My good friend Erin is a HUGE Dave Matthews Band fan…so it only seems appropriate to name this title after her, and after Dave Matthew Band.
Sure, it’s also one of my favorite songs…but now has very special meaning.
Tucker is a crasher. Well, let me rephrase. Tucker used to be a crasher…now he is a part-time crasher.
No, I’m not referring to crashing (that thing I do on the couch after a long week). This is something that is completely opposite.
Part of having a sensory processing disorder is that your nervous system responses get all jumbled up in your brain. Thus, the Autism Spectrum. The information that children receive does not get organized into appropriate responses. It’s like having a traffic jam in your brain – these children just can’t get it sorted out and the more input they receive the louder and more obnoxious the traffic jam becomes. I don’t live in a city…there is good reason. The other day we left for school and I said to my children, “Wow…look at the traffic on the road today!” They laughed…because there were three cars that we had to wait for to turn onto our county road. In Shell Rock, IA…that is a traffic jam (right after Tractorcades, of course).
Individuals who experience this traffic jam often seek or crave sensory stimulation. Many of my posts will be about this sort of insatiable need for sensory input. While Tucker is constantly in motion, he doens’t crash near as often as he used to. Here is the REALLY big deal with this…many of these children are thought to have ADHD or ADD. That’s what someone told me…and I didn’t buy it. Not one bit – because I knew he could concentrate. He could pay attention.
So, what does crashing look like? Well…it makes your house seem like a jungle gym! So many children experience ‘crashing’ that we don’t often recognize it unless combined with other symptoms (language delay, lack of eye contact, topic obsession, etc.). Here is what it looks like…
Run into the couch.
Jump off into the cushions.
Throw the cushions on the floor.
Jump on the cushions.
Crash all the way down.
Repeat. Again. Again. Again. Keep repeating until mom is about to lose her mind. Oh wait, my mom is patient, patient, patient…nevermind…keep repeating until I feel good.
That’s called crashing…
These children find some way to squeeze themselves tightly, push-off against something repeatedly. Why? Because it feels good. Why? Tucker’s nervous system is under-responsive to the information being received by the brain (remember the colander?), so he continually seeks intense sensory experiences for an extended time period to compensate. So, instead of trying to stop the crash…I simply allowed the crashing in certain areas.
In fact, he’s ‘crashed’ in to many of you! Think about his ‘running hugs’ – this is still his version of crashing. He no longer jumps off of couches and cushions – but he still loves tight hugs and running hugs. The only problem is that now he is 6 foot tall and 200 pounds. We handle it though…I just tell him, “Tucker – you just need to give me notice so I can be near the bed when you knock me over.” He gets that…and when he knocks me over he still lays on me and giggles…just like he did when he was four.
So worth it. Those giggles. SO much better than the frustration of trying to stop it – because it just cannot be stopped. He needs the input.
Those giggles are unforgettable and worth it. Worth it. Every. Single. Time.