You little sensory-seeker you!

A sensory-seeker, that’s what my boy is. Why is he always extending his arm out to people who pass by him? Why is he taking random people’s hand when he’s standing by the road, at lights, or just about anywhere? Why is he always sticking his hand in ashtrays, trash bins, under faucets, on burning stovetops, out car windows, the list goes on and on  . . . ? Because he likes to feel!! He’s undersensitive so he’s always on the lookout for things that will make him FEEL. Gosh, so many terms that I’ve come to learn, and try my best to understand. One thing autism is is that it’s full of terms: sensory overload, undersensitivity, oversensitivity, sensory seeker, sensory diet. All things sensory. On my list of sensory stuff to do with my son that I got yesterday from Panayioti’s Occupational Therapist were some things that had me stumped a bit. Here, I’ll explain: have him blow on a cotton ball, or feather. Ok. Have him blow air through a straw in a bowl of water. Ok. Massage his whole body with a pillow or large ball. See? Things that you wouldn’t normally do with a NT kid, right? But, you know what? These things were fun, especially the play with shaving foam bit. That was hysterical really because he was cracking up the whole time and I was laughing because I was so happy to see him so happy. You know from reading some of my previous posts that Panayioti was a bit regressive the past weeks and also on the offensive, especially with hugs and kisses. My kid who hugs everyone he sees all of a sudden just didn’t care for hugs and kisses from me, his mom, and that kind of hurt my feelings. I felt like I couldn’t connect with him. When he’s having a meltdown what I do is take him in my arms and massage him, carress him, anything to calm him down. And now he just didn’t want that so there was no way to deal with it other than to let him have his meltdown, however long it took. But yesterday after the hour and a half it took for us to do ALL of the sensory stuff his OT recommended Panayioti just exploded into this fun and happy and smiling kid! He kissed me on the cheek, and not some fake kiss like he just touches my cheek, but a reall smacker! And to top it off, he took me by the hand and took me to the bathroom because he needed to go! I didn’t have to ask him, he initiated!! Do you know how big initiation is in Autism? It’s HUGE!! I was so blown away by that I called his teacher. I called her because not only did he take my hand but he also brought me the PECS card to show me what he needed, where he wanted to go. Wow!! PECS is working! My boy . . . he makes me so proud at times I am beside myself with joy 🙂

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