Sometimes, if something isn’t “quite right” (i.e., in the way that Stanley is familiar with), it looks as though he is in physical pain. For example, if he wants someone to do something in a particular order, and they don’t do it in that way (because they don’t know), then he will back away from them, with his arms up as though he is shielding himself. He looks like he is in pain, he becomes distressed, and will sometimes be able to say “not that way” or “not like that”.
Even though he knows how he wants something to be, he isn’t always able to communicate this to us, and this can sometimes lead to a meltdown. This usually becomes particularly tricky when it involves people that aren’t familiar with his routine, or his way of doing something. Though in saying that, we still have plenty of moments as parents when we just can’t figure out what it is that he wants. It’s tough because he is very articulate for his age, his vocabulary amazes us at times, but when we are in situations like this, he simply cannot communicate what he wants.
So, more than anything, I was wondering about the experience of pain – is this possible? Could he actually be experiencing physical pain from these situations? And, do you have any tips on dealing with this, and finding ways to help Stanley cope? I feel like we try everything sometimes, and nothing seems to help. Sometimes, it is like the flick of a switch, and he will instantly calm down… but not in response to anything we have done. Usually, we have no idea what it is that changes, as we don’t notice anything externally, and therefore can’t use it to help in future situations. I know sensory difficulties can cause physical pain for some, but to me this doesn’t appear to be a sensory issue… it seems more related to routine, and a need for things to be done in a particular / familiar way.