Last night I checked in on Tommy before I went to bed, just like any other night. Only this time he seemed to be half hanging out of the bed, somehow gravitating on the edge.
I was then faced with the dilemma all parents hate...do I dare to move him
On the one hand he could fall out of bed, hurt himself, or at the very least wake himself up.
On the other hand, unbeknown to me this could be a common occurrence and he sleeps like this all of the time. The slightest touch might wake him up, and then we’d both be up for hours
I braved it, as gently as I could I rolled him back onto the bed and onto his back, and...he stayed asleep But what amazed me was, even though he was asleep, as soon as I gave him the slightest touch his hands shot up and covered his ears
Tommy covers his ears a lot, whether he’s happy or sad, a way to increase or decrease his sensory experience. By doing it in his sleep, it really emphasised how it’s an unconscious action, something that is just instinct and totally natural for him to do.
I watched him for a minute, still too scared to move or make a noise in case he woke up, and he just lay there asleep, fingers in his ears.
I once read somewhere that stimming is like breathing for an autistic person. Totally natural, instinctive, a necessity to survive.
In that moment Tommy reminded me of just that
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