Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Extra catch up

After a month of living off the grid, I'm not even sure how to re-emerge into the blogosphere. I've always thought that once a blogger starts beginning posts with phrases like "Wow, I can't believe how long it's been since I've written," it's a sure sign that the blog has jumped the shark.

I gotta admit, I can see the fins circling.

It's funny how it happens, though. It starts with "Oh, this will make a good post. I'll just set that idea aside until I have time to flesh it out," then it morphs into "Maybe I can blend this story with the other one and just have a longer post," which soon becomes, "Okay, I'll just scrap those two and start fresh with this one," and suddenly a post-free month passes and I begin to think that maybe I should just pack it all in and go low-tech.

But here I am in my Fonzie finest, life jacket in place and fingers flying on the keyboard, in a (perhaps futile) attempt to salvage the ratings. And yet, I'm not quite sure where to begin, and if I really try to fill in all the gaps since the last time I wrote, this post will inevitably end up in the dead letter of office of half-written drafts.

So I will begin here:

I've been thinking a lot about how Bud's language has progressed, and about how sophisticated his use of mitigated echolalia has become (as, I might add, Barry Prizant predicted years ago). Bud has an enormous store of phrases and sentences filed in his brain and he's able to retrieve them in an instant, mentally flipping through to find the phrase or quote or snippet of language that most closely fits the real-life situation in which he finds himself. He is so skilled with it, in fact, that unless you know he's using scripts, you wouldn't know he's using scripts. Most people have brief conversations with him in passing and simply think his language is a little quirky.

A favorite recent example:

Bud was sick back in October - nothing serious, but it required a trip to the doctor. At the time, he was geared up to be a doctor for Halloween, so in preparation for his visit he donned his white lab coat, strapped on his head mirror, wrapped his stethoscope around his neck, and pulled a face mask over his mouth. He walked through the medical center with an air of authority and, to a person, the staff and nurses he met treated him with solemn respect: "Hello, Doctor. We're glad you've come to help us today." Bud nodded at them, told them they were welcome, and, through the use of doctor-visit scripts from Elmo and Blues Clues, generally reassured them that he was happy to be on the job.

We got into the exam room and Bud climbed up on the table as Nurse Dan walked into the room. "Hello again, Bud," he greeted us. "I see you you've become a doctor since the last time I saw you!"

"Well," Bud replied matter-of-factly, "I've gotta make a living somehow, you know."

"I hear you, Bud," Nurse Dan commiserated. "Don't we all."

"Yeah," Bud agreed. "Don't we all."

And there you have it. A quick little vignette from my life with Bud to get me started on what I hope will be a roll of more frequent posting.

I've gotta start blogging somewhere, you know.

24 comments:

kristenspina said...

Welcome back! You can come, you can go, but you can't simply walk away. We'd miss you too much. xxk

Niksmom said...

If you write it, we will come. ;-) Glad you're dipping your toes in again; you've been much missed here.

Jenny B said...

Hi! Not sure how I found you but glad I did. I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog. I have a 3 & 1/2 year old with a dual dx - Williams syndrome and autism. My blog is http://louieandace.blogspot.com. Maybe we can be online friends (and support...you can never have too much of that, right?)!
Take care,
Jenny

*m* said...

Ah, the echoes of Blue's Clues. Fond memories. These days, I'm more likely to hear snatches of Madagascar II...and occasionally, Jon Stewart. (A little too much Tivo-viewing during the election season?)

Glad to see you back.

Christine said...

Always a pleasure to hear from you -- and about Bud -- again!

Betty and Boo's Mommy said...

"I've got to make a living somehow." Oh, that is just way too priceless.

Glad to have you back ... and whether you like it or not, I don't think your blog is capable of jumping the shark. Sorry - can't get rid of us that easily. :)

ghkcole said...

You know, your blog is a gift to all of us who read it. More, though, it should be a gift to yourself. It's like exercise probably is, only I suck at exercise... you do it unwillingly sometimes, but afterwards you feel so much better. It's writing exercise. Natalie Golberg and Anne LaMott talk a lot about writing exercise, and I love them. I read them and I get a gift, they write and they get one too. I hope you keep giving us and yourself the gifts of your blog. It ain't always easy, but it's worth it.

Quirky Mom said...

I love your blog. Glad to see you back, and I hope you keep at it for as long as it continues to be meaningful for you! It will remain that way for me, certainly.

graceunderautism said...

I am so glad you are back! I have started, at the very least, 4 blogs in the past year with, "its been a long time..." and yet I've managed to get back in the habit. I hope you do too.

J's scripting is becoming more integrated. Your posts on echolalia were some of the first I ever read and they gave me hope. I laugh when people answer the way they think they should and he gets upset because they dont know the script.

Robin said...

Welcome back :). (Parents in town, no time to blog much myself)

Em said...

LOL...great story! And welcome back...you are never so far away that you can't return!

Lynn said...

I love it! Nothing like humor to lighten the load we each carry! More kids with special needs humor at my1spot.wordpress.com if you are interested.

Ange said...

I have you on my reader, so even if you only post every 6 months, I'll read it. :) Always enjoy your posts and perspective.

Daisy said...

I still have you bookmarked! I understand the selective use of echolalia scripts. Sometimes my son's scripts drive me crazy because I'm so tired of the repetition. I have to remember that they're a communication tool for him, not a teenage annoyance. Well, mostly.

mothersvox said...

So glad you're back! Don't jump the shark! We need MOM-NOS now more than ever! Missed you!!!

Jordan said...

So glad to see you back here! I love this post. I have a client whom I've watched move through the stages of echolalia over the past 2+ years and her use of mitigated echolalia is very much like Bud's right now. I think I am one of the only people who can tell when she switches from echolalia to novel sentences - to me it's really obvious but I'm sure no one else would understand what had just changed. I find echolalia fascinating, and I think I first found you through that post you wrote about it, when I asked permission to pass it out to parents, which I still do all the time!

mommy~dearest said...

Look. You've been "gone" for a month, but still have a Koresh-like following! ;) Glad to see you back!

I am totally with you on the scripts. Then, when I have to explain to people that it's a script, they think I'm just making it up. Um, no. Even my mother doesn't believe my son can store all those scripts in his head, and that I can tell what is a script and what is not. I guess they've only heard Blues Clues 499 times- it doesn't cclick 'til 500. :)

Now go! Start a cult!

Eww... my verification word is fatops. Subliminal? Hmmm...

drama mama said...

I often think that most of us script, anyway. I know I do.

I would love to see Bud in action.

kristina said...

just post as much or as little as you wish---one post of yours nourishes for a good long time.

Stimey said...

No matter how often you're here, I'll always be here!

MOM-NOS said...

Okay, can I just say this? I have the best friends in the whole wide blogosphere.

Thanks for the welcomes back. I've missed you!

David said...

Yeah mom-nos you really jumped the shark all right! You and your Bud. That you took a month off is no problem. Writing of your quality must take its own sweet time, as do the real lives that inspire it. Down with instantaneity!!

Happy Holidays :)

Dancing with Pineapples said...

Hi MOM-NOS from another fellow Mom-nos! I love your blog and Bud, he is so similar to my 3 year old echolalic, PDD-NOS Blue, and your posts have helped me tremendously. I probably never commented before, because I was still new to the diagnosis 9 months ago and just processing everything. I'm so glad you're writing again and hope you keep sharing, it's like a lifeline for me.

Like Bud, Blue retains a phenomenal number of scripts in memory, mitigates them & recently has begun using more original speech. Your Dr. Strangetalk post helped me at a critical time when all he was doing was scripting, and I can't thank you enough for writing about it. It's so great to hear how Bud's doing now, glad you had a wonderful Christmas!

Dances with Pineapples said...

Gaah, sorry for the double comment, and the broken URL, I've fixed it here. I was away from my own blog so long I can't believe I forgot my own URL. [Blush!]