Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Showcase-Floor Time Lite Mama

  This week, I have the pleasure of interviewing one of my favorite bloggers-Kajoli Tankha of "Floor time Lite Mama" I have always found her writing to be beautiful-soothing..even when she is writing about difficult times.  I have placed one of her favorite posts at the end of the interview.  I hope that you take the time to visit her blog.  You won't be disappointed.

Tell us about yourself? Your life..your favorite things to eat..favorite things to do..
I am the mum of a 6 year old child with autism and apraxia.
 I work full time in Consumer Insights. Between work and life and autism life is very full . But its also very good 
 I am married to the love of my life. He is a Stay at home dad and is one of those people that know how to do everything! 
I grew up in India – my dad is a doctor and he was in the army. I  grew up in a very close-knit  family with my mum, dad and sister. I had a lovely childhood living all over  the hidden India – lots of splendid  small places with unpronounceable names 
I have too many  favorite things to eat ( the reason for my cosy appearance) – but among the top are the street foods of Delhi, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing, chocolate mousse and the  fluffy down-comforter like cheese omelets my husband makes 
I am fickle with my favorite things – but top favorites currently are Fall, Southern small towns like the one I live in ,  French Press Coffee, the color red , murder mysteries, happy stories  , psychology, bloggers, blogging, picture windows, yoga pants, basil, Facetime and of course playing with R, 

2) Your blog reads like lovely poetry.  Even when you are talking about the hard things. Tell us about your style of it easy to do?  It is so free flowing and yet exact..
Thank you for the lovely compliments in your question . I am all ablush.
It’s not only very easy , but the only way I know how to write.
One of the most important choices in life, is what  we choose to pay attention to. 
Depending on perspective, life really can be quite luminous( sometimes, even when its on the surface quite hard ) 
I think that gets reflected in what I write about which is why my blog has a  happy feel to it 

3) What do you think about autism-the way the world (general public) perceives it..the way you see it...the way your son sees it?
I think that there is a lot of confusion around autism because  there is no  one autism –
There are many autisms – with the only commonality in all the autisms having social and language challenges
Some of the debate in the autism community can get almost acrimonious, but often we are talking of different autisms. 
On top of that our coping mechanism varies greatly.
 If my child is suffering and I am the warrior type – I will have a certain way of dealing with it. Versus if my child is quite happy and I am the zen type I will have another way ( and all the permutations and combinations within these extremes )
I have become very very tolerant of other parents’ attitudes towards their children’s autism as long as they love and respect their children. 
Its hurts me when I hear parents “venting” about their child in front of their child assuming that just because their child cannot speak – they don’t understand about feeling like a burden.
I wish parents would look at their autistic children and think about the strengths they have and not compare them with neurotypical children. 
Like they say, if you measure a fish’s abilities by how well it can fly – you will always see the fish as a failure.
I and DH (him particularly) have a very accepting attitude towards autism. 
Though R gets a lot of therapy and help  – we have never thought in terms of curing autism. 
In fact, we don’t really think of what he has anymore – we just think about what he needs.
We have really questioned a lot of the models of looking at autism- 
Autism is not a shell through which R needs to break through. Autism does not preclude independence. Becoming normal is not the only way to be happy. Doing well in school does not mean doing well in life ( and vice versa ). And that a successful life has many versions etcetera
The general public is very aware of autism – things are so different than they used to be.
We can sometimes rail against public ignorance – but really things are so much better than they used to be ( remember “refrigerator mother” days  ). 
Our friends have really been amazing and accepting of R – autism and all- so we have been real lucky with that
In terms of how R sees himself - I don’t know if R really sees himself as very different or if he knows he has autism. He has had lots of therapy since he was 26 months old and takes hard work  as a regular part of life
He probably has a high opinion of himself. He is being raised by a very adoring family. 
We don’t really plan on having “the talk”( about autism )  – because we want him to see it as just another part of him. But sort of tell him casually.
And we don’t ever want him to think that there is anything wrong with him. 
Often its not the condition, but what we think about the condition that causes the real pain in life
4.) What is the most important thing you would want people to know about your son...your family?:
I think the main thing about my family is love 
DH and I are very dissimilar on the surface ––but  where it really counts  - we are very similar. 
We have 3 or 4 organizing principles. 
We do our best to be happy , we always prioritize love and caring in many of the things we do , we remember to be grateful 
About R, I and his therapists call him our Human Prozac.  He is bright, hardworking  and sweet and loving .
He is an amazing person and I thank god that he was given to me .

Dances With Rain

Last evening DH and I are settling into watch Medium (a show where a psychic finds suspects by dreams) 

DH and I always castigate the show.

Me from a Feminist standpoint (how come the only crime show where the woman is the main protagonist, is one where she catches criminals, not by her brains but by her "feminine intuition" ) 

DH from a lack of logic from the spirits ( if the dead people spirits want her to find the suspect why do they not tell her the whole story in the first dream- why do it in installments? ).Additionally her family is always on the brink of some crisis or another which provides plenty of opportunities for joint eye rolls. 

Despite our low opinion, we DVR and watch it every Wednesday over ginger tea and popcorn after I get back from work. 

And enjoy ourselves tremendously.

But yesterday evening its not to be 

The new swimming pool( if you can call it that ) is beckoning like a beacon to R 

Swib !! he says 

Its starting to rain heavily. 

But we pretty much say no to nothing for R

( the two things that we say no to are -bad manners or bad for R – that is it- we say no to nothing else. "Following the child's lead " is a Floortime Principle that has pervaded every part of our life ) 

And of course I can never ignore purposeful communication 

So we go out to the pool in the rain 

And play all our games. 

I must pick him up and swing him according to the chants of an rhyme ( Zip Zap Zoop –right side together – left side together – a rhyme my niece taught me on a train journey once 8 years ago. My dog had died recently and my niece -only 4 – was trying to cheer me up – I have adapted it to Floortime purposes and R loves it ) 

I am sure he will be fed up with the rain after he is done with the pool and we are both soaking wet 

But its not to be 

He insists – "Siduh Huduh"( Swing me a 100 times ) 

By this time we are wetter than fish and I have given up trying to avoid getting too wet.

So after swinging I agree resignedly, when he says "Jumpuh jumpuh jumpuh "

We get on the trampoline which is wet and slick .

Hold hands 

Jump higher and higher 

Making circles.

Rain has made a little pool in the center of the trampoline and the water jumps up in rhythm with us.

We go on like this for almost a half hour

Interrupted only by the thunder and R's giggles and squeals of  "Hyduh "( higher) 

This dance in the half light of a dark sky feels like magic 

If it is all about not waiting for the rain to pass but learning to dance in it.

Then surely this lovely life has brought me both


Usethebrains Godgiveyou said...


wishihadakarmaanghia said...

Aah - that is a beautiful thing to read! We follow my youngest son's lead a lot too and that is when the connection and communication comes flooding in. It's good to jump in the rain - our kids teach us a lot about joy! x

Anonymous said...

love K and her writing, as always. loved the interview! :)

robin said...

I learned even more about K! I remember that lovely post! Of course, her blog is one of my favorites!! :)

Bright Side of Life said...

Lovely, I always feel relaxed after reading Floor Time Lite Mama! :)

Floortime Lite Mama said...

Thank u so much for your kind comments
And thank you so much Kathleen and Kim For the interview and showcasing this post

lisa said...

I have known K for almost 10 years and it's been my pleasure to watch her grow both professionally and personally with DH and R. She is definitely the most genuine and wonderfully inspiring person I have had the pleasure to meet and to be with in any situation. I read her blog every week just to keep myself kids are out of the house and I'm now experiencing being a grandparent.
Love you K...and so glad so many others have found you as well!



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