Food for thought…
‘Ouch, ouch, ouch’ were words I regularly uttered following a too frequent visit of LS’ pearly white teeth to my forearms for a number of years of gone by. I have mentioned the blue mosaic work created by the artist LS on his mothers’ forearms in a previous Episode. I feel the natural question the onlooker might ask is ‘why?’ Why did LS choose for so long to sink those beautifully polished teeth of his into an arm rather than a Granny Smith apple? An equal force was always applied to both targets, I might add.
Even when I experienced the most piercing of sharp pain (that would draw tears from one’s eyes) I never thought LS was coming from a malicious place. I have also mentioned before that all behaviour is a form of communication… A very experienced occupational therapist was to shed a profound insight into this particular behaviour displayed by LS. It is a universally acknowledged truth that all people living with autism also live with sensory challenges to a certain degree. It is a struggle for them to self-regulate their sensory needs on a daily basis. They need help with this. Thankfully in 2016 the knowledge, expertise and help is out there. LS had been telling me for years that he has a very intense oral-sensory need. The mosaic art work on my arms had been screaming at me..
Everybody who looked after LS began to actively feed his oral-sensory needs on a daily basis. I now could understood why he always had had his hand stuck in the freezer feeding himself ice; ‘ouch, ouch, ouch’ to that one I say..So LS now gets his fill of frozen peas, ice cubes and smoothies drunk through a straw on a daily basis. His obsession with the world of dentistry could now also be explained. Not every patient jumps for joy at the sound of the drill at the dental surgery. LS does….more of that in a future episode.
Suffice to say my forearm is no longer a canvas for the artist..I wear a T-shirt with pride as the artist blows bubbles in the garden, feeding his sensory need.