Overstimulation, whether it be from noise, activity, or light, is really about the Too Much factor. Which then shows itself in ourselves, our children, and our loved ones in the form of tics, wild behavior, aggressiveness, panic, giddiness, trembling and the list goes on.
What’s needed is a calm place to recover in.
By this, I mean a room or area as devoid as possible of decoration or noise; basically a very plain, quiet place. Dr. Gorman, a respected expert on autism, once told me this. And, of course, it seems so obvious, doesn’t it?
Today, however, I was reminded forcibly of the calm place.
Now that we’re out of school for the summer – and by ‘we’ I mean my son, but the ramifications hit both of us – we have the freedom to explore and attempt things we wouldn’t normally do.
Now, I know that Sliderz – think big balloony slides and moonwalks, all set in a warehouse with children running around laughing and screaming – is tough on the senses. Hey, it’s tough on my ears and sanity, much less my son’s. But he wanted to go.
Plus, there are things to jump on, and jumping is good; jumping calms the body, or at least it does for many people. And running! Running is good.
But now we’re in a calm place. The tears are gone, the tension and overexcitement banished. I’d like to kick myself, a little, just for going. But if we never give things a try, then we don’t learn and grow. Also, it’s good to work on learning how to calm down for those moments when I’m not there, like at school.
Okay, I plead guilty to crazy, ridiculously over-the-top optimism. My glass is not just half-full, it’s a brimming half-full.
Yet it really is good to remember the calm place. To hug my son, and then just let him be for a bit, so he can recover. Right now, half an hour later, I hear happy sounds emanating from the other room.
The funny thing is that I’m in here, by myself, in my own space. It’s cluttery, but I love clutter. And I feel restored, relaxed, and ready to go again.
Maybe we all need a calm place.