Chapter 9 – #TeamEJ – Unlocking EJs Voice – The Heat
In the interest of keeping it real I posted this session on September 10, 2015. We were nearing the end of the 2nd week of ridiculous heat. It was keeping the kids in the classrooms all day which is pretty much torture for EJ. He was really not in the mood so I was trying to stick to something he’d want to chat about…animals.
He has a voracious sensory appetite. I’m not sure I have ever seen him truly reach the point of satiation to be honest. I think he does a pretty good job at the gym getting himself regulated but then all of the sudden he’ll be back flying on the swings or climbing everything in sight. So naturally this crazy heat wave that was making all of us tired and irritable was taking it’s toll. He finally typed WATER in all caps and then packed up when I went to get it. He’s a smart one for sure.
I am so thankful that we have the We Rock to get all this input in a safe and healthy setting. Since we had to rush to different therapies we weren’t getting as much gym time as he probably needed to come back from the confines of the classroom without being able to play outside for recess or lunch.
The next morning when we pulled up to school he started to get very agitated and upset. I handed him his iPad and first he just pushed it away. I gently handed it back saying, “if you don’t want to get out of the car you need to tell me why because it’s time for school”. He grabbed it and said, “I want to go to my house”. I said, “why? how are you feeling?”. He replied, “I feel scared, I feel bored, I feel tired”. He was visibly shaken and upset. Short of attempting to wrestle him out there was no way to get him into school and also I wanted to honor his first true communication during a time which normally would’ve escalated into a full meltdown.
This was 9/11/15 and at about the exact time tragedy struck across town when a non-verbal autistic young man named Paul Lee was left in a school bus on this horrible hot day. I’m not at all saying EJ was scared because he sensed that but I do think this heat was doing a number on all of us. Please join me in doing anything we can to help those who are not able to communicate.