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Very fine line between excited and terrified...

(3 Posts)
staryeyed Sun 18-Oct-09 21:20:57

Ds is 4.6 has ASD and is non verbal and very little understanding. We took Ds swimming recently for the first time in ages. He was water phobic (Sea, baths, swimming pool etc) for ages and we thought we would try and crack it. To our absolute amazement although apprehensive he quickly loved and became really confident in the water, over confident in fact. We continued to take him and he loved it and seemed to have completely got over his fear of pools. However, we also took him horse riding for the first time ever a few weeks ago. He absolutely loved it especially when the horse trotted- he laughed and smiled. He went last week again and seemed a little anxious. This week he wouldn't put on the helmet (possible sensory issues - he has loads) although he was keen to get on the horse but after a few minutes he cried and wanted to get off. He did continue the lesson and when the horse trotted he looked absolutely terrified. This has been the same with the park- we went weekly and he loved it then didn't go for a while and he was scared to go in. When we did get him a few weeks later he was incredibly anxious and wouldn't go on things he has previously enjoyed. This is the same for bouncy castles, theme park rides (went on all the fast rides at Lego land when he was 3 and then wouldn't get on a fairly tame ride later that year). Also the same with baths- loved them then was scared then quite recently he loved them again after 18 months of being terrified he started trying to get in the bath as often as he could now he is scared and anxious.

Im really struggling to understand the constant changes in his anxieties. DS1 does go through very anxious phases- constant licking fingers in ears screaming etc but I don't know if it is just coming and going in phases or if something is triggering the anxieties- for example I did pull the plug while DS1 was in the bath and I think it scared him which might explain why he is now scared again. I cant think of any triggers with the other things though. Any experience with this?

sphil Sun 18-Oct-09 22:15:44

It happens with DS2 if he is 'pushed' too quickly - or feels as if he is being pushed.
For example he got very confident in the small pool in school swimming lessons so his 1:1 took him into the big pool. He seemed fine, but the next week was crying and wouldn't go in either pool. It's taken a couple of weeks to get him to even sit on the steps at the shallow end of the small pool again. I'm not saying that this happens with your DS, but I think sometimes we get so excited when Ds2 enjoys something that we overdo it, in a way - and then he almost inevitably reacts against it. It's the same with new skills - if we go on about it too much he's likely to refuse to do it again!

I also think that sometimes it's hard to read him - he can be laughing but be anxious, have his fingers in his ears but be smiling etc. There does seem to be a very fine line between enjoyment/anxiety for him.

claw3 Sun 18-Oct-09 22:22:51

Hi stareyed, my ds has sensory modulation disorder. I think every neurological disorder is very conflicting at times. My own ds finds touch painful some days, but will give big hugs to strangers on other days. Some days he wont eat or drink a thing, other days he wants to eat and drink constantly! My ds is exactly the same as yours, when it comes to a bath and fast rides etc. On fair ground rides, he 'freezes', im never quite sure whether he is enjoying it or not, but will get off and want to go on again! Next time we go, he wont go anywhere near the rides.

In my opinion my ds, he has good days/weeks/months/years and bad days/weeks etc, depending on how alert his central nervous system is.

The central nervous system (sensory system)is a very delicate thing. It has to take information from all five senses at the same time to get the 'picture' the slightest alteration in any one of the five senses and the 'picture' changes. With my ds all 5 senses are affected. Hope that make senses.

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