ALL OUR DECISION MAKING REQUIRES CHECKING IN WITH OUR MINDS AND BODIES.
We require time to check in with ourselves regarding any decision we make. We need to know how our bodies and minds are going, what we’ve been through or doing on the day, that moment and days prior to it, how much energy we have, or will have, how much information we've been exposed to and what we need to process it all.
It gets trickier when things can change so quickly for us – like instantaneous overwhelm – our bodies can suddenly be pushed into the ‘TOO MUCH’ zone. When this happens for my child I practice responsive caregiving, assisting my child to CHECK-IN with themselves to know what they need. To know what they can handle, what they are up for.
My body can process and regulate heat very well above 40 degrees. Whereas my child’s body can’t process much heat at all. their Tactile Sensory System overloads quickly. When the heat is ‘TOO MUCH’ where their body, their tactile system, can’t process any more information (heat) that ‘heat information’ becomes a demand. WHY?
Because this kind of heat information far exceeds my child’s bodies capacity to process it all at once.
If the ‘heat information’ is not removed that information continues to penetrate my child’s Tactile System, an overload which is a threat to the body triggering their flight, flight, freeze and fawn response. This pressure demand; anxiety and extreme panic results usually as yelling, swearing and physical outbursts.
“FLUCK you mum!”
I had said to my child I had to take us home to get more clothing while they were experiencing a threat response – fight. My child’s rage was communicating to me something was “TOO MUCH!” Their thinking and emotional brain could not process any more information at that point because of it.
My child continued to rage; yell, scream and swear because the speaking request;
Made up of sounds (auditory information) and words (cognitive/executive functioning information – how long do I have to wait? how much time do I get to skate?) that meant the car would start to move (visual and physical information) whilst in an invisible threat response.
These invisible demands were clearly far exceeding my child's brains capacity and capability to process.
As my child's Responsive Caregiver it’s my responsibility to work out what invisible demands are pressuring my chid's into an information overload triggering the FFFF response.
What is their body communicating to me?
Asking my child what they might think, would only add more information, creating more demands, more threats, more triggers and ultimately more fight, flight, freeze and fawn.
More “fluck you's!”
Or if I were to (and I have done this in the past and discovered this) respond with JADE–ing (Justify, Anger, Defend or Explain) with discipline, sanction, domination, punishment, lecture or educate (more words, information, demand, processing) where my ego or feelings are hurt I would only contribute to my child’s disability.
I would only contribute their distressed state or anguish.
If I did respond with non–acceptance of my child with diverse needs I would start to hear (which I have in the past from this traumatic approach) “I want to kill you”, “I’m going to cut your flucking head off” or “I want to kill myself”.
No-one deserves this especially those who are disadvantaged!
When my child is raging their brain is communicating to both of us that it requires help and assistance in order to function well or effectively. As the calm adult with a fully developed and informed mind.
Unlike my child (for now) I am to do that for them until they can.
Whilst still the car observing my child exploding about wanting to go the skatepark and refusing me (controlling me) to go home to get warmer clothing (my body does not process cold weather very well - I have a different Tactile System compared to my child) I paused.
I pause to figure out what information is overloading my child, that is ‘TOO MUCH’, causing the violent, domineering, angry, and controlling outburst behaviour.
After some minutes I remembered my child had calmly asked me earlier, a few times, to turn the air conditioner on. They had become aware the heat in the car was 'TOO MUCH'. BUT, I had ignored that request because my Tactile System can’t stand (process) the air conditioner (the cold).
Especially in the winter!!!!!
However, if I had listened and met their needs in the first place and turned the air conditioner on, my child's body would not have become overwhelmed and I wouldn't have been told to "fluck off!"
My child had CHECKED-IN with their bodies.
To know what they needed to be okay. To know what information penetrating their body was pressuring their systems triggering their threat response. The role as a Responsive Caregiver is to be attentive when my child communicates to me. To read our bodies invisible needs.
This is how we learn to look after our brilliant PDA Autistic neurologies.
After this experience I learnt that when my child asks me to turn off the heater, or open up a window, or turn the cooler on, I listen and I do what I can to reduce the 'heat information' to their body.
We have prevented violent outbursts because of listening and respecting to our CHECKING-IN :)
STRETCH _ EMBRACE _ SOAR
Whether I accept this or not, or have a diagnosis or not,
it is still true,
that I, my child and/or my family have individualised diverse needs
who require humans who are ACCEPTING of our neurodivergence.
INTRAPERSONAL CREATIVE QUEST
To love, trust, revel and lead with our beautiful autistic minds
through knowing and acting on our Roarheart
the inner inexplainable knowledge and truth
~ our intuition ~
Reflect and create a picture or journal the answer to;
Have I thought, felt, done or experienced things like this?
Share with another anything discovered in the Sacred Writing/Creating.
Do I allow my child/myself/others the time to CHECK-IN?
I pause with quiet reflection upon those moments where I've allowed or haven't allowed my child/self/others time to CHECK-IN.
TODAY’S THANK YOU
I am willing to THANK all my regretful, angry, fearful and negative thoughts I may have.
I will trust, even if I don’t want to, all that I am aware of now, is how it is has meant to be – to be open to something new.
I am willing to put aside everything I think I know about myself/child, my life, my past and my future, to have an open mind and a new experience with being aware of those things that are TOO MUCH for my child/self/others and giving time to CHECK–IN to know how to love and look after ourselves.
I am open to the possibility of moving from the AWARENESS of what is 'TOO MUCH' and ACCEPTING perhaps we need to CHECK-IN to know what we need to be okay, receiving new thoughts to love, trust, revel and lead with our Roarheart [our inexplainable inner knowledge and truth – our intuition] learning how to know, direct and master our individualised lives.