13 hours ago
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
It’s common for kids with autism to poorly process information obtained through their senses, such as taste, touch and smell. For example, kids oversensitive to touch can’t tolerate having lotion rubbed into their skin.
Ethan has poor proprioception, which affects the way he positions and moves his body. He has little body awareness and poor motor planning. His lack of proprioception is evident in the way he slaps his feet when he walks, chews on his clothes and bumps into people and objects. All these actions give his muscles and joints the additional feedback they crave.
Ethan poor proprioception has led to some behavior problems. His body’s need for feedback makes him want to wrestle with James, which often leads to James getting hurt since Ethan literally doesn’t know his own strength.
In order to provide a positive outlet for Ethan’s physical needs, I’ve created a “crash pad” in my living room. I got this idea from the book, The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun, by Carol Stock Kranowitz. I took two bean bags my mom made me for the boys and piled them on the couch. Then Ethan runs headlong into them, ricocheting off of them into a heap on the floor. At first I worried he was crashing into the bean bags too hard, but then I saw the joyous look on his face after he “crashed.” This pad hit the spot.