Over the last 6 years my non-speaking very vocal Autistic son has intermittently communicated some excruciating pain to me and to those within view of our lives moments. For some people I am sure it is quite astonishing for others possibly it is seen as horrifying. We have had all kinds of reactions and have had police and fire called out to check on “things” on several of these difficult occasions. My son’s pain is not pretty and or restrained for anyone. He let’s it all fly and that is exactly what his system dictates he do. Release the current pain with a large output of utter distraction. His own “Autistic Mosh Pit.”
A very human thing to do.
Non Speaking is not silent. Silence is not golden. Words are not always necessary. Things we should all be well aware of in 2016. Wyatt is always communicating to me and I am always receiving that communication. Watching, feeling, absorbing what I can see and sense. He has always communicated through his musculature from the time he was a very small boy. Never having the verbal skills to say NO (written about here) he has used the stiffening of his muscles to “show me” NO. It was the cutest thing to see a boy walk away shaking his stiff little knee in a resolved NO. Reading the signals loud and clear are what Autistic people are telegraphing to the people in their world and there are so many ways for non Autistics to fully listen. Unexpected and valid ways to hear golden truths.
When my son is happy and comfortable he is what one could call ‘loose as a goose’…when he is in pain (hidden or discernable)…he tightens and stiffens and it becomes visibly clear that something is not flowing smoothly and he needs help. Comforting and supporting him through self injurious (pain management) is not easy. It is also not hard (when I myself and others do not ‘make it hard.’) It is necessary and it is indeed my job. A job I take seriously. A job that has zero to do with ME. I perform this job matter of factly in full focus to get it right for Wyatt, efficiently and respectfully. To honor and validate his pain and his full-on need to express it without asking him to restrain himself for the benefit of others. In those moments I am only worried about Wyatt’s benefit. What will help him?
Parents need to come to terms with the facts that make up their ‘loved ones system’ and what it needs to flow smoothly. Be it; deep pressure techniques, meridian and cranium tapping, massage, breathing pattern focusing, exercise, thought mantras, cool water drinking and pouring, Magnesium (Epsom salt) soaks infused with eucalyptus or lavender, Melatonin, Meat…whatever is needed for re-booting. If you are ‘tuned in’ to your loved one and read the many writings and books written by first hand experiencers (Autistic people) you feel confident that YOU will be able to help someone in situations you have been led to believe: YOU would never understand. DARE to do what needs to be done wherever and whenever needed without concerning yourselves with what other’s may perceive or believe. You have one interest and that is the best interest of your loved one communicating to you their moments of intense pain.
This year’s 4th of July Monday included one of these explosive moments for my son and I. Autistic people do not enjoy senseless loud bangs and booms for days on end…(fyi)
While we were out in the community and in the car on our infinite AutismHWY Wy became extremely upset and needed his deep pressured tapping. Yes, it was a bit scary in the vehicle but, keeping calm, controlled and in focus are key. Above all understanding what is happening helps you to not assign fear and or panic, to a situation it need not be. Fear and panic are like gasoline and fire every time! After making it back home safely…we continued the ‘comfort work’ of de-escalating the painful situation through continued tapping, verbal validation and assurance, massage and cool water. After the painful system offenders subsided, self injury was assessed and addressed and from there we went on with our holiday.
Later, I spoke to Wyatt about how other people in the world do not understand his pain, YET. That we are at ‘high risk’ while out in the community when these painful and vulnerable moments occur. At risk of someone misinterpreting what is happening. At risk of real danger and confinement from officials in control. Officials in control without knowledge of the realities of Autism. He sobered intensely during this emotionally charged conversation I was so aware of his maturity and complete innerstanding.
Upon reading this some might say, ” how awful”…when I say, “How awesome.” My son has taught me how to help him regulate his irregularities without words. I have reached out to my Autistic friends and acquaintances to deeper levels and layers of understanding that Wyatt cannot impart to me currently.
If you ‘Google’ Autistics Speaking, you have to wait 30 seconds for: About 1,140,000 results!!
Please do not look for those seeking to be your “gurus” in order to do what you as a parent know needs to be done. Reach out and place 100% full focus on your Autistic loved one and 0% focus on what others think and feel about Autism. 100%~0% I love that ratio!
After our fire-cracker of a day we decided to go deep with the inner-work and leapt into some Art therapy. Something Wyatt doesn’t always enjoy but, as you will see in the pictures he attended to it ‘his-way’ which is peripherally. With his side focus he placed the tape and paint exactly where he wanted to… He was very intent on taking our red white and blue color frame to PURPLE. I praised his color blending techniques using our countries red and blue, clashing it into purple. I find it very profound especially when all weekend I was thinking of America in a state of Red, White and Purple…bruised, battered, self injured and needing a fresh NEW self regulated re-boot! So intuitive my youngest son. When all was said and done and the tape came off. He revealed his one of a kind piece of ART. This unplanned and amazing Star!!