Thursday, January 07, 2010
Last week we noticed that Nick was shaking his head from side to side while sitting at the dinner table. I had put some food in front of him and he began shaking his head. We just thought "Isn't that nice, another sensory stim, ok Nick let's move on now" We thought that, well, because a lot of what Nick does is purely sensory related. From smacking things, to rubbing his head on the carpet, to grinding his teeth. All of these have been phased in and out of our lives at different times. We don't really give it a second thought anymore. I am realizing though that maybe we should. Case in point, the head shaking. The other day, Diane and I had a chance to talk in the hallway while Nick was on a few minute break. She brought up something quite extraordinary. She got the impression that Nick was shaking his head "NO". She would ask him to do a certain task-and he would shake his head. He had done this several times throughout their session, all of them towards being asked to do something. In the few days prior to her and I speaking, we were starting to realize that Nick might just in fact be doing this. For those who have a disabled child, we often buzz around caring for them just as we had when they were an infant. Most of the time we don't even realize we are doing it. Time seems to stand still in that respect. They eat, drink, wear, etc. whatever it is we put in front of them (or feed them by hand) often with little to no protest. NO is a powerful thing. It let's someone know that YOU do not WANT what they are giving you. It let's them know that YOU indeed have a voice and opinion about things being done. It let's them know that YOU are a thinking, feeling, living person. For nearly 6 years Nick has not been able to say No. He has had to be happy with what was given to him. Nick, mommy and daddy are slowly getting a "clue". You are nearly six, and deserve to be treated as such. I am afraid you are discovering girls...in your own way, but also like so many other little boys. Yesterday you learned about Mickey Mouse. You are getting tired of Goldfish crackers for snack, you now like Mandarin Oranges. You love 80's music-and even sing a few songs. Instead of ripping my magazine to shreds, you carried it around for days looking at all the pictures. All four of us are learning on this journey my dear boy, and we are all better people because of you. Don't hold it against us Nick, we can't help being "neuro-typical".