My son finds it hard to get out the door to perform the daily routine. It’s hard for him. He gets physically anxious and repeats a number of rituals before he attempts to cross the thresh-hold between inside and outside of the door. Is this a Sensory Processing issue or Anxiety or a bit of both? Once over the mantle of the front door Anxiety spikes. From my observations the rituals seem to be re-enactments of the Pixar movie called “Wally”, where when Wally wanted to leave his trailor he went on top of the roof and opened himself out bearing his chest and arms to the sun to get energy from the sun ie a solar battery. Our trailor is our house. And yes he would get up on the roof if he could, he loves it up there when he gets a chance.
This process does take some time and can be complicated by his little brother, who when feeling mischievous little brother knowingly upsets the door routine, the result is “Oh no! Now I have to do it all again!”. I can feel the clock ticking cause its time to go to school but I also understand that if he does not go through the beginning ritual then he thinks “Oh no! I’m going to have a bad day!” and although I point out that things are changing all the time and nothing stays the same it doesn’t matter. He is fixated in his head that he will have a bad day . I point out that good and bad things happen all the time and whether or not he does the ritual does not make bad things happen. Doing it makes him feel better! To cope with a day at school filled with variables that he can’t control.
Its’s hard to see him go through this but this physical action that he seems to need to perform for self motivation to do something seems to be what needs to happen and time just went out the window.
Sometimes he will not go in the class room or into a door, or he will not move and demand that other people do certain things and when told they will not do it, he just stands in one place barking orders! Also he seems to need to walk/pace in school class, this is a sign of coping with anxiety of being at school, or learning. He does not sit down sometimes at school.
When he fixates on some idea that he just can’t get past I question him and say “Are you fixating…?” Or “Are you respecting me?” and this seems to cut through the fixation and bring him into the here and now or whatever I am asking him to do.
Written and Authorised by Jane Muras, 4 Henry st, Hectorville, SA 5073 Candidate for Hectorville Ward CCC 2018