Monday, 15 August 2016

The sensory sky



Despite being summer, we've quite had a few bright but blustery days. There's been periods of grey skies, and at night there have been some high winds. As I'm stood watching the sky turn grey over the playground, it is slowly emptying. We often go later in the day when it's a bit quieter but we are soon the only family there. 

It's not cold but the drop in temperature indicates it may soon rain. My squeaking son pulls me over to the spinner again, "pin" he signs and says to get another spin. As he goes round he is face up at the sky.  In fact for a few moments its almost impossible to stop him looking at the clouds. 

Both our autistic boys, Anthony aged eight years and his younger brother David aged five, are sensory seeking with relation to the sense of touch. They are hypo-sensitive or under sensitive to touch and so seek it out as a way of balancing their sensory system, hence David's love of spinning. They are also both hypo-sensitive with their sense of sight. This means they seek visual stimulus. For example Anthony might wiggle his fingers near his eyes and David likes to look at objects from odd angles. It makes their visual experience more interesting. Some people with autism use this as a way of calming and balancing their system.  Some trains of thought also believe the intensity of the stimulation is  enjoyable. 

We can all imagine something we 'like' to look at. The pleasure of a beautiful painting maybe, baby animals, autumnal trees?  But if you are one of the people that loves to watch as the leaves are blown off the trees to the point of not being able to look away, then you might get the idea.  Possibly you enjoy looking at beautiful flowers?  The best part of a bunch of flowers for me is the smell.  I could stand and breath in beautiful smelling flowers for at least a minute.  And that's probably the closest I come to this feeling of sensory satisfaction.

David was intensely watching the clouds.  It was only as I looked up at them that I saw how lovely they really were.  They were a variety of shades spanning everything between duck egg and ash blonde.  And I became aware of how fast they were moving.  It was like watching the people who walk on the travellators in airports. And I thought, how beautiful. David literally squealed with delight.  I bent down to join him in his viewing and just as I did an aircraft burst through the bottom of the clouds like a whale breaching out of the ocean. "Plane" I said. "Tane"' David echoed and stuck out his finger and thumb.

Once it was time to go and I'd retrieved the rest of the kids it occurred to me that of the possible hundreds of children and adults that were at the playground that day that my son and I could have been the only two people to have enjoyed the sky like we did.  In that moment, there was nothing that David found more enjoyable than to breadth in the sky and watch a plane. In some ways I wish I'd had more time to look at them with him.  My son may see the world differently to other kids but what he sees is amazing.

External Links
NAS - Sensory

I'm supporting #wetalkmakaton this summer. See the latest sign 'plane' here
Little Hearts, Big Love

28 comments:

  1. Such a lovely post, and a real insight into the world of your gorgeous boys. Sometimes it does take someone else to help us stop and take in the beauty all around us, and it looks like your son may help you do just that. #DreamTeam x

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    1. So easy to miss what's right there isn't it. Thanks for commenting

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  2. What a beautiful moment to share and the insight is amazing. #DreamTeam

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  3. What a beautiful post.
    It's amazing how we can all take the little things for granted, and how lovely your little boy was so content and consumed by it all.
    A very special moment for you both to share.

    Thanks for being part of #MMBC. See you next week xx

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  4. I love this, what a beautiful moment you shared!

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  5. I often find myself looking at the clouds when i'm on my own. It gives me a sense of calmness and relaxes me. We like to go first thing in the morning before it gets busy. My girls are up so early we are able to get out early. Miss C doesn't do busy or noise very well.Thanks for linking up to #EatSleepBlogRt

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  6. That made me shiver and get goosebumps. It really touched me. Thank you for giving me a window on your sons' world. It really does help me to inderstand autism a little better. Thanks so much for sharing. #Dreamteam

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  7. Thank you for the insight into autism. Great post.
    #brillblogposts

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  8. I think the greatest gift that our children give us is a moment seeing the world through their eyes #brillblogposts

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  9. Sometimes it takes a child to remind us of the beauty in this world. #bestandworst

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  10. What a lovely reminder to stop and look at the sky. There is such beauty and love found in your post here.

    Thank you for sharing this at the Happy Now link Up.

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  11. Beautifully observed and written Hun. I love how you see the world from your sons perspective. I try to do that too. Thank you for sharing your fab post with us #ablogginggoodtime 😀

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  12. I love that my son can find utter joy in the simplest things too. #ablogginggoodtime

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  13. He sounds so mindful...like he is really in the moment just taking pleasure from the clouds! That is a truely amazing thing. Bless. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx

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  14. What a beautiful post sharing an amazing insight into your sons mind. I think more people should spend time enjoying the sky because there really are some beautiful cloud patterns some days #EatSleepBlogRT

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  15. What a gorgeous moment. Watching the sky at different times of the day and evening can be so beautiful. It's not always something that everyone notices. And like you say, we take information and pleasure in differently. When I was little, a bunch of us used to lie out on the grass in the evening just to watch the clouds floating by in the Summer. Enjoy the little things. Thank you for linking up to the #DreamTeam xx

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  16. Autism - a different way of looking at life :-)

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  17. Great post :) I have a 4 year old sensory seeker :)

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    1. We have a lot of jumping and spinning here!

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  18. What an amazing experience and yet you were 'only' looking at clouds. My Oscar is also hypo sensitive when it comes to movement and to some extent touch. He loves the roundabout so much. I can even begin to imagine how much he gets from it!

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  19. Lovely to hear such a positive story. All of us should take time to look and enjoy what's above us. How lovely that you shared this joy with your boy.

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  20. This is really interesting. I'm starting to learn more about sensory issues, for some reason it hasn't really occurred to me before. My son is always putting things in his mouth, like constantly. And he always needs to be touching something, I guess these are all sensory things? He seems to have gotten much worse with it recently, I'd never noticed it a few months ago x #SpectrumSunday

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  21. What a beautiful moment to share - sometimes it's when we stop and see the world in a whole new way that we truly appreciate its beauty. Love your description of the "tane" breaking through the clouds too. Thank you for sharing with #ftmob :-)

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  22. Such a lovely post. My son enjoys looking at moving water and clouds and he notices things that would easily pass me by. Thanks for co hosting #spectrumsunday

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  23. This is so beautiful. I have a sensory seeker with touch too but he usually dislikes movement. He likes ice and different textures and rolling things over his face. I often wish I could experience some senses in the way he does, just for a while, to see what it is like. As you say, it's definitely different, but he takes such pure delight in things. #spectrumsunday

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  24. This is so beautiful. I have a sensory seeker with touch too but he usually dislikes movement. He likes ice and different textures and rolling things over his face. I often wish I could experience some senses in the way he does, just for a while, to see what it is like. As you say, it's definitely different, but he takes such pure delight in things. #spectrumsunday

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