Saturday, 22 March 2014

I am Four and they say I am Autistic

I like to bounce because I like the way it feels; I like the rhythm and sensorial feeling it gives me. I also like to bounce when I am happy and I like to feel the wind and air as I flap my hands and arms. People ask me not to flap which I do not understand; they don’t seem to understand how good it feels to me or why I need to do it. Why do they not flap, spin and circle?

I also like to circle open spaces, going round and round and round and round. This is another action that feels good and I like the giddiness I feel and the way the room spins and how items whiz past my eyes and brain. People do not seem to understand that this is a calming effect for me or sometimes exciting, again they ask me to walk but they do not understand that most of the time I cannot.
I like to suck on white tac, in fact any kind of putty or tac including play dough. The texture in my mouth is wonderful to me and chewing gum has the same effect. I steal my mum’s chewing gum because I cannot get enough of it and she gets upset with me. She asks me not to swallow it and tries to retrieve it from my mouth which I do not like and it annoys me. This is when I like to scream. I also like to eat mud, worms in fact anything feels good to explore in my mouth. I like to check things out with my mouth. This helps me to understand the world around me in a way that no one else seems to understand. I do not understand that they do not understand. Strangely I do not like squidgy foods only dry crispy ones. I cant explain that either and nor should I have to, we are all different aren't we. All of us unique.

Screaming is a quick and intense way of making the world understand my feelings. They certainly stop and listen when I scream. I also make noises to get another person’s attention or to ask for something. I growl when I do not like something, this usually ensures my peers move away from me. My peers seem to understand my noises even if some adults do not. My words come differently and not like theirs, noises work better for me.
I like rhyming and copying sentences from others though; I like certain rhythms of words and sentences and certain intonations. I only like some words and some sentences and some intonations. Not all words make me happy.  I like to copy adults and find it amusing to repeat what they say over and over and over. I like to listen to music and I usually stand very still and listen hard which is unusual for me. The adults are often surprised I can stand so still. I love nursery rhymes because they rhyme and have a rhythm, it’s obvious isn’t it?

Numbers make me happy. I like to match numbers, line them up, walk on them; my world is one big code. Everything I see and hear has a number code allotted to it in my brain. I do not like anyone to take my numbers, move them or share them. They may spoil them or I may not get them back. It scares me when someone touches or takes my numbers; this is when I might scream again or I move away. I recognize numbers everywhere in the world and repeat them out loud when I see them.
I like anything that flashes, lights up, makes noises or spins. My favourite toys are my number V-tech, my spinning top, my noisy microphone, flashing ball and my iPad. All these items can make me calm when using them or excited. When I get excited about using them I like to bounce, flap and spin because that is how I express my excitement and as I have said before I love that spinning dizzy feeling. It makes me sad when they take my flashing noisy toys away because I am intense with them. This is another time that I scream but also cry because I have no idea why they are taken from me and when I will see them again. They hide the toys from me and I find this distressing because I may never see these toys ever again. I feel anxious that they disappear. I like anything that spins or flashes like the washing machine or an electric fan; I can sit and watch for great lengths of time. The flash of a camera stimulates me and I enjoy the photographer when she comes to school – not for the photos but for all the flashes, lights and equipment.

I tend to operate best with structure and routine and I like to do the same things each day. When routines change I seem to twirl, flap and spin more than usual. Changes seem to upset my equilibrium and brain and I find I do not know where I am and feel lost. On these days I seem to be less well understood by anyone and find the adults around me are just as confused as me which only makes me more stressed and confused.
I love water and messy play. I can spend a long time in the bathroom washing my hands, running the water and watching it swirl down the plug hole and listening to the sound of the running water. It is very soothing and pleasing to my ears and brain. Reflections fascinate me also and I love to look at my reflection in the taps, windows and mirrors. Reflections in windows are very distracting for me and I like to stop and watch but my adults tend to move me on, they are always in a hurry for something I do not want to do or understand. Often, when they try to make me move on, I lie on the floor and go all floppy and that gives me a bit longer with my special pastimes and obsessions. They find it hard to move me when I am floppy and I can enjoy whatever pleasure I am experiencing a little longer. I can be very clever and manipulative, you know!

I enjoy playing with anything messy like corn flour, paint, food play and mud so long as I can put my hands in and move and squish it about. I can spend great lengths of time doing this activity; it feels great and the messier I get the better. I often cover myself from head to toe in messy play. No one seems to mind this which is great and I do not get moved away for a long time. I never want this activity to end. It's one of the things I like very much. Squishing between my fingers feels very good, you see they say I am hypersensitive.
I love technology and am very competent with it. I can become obsessed with technology and refuse to stop using my toys by using my loudest noises. My noises are very expressive. I do not understand why I have to stop doing something I enjoy in order to do something I have no interest in. Technology can over stimulate me and then I cannot wind down or sleep so I cannot use my technology close to my bedtime as I might keep my family awake all night.

I find it difficult to sit down or sit still; I need to move so eating times are challenging for me. I am not that interested in food really. Any quiet time or sitting time is a huge challenge and makes me stressed and I need to circle the room, bounce and flap. The only things I can sit at are puzzles and books but they have to be special books that I love and am obsessed with in order to hold my attention. Generally the Gruffalo book and puzzle work best for me. I am very good at puzzles and can do extremely difficult puzzles for my age very quickly , so my adults say. I do not want anyone to touch them and I certainly do not want to share. Someone might damage or spoil my puzzle or take the pieces and this would upset me after I have worked so hard to complete the puzzle. I like the patterns of puzzles and these patterns become codes too. I can do puzzles without the picture as I see the pattern and not the picture. I also like any puzzle or book with numbers in and can spend a long time counting the numbers.
I don’t really have any special friends I just play alongside everyone. Everyone is my friend. They all seem ok with that. They get on with their day and I do mine. Everyone is kind to me except when they take my special toys but generally the teacher will help me out. The teachers seem to keep a close eye on me and make sure I am safe and happy. You see I have no fear of anything; the world is a fascinating place to be explored and I love to explore everything. I just do it differently to you.

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