Hard to Explain

Good 100% ingrained skills are joyfully easy to do. It is the learning of new purposeful motor activities that can be so draining.

I learn with my whole body. I learn with my brain, but it doesn’t always turn the knowledge into an appropriate action. I learn through practicing the motor activity over and over with less and less outside support. Draining learning becomes automatic actions requiring minimal assistance.

It is a labourious process to gain mastery over my body to be purposeful not a victim of my impulses hijacking me.

I do want my peers to know you can do anything you set your mind to and practice.

Jordyn

Getting stuck is lack of body control too!

Many think lack of body control means sudden jerky movements, stimming joyfully without end, or crashing in a blaze of tantrum-like glory when overwhelmed. Blatantly, they forget that control means initiating movement purposefully.

I lack the independent ability to initiate many tasks. Some examples are: belting myself into my seat in the car; un-belting myself from my seat in the car; putting my boots on at the door; joyfully putting the password, which I know, into any device; or getting dressed. I know how to do these things and many more, but my apraxic body gets in the way of demonstrating this.

Thankfully, my parents and support team understand this and support me 100%. They support me with verbal or gestural prompts, letting me build the pathways in my brain to get to independence. Over time we fade these prompts as these things become purposefully initiated and performed by me. Always these supporting prompts come from a place of knowing I know how to do these things, and am stuck.

Another tool we use is having me give my body the prompt by spelling it out on my letter board. 100% joyfully this works, and I get to be in control. But, in -20 degree (Celsius) weather a verbal prompt from Mom to “get in the car” is appreciated.

Coming from a loving intentional and patient place in your heart, I will always appreciate your respect and support to get my body unstuck. Throwing in a bit of playfulness, and wonderful variety to your prompts can’t hurt either.

Jordyn

Good behaviour is a fallacy

Lots of people seem to not be understanding the motor-sensory difference of people like me. This especially shows up where they have been taught, and subsequently could only see evidence of, a cognitive deficit being prevalent in non-speaking autistics.

“Just wait a minute. You mean that there is no cognitive deficit?”, some may be thinking. Yes, that is what I’m saying. Non-speaking does not mean non-learning and non-listening.

Our bodies do not respond the way a typically wired body does. Impulsive actions are what we must live with having little control over. They fire when they are stimulated by a trigger which ranges from a hang nail to the biggest emotions you can think of.

Let’s imagine totally mundane trigger so that you can really get this. Imagine you are used to being able to listen to a really great podcast on the way to work, however something happens to your phone and it just won’t play. Just think of the impulsive reaction you have, and the time it takes you to settle. Now amplify that by 50x and add in some fun action like hitting the steering wheel. You know none of that will make any difference but you can’t help yourself. Welcome to a sneak peak into your world every moment of every day.

Our life is a blend of moments of purposefulness that are interrupted by a nonsensical hijacker. Lots more I could say, but I will leave you with that image to ponder with one additional thought. How triggered would you be if people interacted with you like you weren’t intelligent enough to read this blog?

Interaction on this topic so welcomed! Let’s put this misnomer to bed please.

Jordyn

Remember, good vibes only?

Glad I am getting better at dealing with the energetic and emotional soup I wade around in. Living in the soup you begin to become a fish in unclean water. I wonder sometimes what clean water would feel like.

I think it is getting easier because I let the waves flow through, where before I latched on with my compassion and wanted to assist. I still sometimes lose control when faced with a strong negative emotion all of a sudden.

I can now express my need to leave the situation before it becomes too impactful. Knowing the emotions and energy aren’t mine definitely also helps. I very much used to lose it out of a fear about what I was feeling. My body’s reaction was powerful and overblown given the situation. Fight or flight reaction taking over and hijacking higher purposeful cognitive thinking and control.

Each time always gets easier,
Jordyn

Link to original “Good Vibes only” post from January 2017.