June 15, 2015 at 12:46 pm | Posted in Diagnosis, Family, Mind, Nature, Senses, Sight, Touch | 6 Comments
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Touch one, touch all.

At age three, you or your child may be told to put 50 fallen liquidambar leaves in a bucket.

Sounds fair: kids should help around the home.

50 ain’t many.

It’s a fine day.

Parents are near.

So why the crying?

The liquidambar leaf shape is relatively complex.

Worse, it can take infinite autumnal hues.

To an aspie toddler, a sole leaf may look challenging enough.

Mixed with other leaves, it becomes even more complicated – with endless permutations.

Focused on one leaf, the other 49 seem legion; the work highly daunting.

With more leaves falling on already cleared ground, the task appears impossible.

Too many simultaneous data overload the brain – triggering stress and threatening shutdown.

Mother can’t fathom the problem.

Nor can father, who becomes irate.

Yet the ‘brat’ before him isn’t ‘spoilt’, ‘stupid’, ‘disobedient’, ‘wilful’ or ‘lazy’.

Merely showing an early sign of what may take decades to identify and address.

It’s therefore advisable to try the ‘teaspoon test‘ before things turn ugly.

Doing so will likely save all parties time,

effort and


Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.

Pic by The Marmot.

If you found this post useful or entertaining, you may wish to:

Your smallest kindness will keep me going strong. With many thanks, Paul.



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  1. Wow that is a very interesting way of looking at it, I would have no idea if one of my children had such an objection. Would the same apply to picking up 50 Huntsmen spiders?

    • Hi, Basil. I feel that going from 5 static points to 8 swift, hairy, unpredictable and highly mobile legs would bring a degree of difficulty beyond calculation. Then again, kids in Venuzuela hunt, kill, cook and eat goliath birdeaters – so I can’t speak for everyone. The issue may be contextual. I’ll start with one daddy longlegs and get back to you … Kind regards and thank you for commenting, P.

  2. Thank you Paul for your insights into ways ‘Aspies’ (used with great respect) see the world. One of our grandsons is on the Autism spectrum: I’ve learnt much from your sharing your experiences. Thank you.👋

    • Dear Desolie, each time I feel the gut-pull of fear that precedes a particularly candid post, I remind myself there may be someone who benefits from the share. Long ago you confirmed this thinking, and I’m very grateful for your reminder today. So thank YOU! Kind regards, P.

  3. Fabulous insights, as always. I enjoyed re-reading some of the back catalogue too. Thanks AS! Even though there is no spoon, I like the second spoon.

    • Hi, Ad. I daresay I enjoy reading your comments just as much. Congrats on your spoon choice. You’re now free to venture short distances beyond your letter box. Kind regards, and thank you! AS.

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