I could wax lyrically about that wonderful Pink Floyd song, Time. All about how TIME can fritter away from people without them realising until it is too late.

I could talk about Dr Who. Mentioning that the first ever female Dr is also the first Yorkshire Time Lord.

But not today. We are talking about telling the time.

Hawklad has always struggled to read a clock or watch. It’s not for the want of trying. Different types of watches and clocks. Different styles. Nothing seemed to work. Analog time has just proved impossible to him. It’s taken years but he can very slowly read a digital 12 hour display. Not very accurately. He has to look at the display for many seconds before it seems to register. Even then it may need some further explanation.

It’s not just telling the time, it’s the concept of passing time. He struggles to get his head round what 20 minutes, or an hour or 3 hours actually means in practice. He was doing an assessment paper at home. I noticed that he had been on the first question for 30 minutes. When I told him that there was another 14 questions to do in the remaining time he couldn’t believe that he had spent that long on one question. To him it was just a couple of minutes. This kind of thing happens so very often.

Whether this is to do with Aspergers, or number dyslexia or just one of those things – we will never probably establish that. Just got to work round it. Find ways for Hawklad to cope with time.

Because he struggles to tell the time and then can’t comprehend how much time has passed, this stresses him out. Give him a time to work to and he starts to panic. As a result we often use something like a movie as our measure of time.

It’s bedtime at the end of this movie.

We need to get ready when this show finishes.

It will be 45 minutes when the game ends.

That’s why the TV is often on in the background. Not for entertainment, but as a timer. Where this leaves him with his pending exams and his adult life, who knows. But here’s the thing, he’s great at sticking to plans and following a series of steps in his head. If he could just get his head round time then he would be brilliant at project management.

It’s 40 minutes until he needs to start looking at his homework. Today that’s the end of Jumanji. Jumanji the Clock.

36 thoughts on “Time

  1. I realize as I type this that you often post about the lack of sunshine when I was going to suggest a sun dial to help. In times past it was how time was told and given Hawklad’s great love of history may be right up his alley. I do believe that you can prob make one without actual sun. Then I thought about the candle trick. Where you can mark/score candle to 1/4’s etc. Not so much for him to be doing or completing the school work as for him to be able to understand the concept in a way that makes sense to him. Idk just a thought. I am always great with ideas for everyone else lol
    Hugs to you and Hawklad.
    And New or Old Jumanji??

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I have number dyslexia (which sometimes make me want to cry or laugh or both, then ask for help or reach for a pen and paper…) and anyways, that is why I would NOT make a good statatician, statititian, statetician, person who does shit with numbers. LOL However I’m awesome in many other ways that statesticians aren’t. Statetitian, statitician, statatician (I will get it without looking it up, honestly I ruddy well will damn it) statitician, statotician, (no, no I will get it, give us a minute) statitician, (and breathe) state~ate~an~ish~on statishion, (there may come a time to give up and ask google) stat < that bit must be right! statitition, statatican
    Sorry I'm looking it up: statistician < that cannot be right, seriously? 😡 😆

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You say you’ve never been able to spell that, yet I can spell that, see: THAT. {{{giggles}}} Isn’t it lovely that what we lack, others make up the deficit and visa versa. Perhaps there is hope for us all after all.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Declan can’t read time and doesn’t really understand the concept of time either. But he has picked up an annoying, yet somewhat funny, habit. If I say, Declan give me a minute – he says, “Okay Google – please set the timer for one minute.” He does it to all of us for any amount of time we give him. It makes me feel exasperated yet I’m laughing at the same time.

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  4. Sam used to have problems grasping time periods and what was meant by “half an hour” “couple of minutes” or “a few minutes”   Wasn’t so much reading clocks or learning how to tell the time it was grasping what it felt like and how he understood it.

    Even now that type of loose, vague answer doesn’t cut it and he will insist on either a specific number of minutes or some frame of reference.

    When he was younger, music was a really useful tool in keeping him focused and aware of time because of his association with how long a song lasted, recognising the start, middle and end as markers.  For example if he was told to spend no more than five minutes writing up or reading something, he might decide “Time” is just over six minutes long and allocate that one to play whilst he works. 

    “Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day” means he still has a full five minutes.

    “Home,  home again” is his nudge to say he should be halfway through.

    “Far away across the field” is when he should be just about winding up and finishing.  

    Think much of that is an Aspie thing anyway i.e seeing the world in a very literal sense, needing the routines for reassurance and to keep them punctual etc. 

    Have no clue if any of this makes sense but I’ll ask him when he gets home and maybe come back to explain it better :/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, very common issue in our household, too. I am told people on the spectrum often struggle with this. We use the television as well and have timers we can set for various tasks, including a big yellow one hanging in the bathroom so my daughter can see how long she has been in the shower, a particular challenge since she loves to get in there and sing.😊 We have turned it into one of her favorite things-a game show. When she “beats the clock”, she gets to pick a special prize, typically extra videos on the computer. With that motivator, she rarely ever goes overtime now! 😊


  6. Ben can read a digital clock. We’re working on analog… which you’d think would be easy with Big Ben being one of his “fascinations”, but nothing is ever easy with these guys 🤷🏼‍♀️. Ben is used to timers… they’ve been using them with him since preschool.

    Time is a strange concept anyway. It must be very difficult for a literal minded Aspie to come to terms with how we humans have tried to “capture” it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. While I partially envy not being ruled by time, I realize the problems that could present in adult life. I think I will wish him success as an artist, where time is not so all consuming. Or a future where time is not all consuming.

    Does Hawklad have ideas on what he wants to “be” when he grows up? (I’m still exploring all my ideas… and still trying to figure out how to run away and join the Cirque).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know when I learnt to read analogue clocks, but it would have probably been when I was 4 or five. Never saw a digital clock until my teens, and I’m still much quicker at reading an analogue clock than a digital one. Just need a quick glance at the positions of the arms and know the time to within a few minutes, whereas with a digital clock I have to actually pause and read the numbers, which takes some time. You can’t approximate the time with a digital clock like you can with analogue.

    I understand the theory of time, but I cannot sense its passing. Without some clue such as a clock or the movement of shadows, I have absolutely no idea whether 5 minutes or 5 hours have passed. Likewise, I can’t tell if something happened last week or several months or years ago unless there was some reason why the date was memorable. Otherwise I cannot sense how long ago something occurred. No good asking me recall past events in any semblance of order.

    It gets me into hot water sometimes as I’ve yet to meet anyone else who has does not experience the passage of time. Like the wife goes to bed at 9:30 pm and I say I’ll join her in a few minutes as I just want to finish a WordPress comment. Next moment, the wife opens the curtains and the sun streams in, and I’m still editing a comment of just 3 sentences.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh my, Hawklad so reminds me of my husband. My husband is really clever but does not seem to understand the concept of time passing. When he was self-employed we would have rows about him not giving himself enough time, and now he’s working from home well …
    But after reading your post I now understand why when I shout either “lunch/dinner is almost ready” he is then standing in the kitchen next to me, when my kids would do things like lay the table, help with something. He just stands there. But I think it is to do with that “not understanding the passage of time”.
    My husband does a clever job I have no understanding of but is not great as a project manager.
    Thanks for this insight 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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