Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Monday, 7 November 2016

How DST went down this year…

Twice a year the clocks change and cause a disturbance in Riley World. Not to mention what it does to me. For as long as I can remember, Riley’s reaction is something like this…



It is a two-person job in our house. One person per clock would be better but…

Try as we might…inevitably there will be one rogue clock that refuses to sync with the rest. 

Before G & I went to bed on Saturday night, we assumed our positions. Each next to a different kitchen appliance. I changed the clocks on the microwave and stove. We stood at the ready…fingers poised and hovering over the “reset/start” button. As soon as the time on my cell changed to 10:58, we would simultaneously (or as close as possible) hit our button.

We still had about 30 seconds to wait. 30 seconds seems like an eternity when you are waiting.

And then…G panics. The stove clock reverted back to the current time! We quickly changed places but not before the time clicked over to 10:58. Damn!! 

We regroup. This time G at the microwave, me at the stove.

Again…we wait.

10:59 appears on my cell.  “NOW!” I yell.  High fives and upstairs we go. One more set of clocks before heading to bed.

Now if you don’t live in Riley World or the Land of Autism…going to such lengths to change a clock probably seems ridiculous…insane…or downright irrational. Just so we’re clear…it is. Welcome to Riley World and the Land of Autism.

Oh…and for the first time EVER…Riley did not come around even once on Sunday muttering that “the clock is wrong!” 

Looks like G & I have finally passed Clock Syncing 101.  


Saturday, 5 November 2016

Daylight Saving Time AGAIN!!!

Ahhhhh...Daylight Saving Time. The bane of Riley World's existence. In case you are new here...you can read why here. 

There’s a phrase often used when navigating the world of special needs. “Presume Competence”.

I’m sure our Fairy Godmother was beating her head against the wall having to explain to me over and over AND over again what that meant back in the early years of Riley World.

So what exactly does "presume competence" mean??  

“We often use the phrase “presume competence” in the context of developmental disabilities in a very specific way – because the presence of a diagnosis often leads to a dismissal of potential and abilities that may be attained by the individual, sometimes in a non-traditional way.”

Or, in a nutshell…

“Presume competence means – assume your child is aware and able to understand even though they may not show this to you in a way that you are able to recognize or understand.”

Now if you are just starting out on your adventures and you always try to “presume competence” with your child …KUDOS TO YOU! Seriously. I admire that. Because to be perfectly honest…I did not always do that in the early years. Heck…I still don’t always do that. I know. Shame on me.

I have no doubt Riley is intelligent. Where my doubt lies is in my ability to teach him in the manner he requires in order to learn. Communication is THE most challenging aspect in Riley World. We have been working on “Wh” questions (who, what, where, and when) and OMG don’t get me started on pronouns for the past 15+ years! Just how long am I supposed to presume competence for?!?!?

And then along comes November 1st.  The beginning of a new month and a highlight in Riley World. First thing this past Tuesday morning:

R:  I changed the calendars!  *happy as a clam*

It was followed later with:

R:  It’s Daylight on Sunday. *in his concerned voice*
Me:  *very confused then….ping*  Yes! It’s Daylight Savings on Sunday.  Do you know what that is?
R:  What??
Me:  You get to sleep in longer in the morning. (No way in hell I was going to suggest I would be changing the clocks.)
R:  It’s Daylight on Sunday.
Me:  That’s right.
R:  The clocks will be wrong!! *clearly annoyed*
Me:  *slightly panicked* No. The clocks will be okay. I bought NEW clocks.
R:  You bought new ones??
Me:  Yes. The clocks will be okay.
R:  They will be okay. *not at all convinced*

We’ve had the same conversation many, MANY times since Tuesday. SO. MANY. TIMES!!! Only most end with R grumbling “The clocks will be wrong!!” 

Now what has this got to do with presuming competence?? Well, Riley has never, EVER brought up Daylight Savings! We usually just change the clocks after he has gone to bed and pray they will be synced down to the nanosecond when he wakes up. After all, it only happens twice a year and not even on the same date.

Yet this past week he noticed it on my calendar and has been perseverating about the clocks being wrong ever since.  *sobbing*




So in answer to my earlier question (how long am I supposed to presume competence for?!?!?)….apparently 15+ years is how long.