Sunday, 16 August 2009


Time is relevant and therefore we have the smart
devices to tell it's passing. The watches, the clocks,
with different faces, digital, and so on. We use the
types we feel comfortable with.

I do not know if it is an autistic trait or not, but my
daughter cannot embrace the whole idea. Hours,
minutes and seconds... seem to her incomprehensible.

I have tried to teach her and explain time after time
how long is an hour, that it consits of 60 minutes. etc.
I used clocks, videos, fingers, cards and books. Still

I keep looking for more resources and new techniques,
but to be honest, am rather frustrated and concerned.
Being 11 and moving on to the secondary school, planning
for more independence - she has to know how to tell the
time! Once the new friends find out she doesn't know
how to read a clock, they will have another reason to tease

I am sure, we will finally find the way to teach her. But when?
How? I don't know...

Time is an abstract. You can't touch, smell or feel it. It must
be difficult to comprehend it's nature for someone with
a very hands-on, practical mind...


  1. That is so interesting. who knows maybe she understands what restriction time brings.

  2. Good morning Libertine,

    I have always viewed time as a restricting element in my life. I understand your desire to teach your daughter this universal concept; for your sake, I hope you succeed.

    I realize how terribly cruel children can be when you're different; we know that being different does not make one any of the labels others call us. Although we know this, to a child it makes no sense.

    While part of me understands your desire, another part of me is envious that your daughter has no room for the boundaries defined by time.


  3. AlpHa and U; you both are right about the time being restrictive. Unfortunately, our lives are run by timetables.

  4. Sometimes when I've been doing a lot of meditation, I find it hard to comprehend time. I've had experiences, where, being very open and connected to the world, an hour or two can go by and I can honestly say its felt like a minute.

    Maybe your little one relates to the flow of the world on that level, too. Where time (a nice man-made construct) doesn't actually exist in the same way?

  5. It's hard to imagine living in a world where time is not a concern.

    Maybe go shopping for a watch or clock. One that has perhaps ties into a current interest of Cirwen's. If the clock/watch is secondary to the interest she has in say a character on the face of the timepiece it might help to spark some interest.

  6. svasti: you might be right there, sometimes I would like to know what is really happening in that little head... yet again cruel reality demands all of us to obide the time.

    Judy: I have thought of buying a watch designed to her current interests and obsessions. At the moment it's anything gothic: Emily Strange, Twighlight and so on. Yet I face another barrier. All I have found have the faces with roman numbers which confuse Cirwen even more (bless her). Still looking though.

  7. I was going to ask, if you had tried buying her a nice wrist watch, but see that another poster beat me to it. Maybe buy one for her and treat it like some kind of a jewellery item? Or maybe use another approach like going for a walk and telling her: This walk took 45 minutes. If we had gone to the park, it would have taken 55 minutes....I don't know, do not have much experience with those things. I do hope you figure something out :o)

  8. The only practical suggestion I can think of is you may like to set an alarm in her watch for the most impt thing she needs to remember??? :)

  9. Dakota is 8 and has no concept of time. He is my son with Autism. I struggle like you to teach him. Kids are really cruel now a days. Which is really sad. If you figure it out I would love to know. I might as my friend who is a special ed teacher up at the school for suggestions. If I get them I sure will share them with you. Have a great day.

  10. Louise: we do use the time in conversations ie. something is going to happen in 5 min or we have to keep a lotion on for 10 min, but a suggestion of measuring the time while we doing something just didn't occur to me at all. Thanks! x

    Jane: that is also a great idea, she hasn't got a watch yet, but we can do it on her mobile phone.

    Stacie: Of course I will let you know if I finally succeed. So far, nothing but already we have some pointers and with your resources, I'm sure we'll brain storm it together :-)