Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Boy who loved Windows and other things I believe about Autism

I am reading this simply amazing inspiring book right now. Walker is a child who has severe Sensory Integration Disorder.

In Walker's case the world is so stimulating that he shuts it out. Since Stimulation is what the brain nourishes itself with he is basically shutting out his own growth.

In my opinion SID is at the heart of Autism – certainly the brand my child has . I am reading it voraciously because it is so interesting and jives so well with what I believe about Autism

  • Autistic individuals have the capacity for love and for loving. However for relationships to be formed sensory pathways need to be laid out. For example you cannot form a relationship with mommy if you never see her full face – all you see if disjointed bits.
  • Autistic individuals may not like to be hugged ( r loves it thankfully though ). It may simply mean that their sensory system perceives physical overtures as overwhelming or painful
  • Same with smiles
  • The same thing with not looking you in the eye – if you are oversensitive the eye gaze can just over load you with information. Or if you are not able to see the entire eye with the face and the expression then you are not getting the messages that make looking into someone's eye meaningful
  • They may lose themselves in spinning wheels or rocking not because they are fundamentally different from us but because the world is too much for them and they need to zone it out ( example Walker's mom realizes that he zones in to the light pouring in from windows in order to blind himself )

So what is a mother to do when you have a child that you don't understand instinctively?( To many parent this is really at the heart of their pain in the first stages of motherhood – I don't recognize my child .. he is so different from me )

To help your autistic child ( and I know its very very hard ) you must not take any of this personally.

Use your child's behavior as a clue to what will work for them

Perhaps face to face is too much – would your child process things better if you stood at the doorway.Would your child recognize you better if you wore the same kind of perfume every day. Does the child seek sensation or avoid sensation

In what situations is your child more "stimmy"
How can you go about systematically desensitizing them to stressors

The book is lovely . I am looking forward to gulping down the rest of it tonight

You can read it online here (,M1)



Anonymous said...

Thank you for the link and for this post. I also feel the need to understand all this sensory processing stuff. I feel that it is the key to understanding my son even more than the Autism....if that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this book. It is one of the few re autism that I have not read.

I have one son dx Asperger's and two with SID (among other dxs) and one neuro-typical (or I use the word "average" - who is to say what is "normal", huh?).

And thank you for your kinds words on my blog.

Take care.

danette said...

Great post, I totally agree about trying to understand sensory issues. I haven't read that particular book (will definitely check it out though, thanks!) but I remember reading some others about sensory issues when our boys were first dx'd and it was like it all just clicked and suddenly so much of our boys' behavior that we didn't understand started to make sense.

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