Minion Monday -Little Box
This week I have started getting little boxes in the mail. Boxes that will be wrapped and turned into holiday gifts. It started me thinking about other boxes. I remember when I started this page I posted a picture of Zach, inside a box. (see below) He was at speech therapy, one of the few therapies that have helped him. Zach has Sensory Processing Disorder in addition to his autism. While Zach has never really fit in any box (that’s the metaphorical box) he has always done his own thing. Don’t get me wrong boxes have their uses, they are good at storing, holding, hiding, and sometimes they are used to build or prop things up, sometimes you check the boxes, sometimes you leave all or many of those boxes blank.
It is hard to remember some days that boxes are not all that important, that they are not really somewhere people belong. Zach was in that box, that day, on a sensory break. Sensory breaks are required to help him regulate so he can handle the world that can cause him physical pain with too much light, too strong a smell, too much or the wrong kind of noise or even just feels funny. Since he sometimes gets overwhelmed by the world around us, sensory breaks are required. You might not realize it but the world is filled with sounds, lights and smells most of us just tune out, the hum of the TV, or the overhead lights. The smell of a food, or maybe even a cardboard box. Sometimes just the sound of a car driving by will be enough to upset his world. Most of his life he has on headphones, to tune out the world, we always keep a blanket around to help him deal with lights and texture issues. Someday’s that isn’t enough so he makes his own sounds, often so loud I want to steal his headphones, I can try and calm him, make him quieter but when I do I can see how stressed out he gets, so he yells for a day and that’s okay. Some days take two blankets, others he just needs that time to be alone and he hides in his room or mine.
I never really know what caused him problems, I try, if it happens at home I can usually find a cause, but out in the world it’s not that easy. I know, one day, he will have the ability to tell me when he needs to yell today, or why he needs to hide in the box (or his room). For now I am just glad we have found the things he needs to find a way to get along in the world without it causing him pain or stress. Just remember thinking outside of the box is good but sometimes you just have to climb into the box to be able to think.