Saturday, November 9, 2013

Talking as a "stim"?

I am very used to chatty children, after all 2 of my 4 are girls! Even my older son, the quietest of all of the kids, would have times of verbal diarrhea. (like that? I just came up with it!) Youngest (Z) has his excessive verbage moments just like the other kids. But sometimes, it is different....

...especially in the car. Last night we were riding home from his cousin's birthday party; he had had a really great time, but any social occasion is just that, SOCIAL.

and stress=ASD flareups. Of course there is a back story here, there had been several triggers leading into this weekend: a few things had Z pretty worried or nervous or sad, but most were good things, however triggers are triggers and ASD doesn't really allow for differentiating. Z gets on these talking jags in the car and I am certain it is stimming. Stimming is "Stereotypy, or self-stimulatory behavior, refers to repetitive body movements or repetitive movement of objects. This behavior is common in many individuals with developmental disabilities; however, it appears to be more common in autism." (Stephen M. Edelson, PhD, ) He talked the entire ride home.

Twenty. Minutes. Straight.

Well, not fully 20 minutes. There were some breaks, some as long as 4 seconds, but mostly 1-2 seconds maximum between. He was talking about anything and everything, much of it was repetitive and scripted speech, which he doesn't usually use around us unless stress levels are running high. M (my daughter, his big sis--the younger of the 2 olders) is so amazingly patient and calm with him, she amazes me--but even she got a little impatient after the third or fourth recitation of  "isn't it so awesome how Captain Jack always has guns."

I believe he uses talking as a calmer in the car because I've worked so hard with him to not drum/flap/snap/hum/growl in the car that he had to find something else. It's just another way for him to quiet all the noise he is hearing and feeling, another way for him to place himself back into control of his atmosphere.

One of the wonderful occasions this past week was getting to meet back up with "Rookie J, The Doggie Llama", and I will update with a separate entry for the magical effects this little dog has on Zachary. Here's one picture to preview :)

He can't help but smile when he sees Rookie J, even just a pic!

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