How to care for a child with autism 

1. use your child's name so they know you're speaking to them
sounds for shizzle | sizzle on top | but below | body | full of body | a pile-up
this match day crowd | that Philharmonic tuning  | this day in the life | ending chord clanging | they all go to eleven
a club full of clubbing | playing every single song | all at once | on repeat | but every vinyl lyric crackles | down with the beat
I hear lips | smacking | squawking | flapping | gushing | flushing | then oo-ing | ahh-ing | plosives plushing | fricatives fretting | an eyeful of fresh flob | firing off | “feeding” | or is it “finish” | or maybe “Philip”
feels like sounds circle my ear | then get trapped here | or get had there | all sounds circle in | circle here | and it's difficult to hear | when what I hear | is all too clear | and too near | and far | too much | to sound like you are. 
2. use visual cues
paint in corkscrews in a pot,ㅤㅤㅤmixing, merging ㅤㅤㅤㅤ- rainbows over rainbows
behind my eyes,ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤbright then dark spots 
blur a line tracedㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤthrough the air
dayglo, fluo-pinkㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤknife-edge visions 
crash-landed branchesㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤbusting chops on the forest floor
by the wind that figured I wouldn’t notice,ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤbut I couldn’t ignore
coz they poked me in the eye,ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤmade me try to comply, 
then they multiplyㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤevery scribbled line in the sky
with clouds that blingㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤand walls that zing
the tiny ant that can’t helpㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤbut sizzle out loud
even that door coruscates,ㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤand those windows
in speeches, speak right through meㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤwith a voice that screeches
its fingers downㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤthe blackboard of my mind
yet even light circles my eyeㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤlike night, like the sight of
rainbows over rainbows -ㅤㅤㅤㅤmerging, mixingㅤㅤㅤㅤin a pot, corkscrews in paint.
3. If they have a meltdown give your child space and don’t touch them
heckles hacklesㅤspeckles shacklesㅤtied down tied upㅤlying down standing up	stroked by fireㅤcaressed by nailsㅤchucked under the chin by chains
a belly rubㅤa sandpaper scrubㅤa brush with brick and mortarㅤa kiss by lips of murder
a pat by punches in kidneys or liver or heart or soul
as fingers circle my spineㅤlike tortureㅤlike a departureㅤto standing out loud
in painㅤㅤin painㅤㅤin pain.
4. Help them by supporting routines and transitions
into tomorrow ㅤㅤI take today with stopwatch timings 
into the next hourㅤㅤI roll the minutes up into carpetsㅤㅤor carpet bags 
of diary entriesㅤㅤand alarm clocks ringingㅤㅤat exactly 14 minutes 
past the hourㅤㅤat 17 minutes past I have to wash and wash and wash 
and then dryㅤdryㅤdryㅤㅤmy eyesㅤㅤface 
face then eyesㅤㅤㅤnot eyes then face 
then turn the handleㅤㅤㅤrinse and repeat 
turn the handleㅤㅤㅤand at exactly 21 minutes past the hour 
I can retreatㅤto tableㅤand seatㅤand breakfast 
of exactly 52 cornflakesㅤㅤand exactly 124mil of milk 
at room temperatureㅤㅤat 19degrees C 
and the clock hands circle my face 
and at exactly 29 minutes to the hourㅤㅤI can finally approach the door 
and nodㅤㅤand say no moreㅤㅤand ensure 
that I’m sureㅤㅤthat we’re all sureㅤㅤthat that door 
is the same doorㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤforever more.
5. Encourage simple gestures, eye contact and pictures or symbols to support what they're saying
I open upㅤㅤto open up
but my Spirit Lake brainㅤㅤis logjammed again
in the dark	alive at nightㅤㅤas light spreads 
like thoughtㅤㅤlike the ideaㅤㅤㅤㅤborn 
but not deliveredㅤㅤnot dispensedㅤㅤnot vomitedㅤㅤor regurgitated 
to chew onㅤㅤto ruminateㅤㅤthat which could illuminate 
each word is barbed wireㅤㅤeach syllable a trap 
that caught that quickeningㅤㅤand cooked it for its tea 	
in the ovenㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤof my mind 
as each word circles my lips 	
like a stickㅤㅤㅤlike a tongue
like a lickㅤㅤㅤㅤlike the thick pith of power 
sprung up from the sourceㅤㅤthat capricious ram 
that’s nowㅤㅤㅤㅤㅤcornered 
mouthing tongue-tied orisonsㅤㅤfor its life
while all I can do is   rock

One response to “How to care for a child with Autism”

  1. Jonathan Caswell Avatar

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford.

    Liked by 1 person

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