Wednesday, 29 August 2012


Special Forces do it with white noise. My daughter does it with her precisely pitched, heat-seeking missile voice. On a good day, I can laugh about it, or filter it out, and let it wash over me. On a day like today, I’m willing to give her my name, rank, serial number, and my secret D-Day plans, if only she would promise to STOP.

My girl’s chromosome disorder means she’s prone to perseveration. She has more repeats than episodes of QI on the Dave channel. If a thing's worth saying once, it's worth saying 50 times. Sometimes it includes a long run-up: she’ll start a sentence, lose track in the middle and begin again, only to stumble at the same point, and repeat the slow-mo stutter.

There are ways to deal with this: Gently asking her to take a breath and concentrate; reminding her that she’s already said the same thing (although this can backfire, and she’ll end up repeating “I’m not going to repeat myself”); and sometimes simply walking out of the room and taking a moment to remind myself that she can’t help it.

Lately, it’s been more difficult. Her voice has changed. It’s become more nasal, louder, and has developed a declamatory tone. She’s started to talk like she’s READING... EVERYTHING... OUT... even when she's just announcing that she's going for a wee. Her tone is deliberate, slow, piercing, and slightly robotic. She slips in some words as reassuring totems for herself: “Hell-o Kitt-y”, “Top-sy and Tim”, and “Lib-rar-y”. 

I’m not sure what’s causing this. She seems to have become acutely aware of her mouth and lips when she speaks, mouthing shapes and whispers in between words, which is oddly disconcerting as from the other side of the room it looks like she’s in a badly-dubbed martial arts movie.

Is the possibility of having a brace for her teeth preying on her mind, or is it another worry - perhaps that she's starting her new school soon?

I’m hoping it’s simply a case of Familial Cabin Fever (on both our parts), otherwise known as Bloody Hell, It’s The Fifth Week Of The Summer Holidays, Surely They’re Over Soon Syndrome.

Video is LCD Soundsystem - On Repeat

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