I found the draft I mentioned yesterday and decided to post it.
I’ve mentioned before that as Monkey has gotten older the “what people think” issue is more in our thoughts because he looks so average and yet it is clear in his actions that he is not “typical.”
Sometimes his issues with FX, the hyperarousal, for example, look like something else to the average passersby. He’s not tantruming but people assume he is doing just that and respond to us accordingly…as if we are coddling an out of control brat. In the moment we can’t educate them, we are too focused on helping Monkey regain his equalibrium while maintaining our own 😉
Last Sunday, we took Monkey bowling ((candlepin)). He had gone bowling one other time during a birthday party and he enjoyed himself so we thought we would go again.
We were assigned a lane next to a mother and son who were rather serious about bowling and it occurred to me that they might not be very excited to end up sharing space with us. Not realizing that they had their own bowling balls I made the mistake of swiping their balls twice before they clued me in. I apologized and made every effort to avoid a repeat although Monkey did grab one of their balls at one point after that. The mom was very pleasant and told me not to worry about it. She also noted with a smile that Monkey outbowled her on a particular set. I think he’s on to something, “Slow-Mo” bowling is surprisingly effective.
As time went on Monkey began getting hyperaroused. He was cycling quickly between happy (cheering) and falling on the ground. Duhdee and I do what we normally do which is provide lots of deep pressure to help him regain control. By the time his turn started he would be ready to go, when he was finished with his final ball he would fall to the ground. To any outside observer he probably looked like a total brat and there were Duhdee and I sitting with him on our laps hugging and squeezing him. People who weren’t staring were purposely avoiding eye contact.
We left the bowling alley in pretty high spirits. Imagine what you would think if you saw a husband and wife walking happily out the door praising the little demon who had just spent the last 15 minutes acting like a total brat. We, of course, knew it was a victory. Monkey was only able to handle 7 frames last time before he had a meltdown. He made it through all 10 frames this time and there was no meltdown. There was whining, but no tears. When he slipped to the floor he would reach out to one of us for the hugs he needed to regain his composure. He was not fully in control of himself but he was seeking what he needed to get back in control and responding well to it when we provided it. He was able to stay balanced enough that we were able to go shopping after the bowling trip.