Sunday, May 25, 2014

PWS Awareness Day 25: Perseveration

"Dad and I are thinking about going to the A's game tomorrow," Oscar told me first thing this morning, the sleep still crusted around his eyes.

"Yeah," he continued, not waiting for a response, "I've been looking at tickets."

I raised an eyebrow, wondering how early he woke to do this research. How far down the path of expectation he'd traveled.  "Hmm, we'll see," I replied non-committedly.  "Dad and I will talk about it.  We're all going to Abe's rowing party in the afternoon."

I left the room to get dressed and heard him talking to Paul, "Dad, we have to go online and buy the tickets."

And when I returned, he was still talking.  "So Dad, I don't mind if we need to leave the game early to get to the rowing thing. We can take two cars."

"We'll see Oscar, Mom and I need to talk about it," Paul replied.

And when I got back from taking Ruby to her friend's birthday party, he greeted me with, "I'm excited for the giveaway at the A's game tomorrow."

"We haven't decided if we can make it work yet, Oscar," I reminded him.

While we were making lunch: "Dad, what time should we leave tomorrow?"

"We don't have tickets yet," Paul cautioned.

When he woke from his nap: "Dad did you get the tickets yet?"

"Nope, Mom and I are still working on the details."

Getting into the car to go hiking, "I'm excited about the game tomorrow."

This went on all day, and all through our beautiful sunset picnic atop a grassy hill in an open space preserve overlooking the San Francisco Bay.  We hiked the fire trail over rolling hills and perched right off the path on a scraggly spot with 360 degree views.  From our blanket we could spot the Campanile of Berkeley, the horseshoe-shaped cove on the north side of Angel Island, the steely gray skyline of San Francisco, and the verdant Marin Headlands. Sailboats flitted across the water, and a private plane circled the bay, at an elevation lower than us, and flew right between the two towers of the Golden Gate Bridge. The sun shone on our backs as it descended behind Mount Tamalpais while Paul strummed his guitar, I scribbled in my notebook, and Ruby and Abe read.

Oscar, though, he kept talking about the A's game. To himself. To Paul. To me.  The one we still didn't have tickets for.

Oscar, and most people with PWS, can get stuck on a topic and have trouble shifting off.   Oscar most often perseverates about things he's looking forward to -- an A's game, a grandparent visit, a big field trip, or things he is worried about.  He will keep talking about the chosen topic without regard to the listener's interest or happenings in his surroundings. I frequently remind Oscar that he is perseverating, and then allow him one more comment on the topic before I insist we talk about things going on around us instead.  He is far more open to this feedback than he used to be.

To be fair, Oscar's perseveration today was exacerbated by the uncertainty Paul and I created. Were we going to the A's game, or not?  But even if we had decided, even if we had the tickets in hand, he still would have been perseverating. The words would have been different, but it probably would still have been the only thing he was thinking about.


  1. Replies
    1. Paul and Oscar did....I posted that on facebook because I knew people would be wondering :-)


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