Dealing with difficult situation has never been easy. Here we are going to talk about how to deal with the people or kids with Autism, ADD, ADHD, sensory issues, neurological or any other developmental distress. All those people who have someone in the family, friends or a colleague have witnessed their breakdowns sometime or the other. It is not an amicable situation to be in.
Again we have all watched our kids and loved ones ‘stim’ when they have a sensory overload.
What is Stimming?
- ‘Stim’ or ‘Stimming’ is a word used in the reference of repetitive actions done when a person is overloaded with sensory. Stimming helps them to calm their brains or nervous system. So whenever there is a sensory overload like too much noise, some different smell, different environment, a touch on their skin, some different textured food in the mouth or texture of their clothes, changes in temperatures then they will start stimming. Doing this kind of activity for a very long time and not just one or 2 minutes like usually people do for entertainment. Examples of stimming are countless but there are a few common ones like
- Spinning of wheels, coins, plates or anything they can lay their hands on.
- Flapping of hands all the time
- Continuous movement of fingers in circular motions along with flapping
- Opening of the arms at 180 degree angle and spinning, like just about to take off
- Spinning themselves in circles
- Just running endlessly around the house or stairs or wherever they are
There are many examples and many people have adapted to different stim as per their comfort level.
Why do they stim?
Like we have discussed in my earlier write-ups also that the brain is not equipped to filter out the sound, smells, temperatures, textures and experiences in people with Autism, ADD, ADHD, Neurological problems or any other developmental delays. For example if someone is talking to you and there is loud sound of the television going in the background, the AC is turned on, cars passing or any other sound going on, our brains have been designed to filter out these sounds and just focus on the person talking.
But with people dealing sensory problems, do not have the capability to filter out the sounds in the background. They hear everything with the same intensity. So your living room is like a busy airport for them with loud noises in their heads. They seem to cut out. They enter a different world to calm their brains and nervous system. If you try to bring them back to your world then it would make things worse because there are two different worlds. One is your world, which we term as “normal” and the other is their world of stim that we term as “not normal.”
How to solve the problem of Stim?
It is clear that there are two different worlds and your loved one is trapped in stim. You want to bring them back to your world. This solution works for all ages. First of all you will have to build a bridge between the two worlds. Secondly, you will have to walk into their world and become their friend. Thirdly, hold their hands and walk them back into your world slowly.
How to build the bridge between the two worlds?
Building this bridge between the two worlds is not an easy task. It might take months of hard-work but the results are sure shot and guaranteed. Initially it might be difficult to get them to be with you in that room. With time and efforts things will start to fall in place.
- Take that child or person in a separate and closed room. Create a therapy room in your house.
- There should not be any disturbance or distraction in the room like toys, phone or too much furniture.
- Take one thing with you like bubbles. Start blowing them and see where the person is looking.
- Your loved one might get involved or might not get.
- Try to get one eye contact with it.
- Or else everyday just go and sit with him/ her in the therapy room for 1 hour.
- Let him/ her take the lead.
- If he/she is flapping hands then you will do the same thing, if he/she is looking outside the window then you also do the same thing, if he/she is spinning things then you also start doing the same thing, if he/she is lining up toys then you also do the same thing.
- You have to show them that you are totally interested in them and what they do.
- Appreciate them for whatever they are doing.
- Rejoice with them in their stim.
- Convert everything they do in a fun and play activity.
- “Love and only Love” can help them in the healing
Benefits of joining them to build the bridge:
- They will feel your involvement and your love in their lives.
- There will be a feeling of complete acceptance in their hearts and minds.
- They will start to trust you.
- You will see lots of smiles and eye contact coming back.
- Now slowly you can hold their hand and try to bring them back to your world of activities.
- Once they start to trust you and give eye contact then you can take the lead in the activities like play a game of catching and throwing the ball, flash cards, picture activities. Many types of fine and gross motor activities. You can also include imaginative plays.
- This is much more effective than ABA therapy.
- You are the ‘only’ therapist that can help your loved one the most effectively.
- It will also save your money
Resources for you that can guide on exactly how to do this
- Refer on web and youtube to the “Son Rise Program- Autism” (lots of free videos and true stories of before and after the program of complete recovery)
- Watch this movie – “Son rise Program – A miracle of Love” (1979) (Available to watch on youtube for free)
- Read this book “Autism Breakthrough – By Raun Kaufman” for better understanding.
If you follow all of my articles and start doing everything simultaneously then no one can stop complete recovery of your loved one from any kind of brain traps. Please go through my earlier write-ups for better and more effective treatment.
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If you want more information, guidance, treatment options and counseling, we provide services for the same. It is designed to suit every family or person in trouble with ASD. You can email and get in touch with us for more services.