This past week I went to hear Temple Grandin speak. Ever since entering the world of Autism, hers is a name I’ve heard a lot about and I was curious to see what she had to say about growing up autistic. Even though the title of the lecture was “Animals in Translation: How Animals Think and Feel,” I found her mesmerizing. Rarely have I attended an event where the speaker had my complete attention. She spoke easily and authoritatively on her autism and seeing the world from an animal’s point of view. (you can hear her webcast here)
In addition to this gem: “Aspergers is just a medical name for a nerd,” (she really was funny…ah, would that it be so), she talked about horseback riding therapy and said she has heard many a nonverbal child utter their first word atop a horse. (Is two too young to start?) I got the chance to speak with her briefly afterwards and found she’s a big proponent of the GFCF diet. I’m seriously considering this as John’s stimming has become more and more constant.
The more she spoke about being able to see the world from the point of view of animals, the more I thought about John’s sleep issues and wondered if I could somehow “see” what he’s seeing when he awakes so loudly, so abruptly. Is it too dark? Is it too bright? Is he cold? Is he hot? Is he scared?
That is how I came to change the nightlight in their room to a smaller one with a softer glow.
That is also how I found myself at my dusty old sewing machine creating a weighted blanket with beans (the first, at 5 pounds, was way too heavy; the second, at 3 pounds: just right) that has really seemed to make a difference. Three straight nights without a wakeup…!
(crossing fingers now)