You are lost in thought; perhaps contemplating the mysteries of the universe, when out of nowhere someone approaches you. He grabs at your hands, you do not know what is happening. You pull your hands back, He grabs at them again. You scream in protest, “what is going on?” you think. This person is large, much larger than you and stronger too. He pulls at your clothes fast and hard and he doesn’t listen when you cry out. You try to fight him, but he just keeps at it. He holds your hands and rips your shirt over your head. You struggle, but he holds strong. Now he has an object in his hand he is pushing toward you. He is now trying to push this over your head, even when you scream he continues and then grabs at your arms and pulls them through holes. Finally, the struggle ends and the person walks off.
This could be what it feels like to our children when we simply change their shirt. Even if we have the best of intentions, to our children we may be invaders.
This is another lesson that I too learned with my infant child. Kyla would scream and cry any time we attempted to change her clothes, so we tried to be quick and get it over as soon as possible. After awhile of doing this, I remembered my Son Rise training. I slowed down, I approached her calmly and explained what I was doing and why I was doing it. I moved slowly and talked her through everything I was doing. Amazingly, she has stopped crying. Babies, just like all people and our autistic children, like to be respected and treated well.
Next time you are wanting to change your child’s clothes, put on their coat, or move them in some way think about it from their perspective and guide them through it slowly. And when you are in the playroom remember to always give control if they don’t want what you are offering. This is a safe haven for the child where they are in charge!
loving you wherever you are,