Thursday, January 16, 2014

It's a Rookie J day!

As I think about Z getting to see Rookie J today, I find my own body relaxing, my own breath slowing at the thought of him sitting with his dog brother. Z loves to be near him, yet knows he must control his actions as he gets very close to RJ because this is a little teeny dog! It isn't always easy for kids with ASD to control their feelings. When their feelings come flooding in the emotions are often expressed in an extreme manner. Rookie J helps Zach calmly express the joy he feels. Rookie certainly never barks or acts aggressively if there is too much activity around him--he sits down! The "patient" is drawn to emulate Dr. Rookie and heads to the floor. As calm fills the atmosphere RJ will "smile," do his little yoga stretches, lays down,

or even rewards him by climbing onto his lap!

The serene look on Z's face speaks far more than my words can express. With Rookie J, Z also knows his hands must move slowly and gently. The first thing many people think of when they think of autism is hand flapping or arm flapping or spinning. "Stimming" is the word used to describe these actions and many others that ASD people's bodies do to try and regulate their perception of all the noise and chaos going on around them. When around RJ the world becomes a quiet and calm place where stimming isn't needed. Z gets happily lost in the moments with Rookie J, and learns coping techniques we carry with us back into the real world. 

Rookie J certainly lives up to what his shirt says! 

#1 Best Pal
The best gifts really do come in small packages. For more information about Rookie J, click here for Rookie J's Facebook page

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