Wednesday 18 November 2015

Racing clouds - David's delight

Today is a bright and blustery day.  But, generally it's been particularly stormy over the last few days.  There's been a lot of grey skies, and at night there have been some high winds. As I'm stood waiting to collect David from his school yesterday, I'm sheltering between a wall and a large minivan. It's not too cold but the sudden gusts seem pretty chill some. My squeaking son gets brought to the gate and while I'm huddled up and face down, he's bright eyed.  As I pick him up, he is extremely happy. We always encourage him to say goodbye to his teachers.  As I go to encourage his eye-contact with the teachers I see he's loving the weather. In fact for a few moments its almost impossible to stop him looking at the clouds.

In 'Sporting red plastic belt accessories for the holidays' I wrote about how both our autistic boys, Anthony aged seven 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.  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 periwinkle 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.  And then with a little more encouragement he looked back, waved goodbye to his teachers and skipped away with me.  

Once I'd retrieved the rest of the children it occurred to me that of the 1400 children and adults that were at the school at that moment, my son and I could have been the only two people to have enjoyed the sky right then.  In that moment, there was nothing that David found more enjoyable than to breadth in the sky. 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

As featured on:

Life Unexpected  Sons, Sand & Sauvignon


  1. A beautiful moment, to enjoy nature together in a busy day is precious. I wonder if others who saw you stare at the sky looked up too and saw the clouds racing by. A lovely post!
    Thanks so much for linking up to #Whatevertheweather :) x

  2. I adore this so much. What a beautiful moment to get to experience this together. I bet you were the only two that stopped in that moment and looked up at the sky too. It's a reminder that we should all do this more. Staring at the clouds and watching them in motion is so peaceful and relaxing. My partner is on the spectrum and one thing I love about him is getting to see things from a different perspective. Something I'm sure your little ones are teaching you all the time.Thank you so, so much for linking this beautiful post to #whatevertheweather xx

  3. Beautifully written and I love the feeling behind this piece. I really believe that we can learn so much from our children and how they view the world. Glad I found your site. #spectrumsunday

  4. What a gorgeous post! As much as autism is hard it is also beautiful! And I love to see the world through Haydens eyes from time to time! And they are special moments! Thanks for linking up to #spectrumsunday I really hope to see you again this week xx

  5. I was just commenting on a different blogpost earlier that "taking pleasure in the small things in life" is a great new year's resolution :)

    1. Absolutely! Otherwise I'd have to be planning enormous, amazing trips all the time. That doesn't work with my lot, we have spectacular experiences mostly based on their achievements I guess. Thanks for commenting.


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