My children, although both diagnosed on the autistic spectrum, have separate calming and self-regulatory mechanisms.
For D, it’s drawing and colouring. She will draw the most incredibly detailed pictures (more of that in a later post) and the whole process really helps her.
For T, it’s the trampoline. I wrote about this here and it’s a must-have in the garden. If he could, he’d be out there in all weathers, bouncing with a ball and commentating. Sometimes it’s just a few minutes, sometimes it’s longer but it works.
Last week was frustrating for him for a couple of reasons:
firstly, the weather, it started off nice and sunny and then we descended into typical-British-summer-time ie. rain and high winds.
secondly, the neighbours had children staying all week, children who would think nothing of shouting over comments about T’s choice of football shirt, children who would shout and scream “m i n g e r” at each other whilst bouncing on their side of the fence. Children who reduced T to tears when all he wanted was a bounce.
There are various trampoline tents on the market and I’ve heard conflicting feedback on them, I’m eager to get on in place for the summer holidays, one like this:
But it’s a question of researching and of course, getting the funds together.
I had an idea over the weekend, something that’s working very well as an interim measure.
We had garden flags for the Olympics, Paralympics and Jubilee last year, as well as some patriotic flags knocking around, I’d attached them to the trampoline posts to add a bit of colour, I decided to attach them horizontally (tied and then stapled) around the trampoline area which is overlooked, a sort of you-can’t-see-me-so-I-can’t-see-you effect:
And it’s working, T gave one of his happy, shy smiles when he saw the flags. He’s not a nosey little man, he’s got no interest in what happens on the other side of the fence, he just wants to bounce.
This will do until we can get our tent organised, I just wish I’d thought of it sooner.
Thanks for reading Jx