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Transitions, even simple ones like going downstairs, can be a real challenge. It is possible to get completely stuck in a moment, especially when your brain’s signals are crossed. It’s like a traffic jam of information. It might require making repetitive clicking noises with your tongue. Or flopping around on the floor until someone can help you calm your body with a big bear hug. Your brain tells you that there are strong needs that HAVE to be met to go from point A to B. You cannot go downstairs unless you have the sit-and-spin to go around and around on because spinning calms you down. Random things in the room, like a thermometer, become the object of intense scrutiny.
Your brain decides, on its own, that it will not help you process the steps to leave the room until you have gone through the list of other ideas firing off left and right inside. And all of this is confusing. Frustrating. Incomprehensible to your 4 year-old mind. The capacity to explain it is beyond your language ability. You react in the only way you know how, even when you realize it could upset someone. You kick. And scream. And cry. And try furiously to wipe the tears from your face because the sensation of wetness is overwhelming and just makes things worse.
But it is ok. Mom and dad are here. We are not mad. We may not always understand exactly what it is like for you but we will meet you where you are. We will help you. You are not alone. We believe in you. We know you are capable of finding your way. Our supply of love and hugs is endless. We hear you when you say you need a spinning top to watch spin around and around. We love you.
And we are proud of you. Because you DID make it downstairs. You worked through this. You did not give up. You may be different, but you are not less.
Photo credit: Shayla Hearn
**Shayla Hearn is a refreshingly honest and witty voice in autism parenting and she’s come to Geek Club Books to share her discoveries and points of view. So take a break from your busy day, grab a cuppa, take a deep breath and escape into the world of My Shaynanigans
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With a network of affiliates across the United States, the Autism Society is the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization. Their mission is to increase public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocate for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and provide the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy. Contact and join a local affiliate and get involved! To find the affiliate nearest to you, click on your state below.