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Sunday, October 10, 2010

His World

Bright children are fascinating. I have to be honest and say that there are children who have an average intelligenc and they are not really fascinating.  But the really bright ones are.  I wonder what kind of child Bill Gates was. My son is super bright.  He is fascinating to most adults, most are captivated by his articulation, charm, curiosity and wit.  Too bad other 5 yr olds are not as fascinated. One of the fascinating things about my son is watching him make up his own entertainment. In his own world, in his mind, where he lives a lot.

Lately, Finbar has been "stimming" a lot.  Stimming, or self stimulatory behavior, is a lot like chewing on your pencil, picking your nose, shaking your knee when sitting....its usually an outlet for some underlying anxiety, deep thought or nervousness.  Stimming is a key factor in autism. When Finbar stims, he stims with his entire body.  He kind of grits his teeth, eyebrows pursed, making some humming noise, fingers flicking, arms stiffly shaking up and down, legs stiffly jumping up and down and around.  It is very medicine doctor-like.  When he is in this trance, he doesn't appear to hear you.  Time and time again I ask him what he is thinking and feeling when he does this and he can't remember. Or he will consistently say that he does that when he is excited.  Anyway, I find this way of tuning out the world fascinating to watch (and disturbing as well).  It is so unusual - where does it come from?

Other ways Finbar checks out of this world are amusing. Here are some things I caught him doing recently:

- raising the pump lever of a bicycle pump to different heights and watching how fast or slow it went down when he released it.
- sailing a model wooden sailboat in a 6 ft long gutter fillled with water for 2 hours
- filling and emptying the laundry sink repeatedly for more than an hour to watch the "black hole" or whirlpool of water go down the drain
- filling the drain of same sink with first a popped balloon and its string, and then stick after stick after stick.
- turning on the outdoor faucet and watching the water flow out, all the while stimming while his shoes got soaked.
- walking around the house "flying" a jet plane for an hour without saying a word

I wonder, do other children engage in this sort of self entertainment? Dunno.  My other son does not do these things. He plays trains.  Other kids seem to build legos and play Leapfrog.  But that is less interesting to watch...

5 comments:

Jessica Winters Mireles said...

Hey Jen,
I so enjoy reading your blog about autism and especially about Finbar. I have a piano student who is a high functioning autistic boy and I truly am fascinated by his antics. He is also super intelligent, creative and funny. I recently watched the movie "Temple Grandin" and really enjoyed it. If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. Anyway, keep up the blogging--and keep posting to facebook so I know when there it a new one!

Jessica

finbarsmom said...

Hij, glad you enjoy it. Hope to get Finbar into piano at some point - the ultimate finger stim! Right now he only likes to give private"concerts" at home. Not ready for lessons yet he says. Saw Temple Grandin. Very well done. Heartbreaking what she went through. Laughed in some parts that I have lived myself. xoxoxo

Rebecca Royce said...

Hi Jen! Such an interesting blog post today. For the record, I shake my leg. They told my parents it was ADD thing when I was a kid. I'm not sure how they would classify me now. Anyway, we were amongst the adults totally blown away by our nephew's articulate, bright nature.

finbarsmom said...

thanks sis in law :) instead of bright, perhaps i should say quirky or creative, with a kind of hyperfocus...by the way i have nervous habits too! We all do, just somse are more socially acceptable than the medicine man thing LOL!

jmburton said...

finbarsmom wrote:

"- raising the pump lever of a bicycle pump to different heights and watching how fast or slow it went down when he released it.
- sailing a model wooden sailboat in a 6 ft long gutter fillled with water for 2 hours
- filling and emptying the laundry sink repeatedly for more than an hour to watch the "black hole" or whirlpool of water go down the drain
- filling the drain of same sink with first a popped balloon and its string, and then stick after stick after stick.
- turning on the outdoor faucet and watching the water flow out, all the while stimming while his shoes got soaked.
- walking around the house "flying" a jet plane for an hour without saying a word

I wonder, do other children engage in this sort of self entertainment?"

----

um, hmmmm...

as an asperger's guy, all i can say is that all of the above sort of thing was normal play for me, and for my son (PDD-NOS).

they all still seem like great pastimes even at my current age of 48...