Monday 15 May 2017

The reality and the ridiculous

Jane checks the flowers

Honestly, I don't know what we'd do without the trampoline in the garden and the trees to climb. In the winter I really miss being able to watch the kids throw themselves about in a fit of giggles (them... and me actually).  During the weekends we try and get outside to enjoy the space.  Now the evenings are lighter and warmer so begins the ritual of throwing them out the back door to play, and sometimes joining in.

Jane is full of imagination in her play whereas Anthony, like many autistic kids, plays the obvious. They are years apart but still manage to play together and their different minds collide outside. They teach each other.  This means they can be both in the corner of our rockery and at the South Pole. And every now and again there will be a fall from the heights of the Himalayas or a slip across the polar ice caps.

Despite their obvious differences, both kids need the same sort of support when they suffer a cruel scratch or a bump on the head.  A bit of reality and bit of the ridiculous.

Perhaps I've developed the same routine as it adapts to all the kids.  When one of my kids gets hurt or bumped, the first thing they want to know is that they are actually OK. There was a period when Anthony associated bleeding with potential death and although this is a bit extreme, it's normal to worry about oneself.   It's very classic for kids with ADHD, like Anthony, to jump to the first conclusion (I've cut myself, I'm going to die) but it's not (yet) been close to a reality.  And confirming this is always the first thing to do.

"Ohh, that is a bit of a bump, we'll need to get an ice pack or the cold spray."

"Oh, that's a nasty scratch, we'll need to clean it and get a Star Wars plaster."

"Let's see, did that hurt a bit, let me give it a rub for you."

It's OK, important in fact, to let the kids know if they have hurt themselves and important to show care and concern even if it's more pride than body that's hurt too.  It also lets my kids know what's going to happen next, particularly important when, like Anthony, a child has autism.  It's an ideal time to teach them what to do, and what not to do when they hurt themselves. They also want to know they are being taken seriously and taken care of.  Then to help them through this, I mix reality with ridiculous.

The ridiculous is like the classic, "did you break the pavement when you fell".  I can't help but think of the spell in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban that's used to defeat a Boggart.  A Boggart is a creature that takes on the form of what you are scared off most.  To defeat a Boggart you use a spell 'Riddikulus' to turn what you find scary into something daft or funny. A scary spider looks pretty silly when it's falling over on roller skates for example.  Well I employ the same tactic when the kids fall over.  I find after I've dealt with the reality of small bump or cut the next thing is to ease the fear with something ridiculous or funny.

"Where shall I put the ice pack after it's come off your arm?  How about on your bare belly?"

"It's just as well we had plasters... if this doesn't work maybe we'll be better just to chop your arm off.. what do you think? Maybe we should take both arms, just incase."

"Oh no, it looks like maybe your leg has fallen off.... I must have rubbed it too hard"

Possibly we've gone a bit far with the whole missing limbs thing. After all that could happen one day. But because the kids have been explained the reality of the situation they already know it's a joke.  And this is particularly great with Anthony.  Sometimes his autism means he has difficulty with literal translations and it's great to see he can tell the difference between when I'm serious and joking.  And as for Jane... well she'll think of brilliant places to but the ice pack.  "Down the back of your shirt!" is her current favourite.

What do you think?  How do you turn tears into smiles when your little one's fall over?

Little Hearts, Big Love


  1. oh bless, i'd say if it works carry on. i used to tell the object off that my kids had bumped into or had hurt them.P
    opping over from #TriumphantTales to say hi.

  2. It's hard to get a balance between laughingvit off and scaring children isn't it?! I always find that using a joke helps gauge how serious an injury is too. My little one doesn't really mind too much when he falls. Sometimes he laughs at himself! #triumphanttales

  3. My little one seems to know that I panic if he has a fall or something similar. He has taken to saying 'I'm alright!' if it happens and he genuinely is fine. When he's not he normally looks for me straight away and shouts 'Mummmmmyyyy' before running over. He always helps me decide if I should laugh it off. Thank you for linking up to #TriumphantTales, hope to see you again on Tuesday :)

  4. When Ben hurts himself I distract him with a toy as where he is so tiny, I dont want him to get used to having alot of attention to soothe him. It is starting to work and he is learning what is a slight bump and what is a serious bump. he is one though haah!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales, I hope to see you back again on Tuesday

  5. We use distraction here to turn Tears into Smiles, it helps D to focus away from whatever injury she's sustained. We have a slight complication here in that she has a severe latex allergy so can't wear plasters at all.
    I do love hearing Antony's ways of thinking x
    Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

  6. Making them laugh always works well. I can imagine that deciding where to put the ice pack could be fun - not sure that I want them to follow through with an ice pack down the back of my shirt though! Thanks for linking up to #ftmob


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