I don’t know if you read or heard the Chinese myth called “The cracked bucket“.
If not, you should. It reminds us that no one is perfect. We all have our weaknesses as long as we take advantage of them properly.
One day Alkis and I were extremely tired- lots of treatment sessions with no rest in between. We went home, and all I did was sit in the armchair for a quick rest. But Alkis had trouble finding peace. He had no switches, like the radio to turn off or adjust the volume. Alkis will find relief only when he is exhausted.
After coming back from treatment sessions, we usually follow an activity schedule. It involves washing our hands, eating, and doing an activity together. On this occasion, I was exhausted and wanted to take a breather and relax for a little bit.
All of sudden, he started banging his neck, hands, and legs and started shouting. This was the first time I saw this behavior because Alkis is tender, calm, and without outbursts. The only thing that captivated my mind was the thought that I had in front of me, a beautiful creature who expresses himself intellectually and emotionally. At this very moment, it looked like that was the only way he knew how to. Beyond his spectrum, he is a human being. My son, needs care and love like all of us do at the end of the day.
I was aware ( because I read a lot ) that all inappropriate behaviors are due to the deprivation of abilities of the THEORY OF MIND (all these thoughts in fractions of seconds ). I avoided any spasmodic movement of my body and face without capturing any negative emotions such as anger, fear, and anxiety. Only showing love and meekness!
I got up from my armchair quietly, opened my arms, approached my child with respect and limitless love, and hugged him. He likes to be held, it calms him down. I spoke to him in the sweetest voice possible as we sat on the carpet. I asked him to choose between three of his favorite books to read. He wanted to read the book called The scared elephant. He rested in my arms and listened to my heartbeat while we read the book. Moments like these calm him down and makes him happy.
Then we got some toys, animal ones to be exact, and started to play a game depicting the animals internalizing their emotions and feelings. The game may have been childish, but it helped a lot that day because it achieved its purpose of; calming my child! It paved the way for two innovative therapies: APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS and COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL DRAMA.
At that moment, I was in a state of mind where I could expand my field of vision and reach the source. I clearly saw the source below the symptom. I saw the man himself, my child… I focused there, on my child, nowhere else.
In my opinion, things tend to go wrong as soon as you start overthinking and putting labels on some moments in life.
I WISH YOU ALL THE BEST