“Like a two-year-old”…

A colleague reflected the discomfort telling us of the father of a 15-year-okd who had described his son a like a two-year-old… such a provocative comment… so many feelings and thoughts.

Using analogies to infants and children in the intellectual disability world… seems so often to go hand in hand with a tacit response, unspoken but shared.

But not all responses are the same. Not all intentions in uttering the words are the same. Not all interpretations of meaning are the same.

Hoping we can have a conversation to explore the use of age analogies, not to come to the “right” answer, but to understand different perspectives and the thinking (surface and deep) underlying the feelings.

I know I often stand as an outlier in using analogies of age. I know I need to unpack why I do this, and whether I should continue to do so. Can I encourage you to share your thoughts here on this often contentious topic… I will share some of my thoughts as a comment, as to keep the starter post neutral.

back on board slowly

Just a quick note to say sorry that has been so many months since I last wrote. On April 10th 2011 Keith and I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy: Curtis Calum McVilly.

We’re all going well.

The experience has made me think about the developmental model that we often use to aid our understanding of adults with PIMD. Curtis at 4 months has communication skills that far surpassing the communication skills of many of the people with PIMD that I meet. He has intact vision and hearing, which contributes to his ability to gaze, smile, socially reference, and perceive distant cues. In these things the developmental model clearly does not fit in applying to adults with PIMD. However, I think some of things I do to engage with him could make sense in engagements with adults with PIMD: visual tracking of close items, locating sounds in space, using touch to reassure and calm, the use of sounds to share emotions together, the swiping of close objects.

I think I need to keep thinking about this – where the developmental model is or isn’t helpful…