Posts Tagged ‘conversations with special needs kids’

Monday Minute: All Systems Go

October 23, 2012 1 comment

James is in italics, I’m in bold.

(Coming up to help James in the shower)

Hey skinny, grab a washcloth and soap.

I’m chubby.

No way, you’re skinny.

Yeah because I eat a healthy, balanced diet.

Oh yeah? Whats in a balanced diet?

Carrots…. broccoli…apples…






Ramen’s junk!

Yeah, it’s not great.


But its okay to eat a little junk every once in a while, like a special treat.

But too much junk will ruin your system.

What system?

You know, systems… like your system of being healthy, or your system of being clean. Or my stereo system in my room. So mom…


Do we have any ramen? For a little junky treat?

I don’t think so. Come out when your soap is gone and get your pajamas on.

(Calling out after me from the shower) or a weather system!

Monday Minute: How Time Flies (especially when talking to James)

James struggles with telling time, whether it be by the hour and minute or in deciding if something will happen in the afternoon or evening. Even more abstract to him is the concept of how much time has passed, or how far into the future something is. A day, week and year are all fair game when discussing a “recent” event.

This weakness results in all kinds of disjointed, seemingly-random-but-connected-in-James’s-head sentences, that when put together thoroughly confuse anyone who doesn’t know James well. Really, really well. In fact, I might be the only person on the planet who could follow his streams of consciousness. I can almost see the synapses in James’s brain misfiring when we have conversations like this, but in reality these situations are probably some of the most clear demonstrations as to why James struggles to communicate clearly with others.  Because even though they seem random, his thoughts are usually sparked by actual recent events. They make sense to him…

To help you better decipher and understand the world of James, I have included some helpful footnotes so that you can trace the route from the inspiration to the conversation.

This particular chat took place on the way to the playground today – in August.

James is in italics, my responses are in bold.

We’re going to your favorite playground today with the tunnels and tall slides – remember it? We haven’t been there in a while.

Cool! Hey do you remember last week how we light the candles for Christmas?


You know, we light one candle every year for Christmas?

James, you’ve totally lost me – I need some point of reference here.

On the advent wreath – the candles we light? (1)

Do you mean from last year?

Yeah we light one each year.

We light one each week before Christmas.

Right, last week for each year.


So where will my room be?

Your room?

In the new house? (2)

On the second floor, just like I showed you.

That’s cool, and where will your room be? The first floor? (3)

The third floor – you and your brothers and sister will all be on the second floor. We’re going to move there as soon as you get back from Albany (James is going to visit relatives this week while I finish packing).

You know, all the explosions in that movie were cool.


You know, Battleship? (4)

Oh yeah? Would you rather go see Diary of a Wimpy Kid or the Avengers movie this time?

Diary of a Wimpy Kid. And probably bowling too. (5)



(1) Our advent wreath is sitting in a box on James’s dresser while I’m packing his room up, so he saw it this morning before we left.

(2) The wreath reminded him that we’re packing to move and that he will (gasp) have a new room.

(3) A new room reminds James that his parents will now be one whole floor away in the new house. He has double checked which floor at least 10 times this week. He’s a little nervous, I think.

(4) James has a bunch of relatives in Albany – one of them took him to Battleship at some point. My mention of Albany triggered James getting to go see a movie there again.

(5) Speaking of movies, they also take him to do lots of other fun things like mini golf, swimming, and – you guessed it – bowling.

Starting to get the feel for this?

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