by Valerie Bodden.

3. Discover and Share series by Hachette Children's Group.

4. Step into Reading series by Random House Books for Young Readers.
- Heavy-Duty Trucks
- Wild Kratts

5. Cat in the Hat's Learning Library by Random House Books for Young Readers.

Feel free to share about the books that your autistic child likes.


From Calder's 10-year-old sister, Ethel:

It's not good to always be so busy doing things. Sometimes we should sit quietly beside Calder and be like him and enter his world. Then we can hear him say some things softly.