Something amazing happened the other night. I was playing with Michael in the basement playroom after supper, and he decided we would play a different game than we had ever done. He was dressed up like a pirate, only instead of going on a treasure hunt, he decided we would look for batteries together. Looking for batteries, replacing rotten batteries, has become one of Michael’s latest stims. Like the other stims, or self-stimulatory behaviors, it helps him relax and deal with a world that is not always friendly to his nervous system. We had both come a long way. I now accepted his need to stim in a way I couldn’t before. I had viewed stimming as taking him away from our world and losing him in his. I used to worry he wouldn’t want to come back to me and his father. He also had come a long way. He trusted me to show me the stim and invite me into his world. He used to get mad at me that I didn’t like his stimming. I explained that I had never understood it, but now that I did, I saw how he needed to do this. We both agreed that there is a time and place to stim, not during school or when playing with friends, but that other times when he needed to, I fully supported him doing this. That is why I was so excited when he invited me into a new make believe game with the stim. I knew we had come full circle.
“Ok Michael. What do you want me to do?”
“You need to make chucka noises and pull your arm up like this. We’re going to look around for the batteries.”
Batteries are what give Michael energy, and the chucka noises made while pulling at the air pull him forward to find those batteries, re-energize and play more. I didn’t do too badly. My chucka noises were corrected a few times, but then I did it perfectly. And there we were, my little boy and I looking for batteries and having a great time.
What stims or activities have your Exceptional Children included you in, if any? How have they opened up their lives to you? Also, how has your perspective towards neuro developmental disabilities of all sorts changed in light of being an Exceptional Parent? I know that our children are often our best teachers, and show us not only a different way of being, but a way to see the world with a new perspective. Parent and child will both grow from this experience. Until next time.