Driving Jake home for the holiday today, our conversation was calm, clear and concise. This is a welcome change and happens when he's regulated and favorite rituals are expected. Take a walk back with me to Thanksgiving real quick.
As Jake grew tired on the last day of break, he became pretty "chippy". He told me his brain can hear me but can't understand... even if he would repeat it to himself. That led to a behavior.
Then 2 weeks ago, we picked him up for a doctor appt. Many hours in the car led to his frustration again... "Mommy, I can hear you but my brain can't understand you at all." I would repeat myself then tell him to repeat it back to me. Even as the words crossed his lips, fatigue and anxiety prevented him from fully processing and understanding.
Ok... now today, driving home. We were talking about EVERYTHING, as we always do, and I was sensing some anxiety bubbling near the surface. So I went to work. "Jakey, you know last time we were together you taught me something again! You said that when your ears hear me, you brain can't always understand. What if your eyes did the work?" With that I handed him a small ring of laminated photos of the first couple days of our break.
"Mommy, this is so nice. Thank you for making this. So when my brain can't work, I can just look at this ring of pictures and understand!!" I then asked if he wanted pictures for his entire break and he enthusiastically yelled, "OH YES, that would be really nice. Thank you mommy!!"
(For the record, I cannot take all credit for this idea. I visit Jake's behaviorist independently and we brainstorm next steps. This was Dr. Matt's idea, that maybe pictures would be more palatable than having to process words. The amazing Dr. Matt is MINE and you can't have him!!!
Anyway, I'm just sharing this as the very busy holiday season begins and we are all walking into decorated homes and churches, with mysterious packages, and lots of glittery & sparkly things to look at. That could be overwhelming enough. Don't push.
When Jake is seeing all this input, we don't even talk to him. He just takes brain photos of everything and soaks up the environment. Hoping this helps you with your super sensory kiddo during this long break out of routine.
Have a very blessed holiday... Merriest of Christmases and Happiest of Hanukkahs!
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