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Echolaliac Pearls of Wisdom: Episode 6

Posted Apr 11 2009 12:58am

Note: See “ Echolaliac Pearls of Wisdom: Episode 1” if you need a definition of echolalia as it relates to persons on the autistic spectrum.

This pearl of wisdom takes a little explanation, though probably not so much for ASD parents. The Prince has always struggled with sequencing and adaptive skills. At first, the skills themselves were the challenge. But thanks to lots of hard work by the Prince and his “team,” he is now able to accomplish those tasks that parents of typical children may take for granted: being potty-trained, using utensils to eat, getting dressed. For these triumphs, I am prouder of him (and us) than if he had received a Ph.D. from Harvard (no offense to the Professor, of course!)

However, the Prince still has challenges in terms of sequencing. For years we had picture schedules posted everywhere which gradually gave way to mere verbal reminders. To encourage independence, we created the “complete the job” chart. After completing 10 jobs, the Prince gets a treat.

Recently, the Prince has been rather absent-minded about “completing the job” in the potty arena. But he can accomplish all details with reminding. On one such occasion this week, after I reminded him to “complete the job” he informed me, “I’m so sorry. I suffer from short-term memory loss.”

Source: Dory, from Finding Nemo. I don’t know if this is as funny to you as it is to us, but the Professor and I found this absolutely hysterical! The Prince may have short-term memory loss, or rather just extreme distractibility, however, his long-term memory and ability to recall entire strings of dialogue from Pixar films is unprecedented! Also, the Prince observed our laughter at this line, so now, whenever he wants to distract us or make us laugh, he says, “I suffer from short term memory loss.” Bada bing! Maybe we do have a comedian in the making!
(Pearl photo courtesy of PBS Nova)
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