Friday, March 18, 2011

A Hair-Raising Experience, Part One

I am petrified of heights. So much so that sometimes I even get nervous coming down from the third floor of our apartment building! There are times when I'm up high near a railing or coming down a lot of open stairs that my legs start to feel rubbery, and I feel like I have to push myself against the wall or I unrealistically fear falling.



What are you afraid of? What makes your skin crawl or makes you stop in your tracks, not wanting to go farther? Is there something that you fear so much, it wouldn't matter if someone paid you money to do it?

Is it swimming? Fire? Closed-in spaces? Maybe certain bugs or animals make you freeze up. Maybe public speaking strikes terror in your soul.
 
Once I saw an episode of some stupid celebrity reality tv show. The celebrities were in the jungle, probably winning money for charity. In one particular challenge, they were divided into teams and had to race against each other to retrieve trinkets out of holes in a wall. However, there were things INSIDE the wall! Things like tarantulas, snakes, biting fish, etc.


As I watched some pull out bloody hands, I remember wondering, “Could I do that? Could I keep my hand in there?” I was pretty sure I couldn’t. Pretty sure I’d be pulling my hand out. Pretty sure the money just wouldn’t matter if a tarantula were crawling on my hand, or something was sucking my arm!


So, do you have it? Has your fear come to mind? I want you to think about it for a moment.

Provided by http://www.clipart-for-free.blogspot.com/

For many children with autism, they have fears just like the rest of us. Except their fears don’t seem “normal.” Maybe they're afraid of the water in the bathroom. Or perhaps a lawn ornament pushes them over the edge. 


My son, Dr. J, does not like having his head touched. A year and a half ago I had to pin him to the examining table to let a doctor check his ears. It was horrific. He doesn’t like having his face washed--if he must, he’d prefer to do it. He doesn’t like having his hair combed or brushed and absolutely despises it getting wet. He’ll tolerate it getting washed in the bathtub, but will not let you wet it down with a comb or a washcloth.


Take that hate for having your head touched, and bring in the fact that at some point you need a hair cut! Add that many salons are noisy, unfamiliar, and large. Are you starting to see what happened last week?


Monday I had to take Dr. J to get his hair cut. The last cut was at a barber shop, because “big boys get to go to the barber. A barber cuts for only big boys and men!” Daddy took him and made a huge deal out of it. And was successful.


I was not so fortunate. I want you to think about your fears and come back Monday to see what happened. Not trying to be mean. Just trying to help you understand our kids. A lot of them live in fear and anxiety most of their days.


UPDATE: Click here to read part two.


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