I do something a tad controversial nearly every day, sometimes several times a day. I squeeze and hug and kiss my son. I know. You’re all shocked off your seats. Well, the “controversy” is that he has sensitivity issues. He is a sensory seeker and MOST of the time, he loves the squeezes and hugs. They are very calming for him and lower his anxiety levels, allowing him to focus better. Some of the time however he can be very sensitive to touch. It can make him UNcomfortable, or I am assuming it feels scratchy? Like an itchy sweater? That is certainly what it looks like.
I routinely explain to new friends, teachers, and neighbors that he has a different understanding of his surroundings and relationships with people and he simply doesn’t have the same emotional bandwidth as neurotypical children due to his ASD. My concern is that I don’t ever ever for a moment want him to doubt how incredibly loved he is, even if it is from an academic standpoint. I want him to know and remember how his mommy loved and hugged and squeezed him and kissed him on the forehead every night and I want him to remember how sometimes he loved and enjoyed it and squealed with delight and sometimes he felt like he was being attacked by an itchy sweater. I want the memories to be consistent day in, day out, every day no matter if he’s had a good day or a day of tantrums. When he seems so distant from the world we’re in, I just try to squeeze the love into him, infuse him with unconditional love so-to-speak. In my mind it makes (irrational) sense that if I can love him enough it will help him deal with such a confusing and uncooperative world. It can make his reading struggles and group work in class go a little smoother because he won’t need to look for approval or worry about disappointing us. I don’t ever even want disappointment to enter into his mind because we are so very proud of him. He goes out into an uncomfortable world every day. Every. Day. He speaks a language he only partially understands due to delayed spoken language comprehension. I just think he’s so brave. Lovely theory don’t you think? Is it true? I’m not sure. I can’t tell how much of it he can grasp. I know that he doesn’t nessarily seek approval, even though he loves attention. I know that he doesn’t “feel” judgement from other children. (Often I silently thank God for that. What a gift.) I just want to make sure the part he understands, on what ever intellectual or emotional level it may be, is that of love.
And Infuse love.