I’m not a great fan of ‘teachable moments,’ or rather I am in theory, it’s just the practice that’s time consuming and such hard work.
I learned my lesson a very long time ago. I think it’s basically a male thing, but I could be wrong. One wrong thing you can do, especially if you happen to be female, is to bounce into the room and sing “Ta dah! What do you think?” This is a universal invitation to disappointment. The response could be any one of the following: ‘I didn’t know you could sing / are you going to finish the rest of the song now / you really shouldn’t bounce like that wearing high heels.’
To flounce out in a huff is childish. Far better to give a hint, or a clue, or better still, a plain explanation. “Hi! Do you like my new frock, the one that I’m wearing right now?” Care should also be taken in other more vague areas. Instead of asking ‘do you like my hair this way’ it’s better to ask ‘do you like my new hair cut / dye job / hair style.’ In effect, there should be as little wriggle room as possible. In fact, in some cases, it’s better to feed the line, “I’m sure you like my new shoes as much as I do.”
Some may feel that this kind of extracted and contrived compliment isn’t worth the spittle of production, and I would be inclined to agree with you. Part of the problem is that in ordinary every day life, this kind of thing crops up all the time. Far better to equip our children with a rudimentary arsenal, for protection.
That of course, takes practice.[*]
One of the many funny things about autism, if you don’t happen to be autistic yourself, is that some fundamentals remain the same. I’m not saying that they don’t grow and change, more that some major underpinnings are always present. You would think that most people with half a wit, parents such as myself, would know this. And yet over and over again, I forget. While my children have a good vocabulary, [now] there are little holes in the lexicon, bits and bobs that just aren’t important enough to file away for future reference.
“Hey guys! What do you think of my new ear-rings? See here….my ears?” “Ear…….rings?” “Yes, look at my ears. See these things hanging from the little hole?” “Dey are not rings. Dey are being fish….fish……hooks with dangly bits.” “Do you like the dangly bits?” “Is is an ellipse.” “Yes I suppose they, are sort of.” “It is browny beetle colored.” “I thought they were honey colored?” “No honey is being golden. Dat is not being golden.” “Right. So do you like them then?” “I fink it is sight pleasing but are brain hurting.” “Ah.” “I fink it is bad to put sharp things in your body parts.” “Hmm. Right. Fair enough.” “But it’s o.k. mum!” “Is it? Why?” “Coz peoples are likin and dislikin different things.” “!” There’s nothing like having your inadequate ditties quoted back at you. “Any ways……” “Hmm?” “Dey are not be rings.” “Yes you already said that…..you explained that they’re really hooks.” “No but…..” “But what dear?” “Um…….not plural.” “Plural?” “It is only being singular.” “Dang! Where’s the other one gone then!”
[*] for future reference, for anyone that doesn’t already know, when you’re presented with the new thing for comment, the response ‘how much did it cost?’ it's always wrong.