Thursday, January 20, 2011

Insufficient Memory To Perform Requested Operation

Like most kids with autism, Audrey is not very good at recalling and recounting past events.  Well, that's not entirely true.  If it's some weirdo minutia like what she was doing the last time she wore a certain outfit, that she can do.  There was one particular dress that every time she put it on she would say "I hit Jill in this dress".  Nice. Especially since Jill is one of her classroom aids.

So while she can tell me what kind of cake her cousin had for her 2nd birthday (again with the cake), why she got mad at a therapist 18 months ago (Melanie made me draw a truck!), and how to drive to a place that she went to once 3 years ago, she cannot tell me one thing that she did at school when she gets home.  One thing that she did that day.  Like an hour earlier.

Yesterday she came home reeking of perfume.  Sometimes they do community outings at a nearby mall, so I thought maybe they made a trip to the cosmetic counter.  Here's a typical after-school exchange:

"Audrey, did you go to the mall today?"

"  "

"Did someone spray you with perfume?"

"  "

"Did you go to Macy's?"

"  "

"AUDREY!  Did you go to the mall?"

"(whisper mumble) Yeah."

By the time I badger something out of her, who knows if it's even true?  OK, so she's not very good at answering the direct inquiries, but I do get some 411 by other means...

Exhibit A:  Sometimes she will text little news flashes from my iPhone.  I have her teacher in my text roster strictly for school-related business like buses running late, or me forgetting to pack Audrey's lunch, or me forgetting to turn in a permission slip, or me forgetting to be home when Audrey's dropped off.  Little things like that.  So Audrey gets a hold of my iPhone and texts the following to her teacher:
"Jacob keep your hands to yourself.  Bad boy!"
Then she texts the following to the mom of her BFF and classmate Grace Anne:
"Grace Anne will not punch Matthew."
So I naturally glean from this that Audrey's pummeling of teacher Jill is not the only fisticuffs going on in the classroom.  But alas, her teacher responded that, while Audrey's gossipy little scripts are entertaining, they are entirely inaccurate.  Mmmm hmmmm.

Exhibit B:  Audrey scripts a lot of random things...sometimes she's repeating something that a teacher or classmate said to her and if I listen closely, flippity-flop the pronouns around, and read between the lines, I can get even more potentially inaccurate information.

For example, in the last video I posted, you can hear Audrey saying to her imaginary friend on the other end of the phone "Grace Anne didn't get any popcorn".  OK, so it's not what you'd call a matter of life or death that I know whether or not Grace Anne got some popcorn, but it's the principle of the thing.

I get so little information that I actually find myself pondering this stuff...Is Audrey working the Lancome counter on her lunch break?...Did Grace Anne, or did she not, punch Matthew?...Can Jacob keep his hands to himself?...And for the love of God, someone please tell me if Grace Anne got. some. popcorn.

To be cont...

24 comments:

  1. It's even more confusing with J. Because he can't talk we have to employ a lot of guess work. Paint stains on clothes or in ears often provide clues. The staff at his school provide us with a daily diary entry but it is often too cursory. 'Good day, ate lunch, co-operated well etc.,' Since my OH has been a governor at J's school we get to find out a lot more about his behaviour. For instance they are currently fitting a new door as J and one other child have regularly been breaking back in to the building at playtimes!!! I love our kids!

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  2. Same here. Griffin can tell me, in extraordinary, detail about phone calls I made three years ago but his accounts of his day at school are hazy at best.

    When I talk to him about his day, I am reminded of the Simpsons episode where they show how Homer recalled what happened at a Town Hall Metting vs reality. Some times there is a little bit of reality - but not much.

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  3. this sounds very familiar. Not the texting part (not yet anyway) but the filtering of information later on. I get it sometimes when my son is driving his cars around. He's just started pretend play, and I'll hear "jacob can't play trains" as his races the car past me. Hard part is, I don't know if it happened that day, last week, or last year.
    But I do know that "the kind of bread that Stevie had at his birthday party" equals pita bread. A party over a year ago.

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  4. As someone who lives between the NT and Spectrum world myself I may have some insight into this. The question what did you do, learn etc. today is too big and too open-ended. There's no clear beginning, middle, and end to what you are asking so it is hard to zero in on anything It's the same reason why I rock at jobs outside the home, but struggle to keep up with my house. At work tasks have a clear beginning, middle, and end...and home it never really ends, nothing is ever truly done so it gets confusing. You might get more complete answers if you get real specific: who did you sit with at lunch today? What did you make a picture of in art class? etc. etc.

    This was an excellent piece Lynn. You hit the nail on the head in a hilarious way!

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  5. OK I can fill in a few details I think....

    "Is Audrey working the Lancome counter on her lunch break?" No, but she's entertaining sweet offers from Gymboree and GAP Kids. Also Spencers Gifts?

    "Did Grace Anne, or did she not, punch Matthew?" It's complicated.

    "And for the love of God, someone please tell me if Grace Anne got. some. popcorn." The answer is NO and I'm still outraged.

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  6. The only thing BB tells me is what he had for lunch. The stains on his sweatshirt generally confirm this.

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  7. Benji has a script he learned somewhere. When asked, what did you do today? he answers : "circletime, table time, outside, clean-up, bus & then home!" Technically correct, i suppose. Still doesn't explain why his shirt is on inside out and his elbows are covered with paint.

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  8. Thank you Lynn for this post! You really described it so well, and I am still laughing :D

    Now that Alex is writing, I get lots of bits and pieces. The whole village has to put them together. Last night our babysitter wrote a grocery list. We discovered later that apparently Alex needed onions. But he also wrote "hamburger and french fries" so it took a while to figure out that he wanted frozen onion pieces to put on the quesadillas he makes. At the end of it all, my brain just defaulted to "at least he's eating" and turned off. We try to keep it simple for mommy.

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  9. If Audrey is working the Lancome counter, can she get discounts?

    I'm also wondering if vaccines cause virtual address space fragmentation.

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  10. Ahhh the mystery continues. Poor Grace Anne. I hope she and Audrey have all the popcorn they can handle.

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  11. I have an NT 8 yo and, seriously, it is like trying to get blood from a stone to get news out of him about his day!! Love her little messages though :D Jen

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  12. I think this is one of the hardest parts of parenting a child who doesn't communicate (either at all or functionally)- I use a notebook that has fill-in spots for the teacher but really we have no idea what goes on (one of the reasons I am petrified of the idea of him riding on a bus)..

    and by the way, I really hope Grace Ann gets some popcorn!

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  13. it's weird. I know I'm in your phone, but I never get any texts from Audrey. Fail.

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  14. Maybe we are on to something here. My kid has the same problem. He remembers things from when he was 2, but I have no idea what happens at school, except that Zachary doesn't sit right during lunch.

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  15. LMAO! Stay tuned to the next episode of "Audrey tells All", the everyday texts of a little girl named Audrey. I think it has potential!

    I'm thinking gossip columnist or pastry chef in the future????

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  16. I, also, can relate. It feels so good knowing that other moms, and Big Daddy, are dealing with the same bullcrap. We should be put on a pedestal, don'tcha think?

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  17. This is hilarious. Thanks for sharing. Hopefully someone is looking out for Gracie Anne!

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  18. My daughter is beginning to do better with telling me about her day. But it's still is like pulling teeth at times! I find I have better luck when I make the questions more specific like, "What did you do when you first entered your class in the morning?

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  19. Oh, this sounds so like my kids! Just like them!

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  20. @Alysia: Oh, I've got a lot of those "pita bread" examples in my life.

    @AMR: I thought "Did you go to the mall?" was specific enough...argh!

    @Aimee: The kicker would be if it was YOUR popcorn. GA has forgiven, but have YOU?

    @Ashley @Heather @Rebecca: Grace Anne's mom is @Aimee. I'm sure that she is touched by your concern for GA's popcorn consumption!

    @dluvscoke: Yes!

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  21. I was just thinking about this today...that attention to detail. I was discussing our middle guy with the oldest, and I said, "you know, at age 2, he could draw a tiger with all the details. The eyebrow hairs, the whiskers, the claws, the feathery poof at the end of hte tail."

    Just...the details.

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  22. Yer kid reminds me of me, except for being somewhat more so. You know what annoys me? There aren't nearly enough Aspie/Autie chicks in the world. I mean, I think I want to make a t-shirt which bears the legend, "Neurotypical Women Frighten Me."

    Did you ever look at the website, Autistic Adults Picture Project? There are some right babes there, but every one of them is either already happily married or is just not interested. When it comes to women, I prefer the rational ones, which means the Aspichix.

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  23. P.s. Yah, I know, if two Aspies marry there's a good chance their kids will be non-speaking head-bangers, but I'll be 60 soon, and any gal who might go out with me is probably past the age of reproducing. I just want to hang out with a XX person who shares some of my quirks.

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