Monday, 18 April 2016

And We're Back to Pete the Cat, Dealing With Vocal Stimming

Alex goes through phases for his vocal stims.  For awhile, he'd recite a commercial for CLR over and over again.  Elmo's Potty Time video and various Wiggles skits are perennial favourites as well.

This weekend we went back to Pete the Cat and his love for his white shoes, his school shoes and his groovy buttons.  This picture book is great for kids with autism since it focuses on teaching kids that change doesn't always have to be scary.  And it's got a catchy song to go with it.

Alex's vocal stimming has always been an issue for us, mainly because I have auditory sensitivities.  I'm one of those people who get driven nuts by dripping taps or random beeps, I hate shopping because I can't tune out the music being pumped into the store (and if I don't like the song, it's double the torture).  I don't even like listening to the radio because I can't tune out the commercials.

So listening to the same 10 second bit of dialogue or song over and over again is difficult for me.  But I've had to learn to deal with it because it's something Alex needs to make himself calm and which he enjoys.

Usually, if it's really bothering me, I grab my iPod and put in a headphone, giving my auditory brain something else to glom onto.  I have tried to teach Alex what the appropriate volume levels are for different situations but I need to be careful that I'm not letting my own irritation dictate what is "appropriate".

I've encouraged Alex to use headphones when he stims on the computer, playing the same 3 second video clip over and over like a professional DJ.  I've made the dinner table a "no vocal stim" zone (also a "no electronics" zone for my husband).  These are the kind of compromises which keep us all walking along.

Because it's all good.


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