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NEW MALDEN’S VILLAGE VOICE
Always unsurprising. Never spontaneous
www.ourkt3.com
by A Hilton
buttons just to hear him repeat
the same lines again and again.
Half-Crazed Harridan in High
You feel calm. Mummy is mad
Street Hot Pursuit
and drags you away. You have no
This could have been my
idea why.
headline last year, leaving
Specs-R-Us and chasing my
I always imagined I’d be one
son up New Malden High
of those Fun Lovin’ Easy Goin’
Street, shouting “Stop” with no
Mummies. Spontaneous jollies-out
effect, til he runs into Woolies
to all the loud noisy places other
and starts stuffing Pick’N’Mix
kids love. But that isn’t what my
into his mouth before setting
little boy needed from me. What he
off again for the Thomas
always needs is Predicto-Mummy,
section. You might have
Calm-Mummy. Always unsurprising.
LIVING WITH AUTISM
given me a sympathetic look
Never spontaneous. Now I know
(thank you) or a judgemental scowl or
the magician at the party makes him
tut (..”all that boy needs is a good spanking..”).
hide under a table with his fingers in his ears,
Typical toddlerdom you might say. I thought
so I don’t force him to stay. I can’t make him “fit
the same. Except instead of the odd outburst
in” and I don’t try. He leads. If he wants to stay,
that might grab a headline, this is my every day.
we stay. If he says “Mummy is it time to go?” he
My son is now five and we still struggle to have
really means “Mummy, it’s time to go”. And we
an outing that doesn’t involve a high degree of
leave. This may seem to be giving in, letting
stress – for both of us but for different reasons.
him get his own way. I used to feel that way.
Irrational outbursts, little self-control, many
But as I’ve learned, he’s not winning in this.
hours rolling his trains back and forth. Touching
When he can’t cope he runs around wildly and
every car wheel on the way to town. Poor
misbehaves. He’s communicating his anxiety in
conversationalist. Great visual learner. Constant
mimic. Blow-ups. Melt-downs. A thousand tiny
embarrassments, many awkward apologies
later, I discovered my bright, sensitive, funny,
REPAIRS & SERVICING
high-maintenance little boy has autism. I don’t
WASHING MACHINES • DISHWASHERS
like to say he’s autistic, that seems to define his TUMBLE DRYERS • ELECTRIC OVENS
whole self with just one word. He’s much more
than his diagnosis. Yet I have to recognise it so
I can help him live his extraordinary life in our
e
d
fo
r 12 Mo
n
th
s
ordinary world. a
n
t
e
u
a
r
G
Imagine the aforementioned shopping trip from
o
r
k

AEG • BOSCH
his perspective. You are in the High Street. All
l
l

W
NEFF • MIELE
the people are noisy. Mummy takes you into
A
SIEMENS • WHIRLPOOL
a strange shop with spectacles on the walls.
HOTPOINT • ZANUSSI
There are lots of people all standing close and
HOOVER • ARISTON
it feels like you’re trapped at a jumble sale in
PHILCO • CREDA
a foreign country. Chatter is deafening, the
INDESIT • CANDY
fluorescent lights hurt your eyes, the space
seems to close in and you just have to get out
E
s
t
a
b
of there. You run up the High Street and see
li
sh
ed
29 Yea
rs
a familiar shop with a red sign. You run in and
remember where the sweets are. You care not
Domestic Appliance Service
one bit that the staff might be cross or Mummy
might not be able to find you. After finding the John Bradly
sweets you head for Thomas the Tank Engine.
There you feel safe and can sit quietly and look
020 8949 3056
20
over the details of his wheels and press his talk 18 Alric Avenue • New Malden • Surrey • KT3 4JN
21
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