Buried Under Paper

Linda is a Williams Syndrome adult.

While she has some intellectual disabilities she possesses many remarkable abilities, including the ability to read. And Linda reads avidly. While being very proud of this skill I’m realising it is also associated with a darker side. Mothers of younger Williams children be warned! Obsessive behaviour comes in many different guises…

Linda has never read a novel to my knowledge, shows no interest whatsoever in fiction at any level.

Her room is full of books – on birds, nature, animals, more birds, more animals, space, ships, reptiles, even more birds, first aid, crocodiles, health, TV programmes, sharks, yet more birds and more first aid… you get the idea. The bookshelves are full and groaning.

Linda reads and re-reads her books regularly. She sleeps, literally, amidst a library.

For many years Linda has also read a daily newspaper, her newspaper.

Linda’s not good at sharing so our newspaper just won’t do, she needs her own… then about 9 months ago a daily national newspaper wasn’t enough. She also needed a daily local newspaper.

Often during her daytime activities she travels into town on the bus (accompanied by a support worker of course) and now she NEEDS to collect a free regional newspaper.

So now we’re up to three newspapers a day.

They have very similar content of course but Linda reads each page of each paper – top to bottom.

Yesterday she put the final straw onto this camel’s back. While going to choir practice with a family friend she insisted on the way home that they stop and buy a newspaper, yet another newspaper…

OK, I’ve finally realised:

Collecting newspapers is her latest Williams Syndrome obsession

We cannot have, I will not have four daily newspapers in the house. But why not?!

I find myself wondering why is this such an issue for me?

Well, I see Linda spending her precious pocket money on these newspapers while she longs for that dinosaur I blogged about weeks back – she’s still saving – or not.

I also see a chair and room littered with newspapers and the flyers they contain. Of course I put them in the magazine rack, time and time again. Of course I ask Linda to put them in the magazine rack, time and time again. And again. And again.

You just can’t imagine the physical emotional energy this takes!

I hope this never happens to you – be warned – set the boundaries early!