Tuesday, 23 August 2011


Yesterday, the following discussion took place when my daughter asked me what autism was.

ME: “Well, some of the boys and girls at your school are autistic. It means they’re a bit special, like you, and they think a bit differently from most people. They can’t really understand how other people are feeling and how that should make them feel.”
HER: “What do you mean?
ME: [Struggling to think of an easy example] “Um...well say if Mummy fell over and hurt herself and started crying, what would you do?”
HER: [Without missing a beat] “Laugh.”
ME: “OK. Not the best example. What would you do if you saw Grandma and she was really, really upset? Would you be happy about it or sad?”
HER: [Looking confused] “Happy?”

It was at this point that I thought, not for the first time, that although Prader-Willi Syndrome isn’t on the autistic spectrum, it sometimes rubs shoulders with it.

Mind you, later on the same day, when my toddler (who has neither PWS nor autism) was approaching a sleepy pigeon in our back garden, waving around a bamboo stick as he did so, I added to the day’s litany of ill-conceived explanatory examples..

ME: “Oi! Don’t even think about poking that bird with a stick!”
HIM: “Why?
ME: “Because it’s not nice and it hurts. How would you like it if you were sleeping and I came and poked you with a stick?”
HIM: “Ha! Funny!”

It could just be my parenting, you know. It might not be anything to do with PWS. I might just be raising two psychopaths.

Video is Talking Heads - Psycho Killer

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