April 7th. Autism Awareness month continues.
James really enjoys following a recipe – in fact, anything that is in checklist form he enjoys. He wanted to help me with dinner. I was preparing a soup in the crockpot which was an easy task to assist with. So we got to it. On the menu – lamb shanks and barley soup. He chopped vegetables, added stock and then added the lamb shanks. He was horrified at the appearance of the shanks.
James: Mum! There’s blood on this!
Mum: Yes James, there is because it’s meat. It’s called lamb shanks.
Mum: Yes – lamb!
James: What do you mean, lamb?
Mum: Well, you know when we go to the farm and the Mummy sheep have babies? They are called lambs!
James: ((running shrieking from the room)) TOOOOOOMMMM! Mum is cooking baby lambs in the crockpot. Their legs are being cooked Tom! Mum’s cooking baby sheep!!!!”
Tom: ((flying into the room indignantly and reproachfully!)) Mum! Why would you DO that?
I guess I may need to accept that James will never eat meat! And now … neither will his brother! Sigh!
James really struggles with his iron levels I suppose primarily due to his aversion to meat. After his blood test revealed he was anaemic, I explained to him that he would need to take a special iron tablet to help restore his iron to a healthy level. I thought I had explained it all really simplistically but thoroughly to him. When it came time to have his tablet every afternoon, he would start screaming like a lunatic saying “You’re trying to poison me with this iron! I don’t want any iron!” etc. Every afternoon for about a week this went on. Eventually I sourced an iron alternative – Spatone – which is a liquid. He had no trouble having that at all. When I pressed him on why the new medicine was OK but the last one wasn’t his reply was – “You were poisoning me with the iron tablet. You put iron in it and you were putting it in my body.” I explained that this was kind of the point but he then ran dramatically over to the ironing board and said “Iron shouldn’t go in my body!” Good Lord! The poor child thought I was actually putting a clothing iron into his body! Whilst this is rather amusing … it’s a good example of how you can assume these kids are on the same page as you, and then you realise they are looking at the same situation in an entirely different (and possibly traumatising) way!