Friday, June 27, 2008

The Fear of the New

The autistic boy with the red hair said to me “Je n'veux plus du RAP.”

This was a surprise. He is not very verbal, but when he does speak, it is always about RAP music, especially when we make up a story together while I strum the guitar. He goes to a supermarket with his papa or mammy and buys RAP 2005, 2006, 2007 or 2008, but never 2009 because he knows it isn’t 2009 yet.

So it was a shock when he said he didn’t want to anymore, in a fed up sort of way.
I wondered whether someone had hurt his feelings.
I could imagine a stressed person saying to him, “If I hear the word Rap just one more time, I am going to scream very loudly and stick my head in my handbag.”

The trouble is I have trouble understanding him when he does say something new, unlike the carers who do have the advantage of being native French speakers. I started to worry that he would suggest elements of a story and I wouldn’t get it.

The other two members of our little group are completely non-verbal except for a “oui” from time to time.
As usual, I made up their stories for them. We flew in aeroplanes and went swimming.
He was excited and scared but it was his story and he was going to tell it with new words. He went to the tobacco shop with his papa and bought a model aeroplane.
I sang it back to him.

At the end of the session, we joined the other children with their educators.
“What is that you are saying?” said one of the educators, not understanding him.
“He is saying that he made up a new story today,” I told her.

11 comments:

Mrs. Chili said...

I'm sorry - I don't understand French. What did the boy say?

Zhoen said...

It's all in the retelling.

Rosie said...

Mrs Chili he said "I dont want rap anymore!" And I thought you could do everything...I am slightly relieved. Zhoen is right, it must be the way I tell them (confusingly!)

Mike said...

My nephew is autistic. He loves any type of reverberating sound. My sister in law works with autistic children and she says most of the autistic children find certain sounds soothing and others annoying.

I was going to say maybe that is why he liked Rap, but then I saw where you said he didn't want it anymore.

Lucy said...

Oh dear...

meggie said...

Rosie,..... you are soooo lovely!

Casdok said...

Sounds as though like you said, that someone could have been fed up with his rap. Which is a shame if he loves it so.

Your story telling sounds great!

Rosie said...

Mike, when I say he likes RAP, it is more the word than the music itself...we do the rap blues! They all adore my Indian sruthi box which is an electronic strumming device which sounds like a sitar.
Lucy, yes I hope he decided for himself to try something new, but I suspect a loss of temper somewhere...He was very proud of his new story though. Just as proud as I was at understanding him when his french speaking teacher couldnt!
Meggie you are a sweetheart yourself.
Casdok- lovely to hear from you. I thought it was wonderful that someone stereotypically non verbal was able to take in new words and use them to create their own story. He was relishing the sense of power that it gave him when he controlled the song

Omykiss said...

Well told .. and good he didn't say he didn't want to tell stories any more.

Sruthi boxes are great!

Rosie said...

omykiss strange that they are fascinated by the sruthi box, I dont imagine they have heard anything like it before. The red headed boy flung himself full length on the floor beside it to hear all of its vibrations and shouted "louder"!

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