Finding counter pressure

Did you know that it was possible to be easily over stimulated and under stimulated? Before Mr. L got his autism diagnosis I had no idea. Mr. L gets overstimulated by loud noises, crowds, and many expectations all at once, among other things.

Mr. L was also under stimulated and would throw himself, tumble around, bounce off stuff and run into people. He doesn’t do these things dangerously anymore. We have learned ways to help him balance his over and under stimulants. At first Mr. L used a brush for his arms and legs, it helped calm him. He used to really like tight, squeezing hugs. Squeezing bear hugs used to help him escape his melt downs, but he doesn’t really like either of these things anymore. He likes regular, short and simple hugs now. He also likes tickles, but no special brush for his limbs.

So if things are easier today, why am I bringing these things up? Because even though it’s easier, it’s still a thing we are constantly working at and trying to figure out with him. And today Mr. L surprised both himself and I. Have you watched Temple Grandin?

Well if you haven’t, you really should. It’s a good one and gives a lot of insight into Autism. Anyways, Temple Grandin discovered that she felt better with counter pressure. It relaxed her, calmed her, and helped her focus and regroup. This lady invented a squishing machine, like they used on cows that she could climb into for herself. Well, Mr. L accidentally discovered a squished place that created counter pressure 😀 Mr. L used to pile up pillows, blankets and couch cushions, and burrow under them. He would do this when he became overwhelmed, or had a busy day. He would stay under his pile until he felt better and then would come out and go about his day.

Well today Mr. L had been jumping around on my bed letting out some built up tension and dropped a train behind my bed. He pushed my bed away from the wall just enough to squeeze between to find his toy. When he squeezed down into the crevice he stopped bouncing around and just melted like butter. It was like Temple Grandin’s squish machine. Neither of us expected that reaction and it was interesting to see him find a new place to self regulate. He also moved my bed back when he was done, so that was a plus 😉

Our family has come a long way since the days of 20+ counter pressure hugs a day, to better coping mechanisms and regular hugs 🤗 today. But that’s part of the game of life right? Learning, becoming better versions of our selves, remembering self love and having patience for others. I’m just proud of Mr. L that’s all.

Do you know someone who gets overstimulated or under stimulated easily? How do they cope? What are you working on today that some day you will look back on with pride? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. My daughter pressed against me all day. She also loves tickles. She moves all the time. I have a big pilates ball for her to bounce on and lots of sensory items in a box for her.

    Liked by 1 person

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