As part of CC’s diagnosis, like so many others on the autism spectrum, he has a number of sensory processing challenges. However, in saying that, we try to do as much as we can to allow him alternative ways to manage the way his body feels. Generally CC experiences sensory over-responsiveness except when it comes to his proprioceptive and vestibular needs. These are both areas where he is sensory seeking, so one of the things that he loves to do is jumping on his trampoline in the backyard. The trampoline has, more times than I can count, been a life saver for us… and him… when it comes to his ability to help him self-regulate.
The other day we enjoyed some time at Playdium, where we not only enjoyed some incredibly interactive and entertaining video games, but also some great outdoor activities. I knew that they had a Bungee Trampoline – a trampoline where the individuals were put in a harness attached to bungee cords, allowing them to bounce higher and attempt flips much easier than on a regular trampoline – but I didn’t share this information with CC because I wanted it to be a surprise. When we walked outside and he saw the trampoline, the excitement and joy that he experienced before he even got on the trampoline was priceless. I have shared previously about how much I enjoy seeing CC and his ‘excited stims’. It is him expressing pure and absolute emotion. It doesn’t get any more real than this and it makes me smile every single time I see it!
Once I saw him, I knew that I didn’t even need to ask if this was something that he wanted to try. It was so very clear that he was beyond excited to give this a go!
Wandering over to the trampoline, he politely checked out the name tag of the gentleman that was helping him, introduced himself and, in true CC form, he started asking a million questions! Isaac suited him up while patiently answering many of the questions, as well trying to give him instructions on how to do a back flip – which is what CC really wanted to do!! Not giving it a second thought, he was quickly in the air shouting ‘woohoo’ and ‘yeeeaah’! This was obviously going to be the highlight of the day.
He never did figure out the back flip, but that sure wasn’t for lack of trying. And now, I have a 10 year old that wants one of these ‘contraptions’ installed on his trampoline in the backyard! Just so he can learn to do flips… and who knows what else! Yeah… I’ll get right on that buddy!
I guess however, as much as he loved this, he was still hungry for more… so off we went to the spinning bumper cars, which I have to admit was the highlight of MY day!!! So much fun!! Yes, I am still kind of a kid at heart!
Here is CC… doesn’t he look innocent? Yeah… sure he does… don’t let the smile fool you! This was right before he tried to basically run me over and ‘bounce’ me out of the ride enclosure!
CC has done some different things this summer as he is experimenting and exploring a lot about body mechanics and how different actions work and make him feel. He has discovered some Yoga moves that he finds very calming if he starts to feel stressed, and the thing that I love about that is he will do them anytime… anywhere… doesn’t matter who is watching, which is a very different way of thinking for him and one that makes me very happy.
I hope that everyone is having a great summer! It’s hard to believe that we are almost half way through August and back to school for many is just around the corner. But, in saying that, we still have some good summer fun ahead of us and I, for one, plan to make the most of it!
Until next time…