Sometimes it’s as simple as pushing the ‘off’ button

Ellen watches a lot of TV, of that there’s no doubt and of course during college holidays she has a lot more opportunity. Today I came back from work to find her as usual emersed in quite an impressive display of multi-tasking; watching a video whilst simultaneously playing on the ipad.

Every child-care expert, let alone RDI consultant would have shuddered in horror at the the sight, and I decided to turn the TV off. As Ellen is autistic, I wasn’t quite this brutal – I did give her some warning.  ‘I’m going to hoover’ I said ‘and then there will be no TV until after supper’.  This was not a thorough hoover (surprise surprise) and so Ellen had perhaps 15 more minutes in brain-washing heaven before I came back in and pressed the off switch.  I listened; there was no protest.  Ellen put the ipad down as well.

She didn’t want to immediately do anything with me so I left her to her own devices.  After perhaps 10 minutes I found her lying on my bed playing with all the buttons on the alarm clock and making it alternatively speak the time and then emit loud pop music.  I pretended to dance and fall asleep in depending on what she did and we had a bit of a giggle. Then I got out the nail varnish.  ‘Let’s paint our nails’ I suggested and to my surprise, Ellen agreed!  I painted her toenails and then she, gulp, painted mine…choosing the colours and applying with confidence if not accuracy.  Since then we have played a game and done some face-painting, Ellen has spent time with the cat and is now helping hubby cook dinner, in an amazingly up-beat and happy mood.  My alarm clock may never work properly again but, wow, never in my wildest dreams could I have expected such a simple action to have produced such wonderful results.

Matching toenails!

Matching toenails!

Wonder if it’ll work with other members of the family….?