This was Jacob two days ago. Jacob has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, but by his behavior and actions it is more of Autism that really affects him strongly. He comes to me for intensives twice a day for a handful of days in a row every couple of months. In this series of lessons I noticed how calm he was each morning, but after lunch in this picture above of him, he is running wild from one end of my studio to the other. Seriously, it was like watching a ping pong or tennis tournament. I’ve never turned to my left and right trying to follow him so quickly and so many times in my career as a Feldenkrais® teacher.
This picture was taken after lunch on his first day of four days. I know this boy and this was really not his normal behavior. Ok, maybe just a tad bit, but not like this.
I questioned his mommy again and again. Finally, we decided there must have been MSG of some sort in the meat of his lunch from the new restaurant they went to. Children on the spectrum are often very food and environmentally sensitive. And that would be for whole other blog post, seriously. They came the next morning, and as each morning was excellent, they went off for lunch, came back and it was the exact same behavior, wild, flapping arms, screaming, and running back and forth endlessly. I questioned mom again, truly trying to dig in as deep as I could. “Are you sure you both ate at your regular place for lunch and only this food or that, but nothing else?” “Yes,” Mom said compliant. “Hmm, and you are sure he is not on any drugs like I asked yesterday?” Mom concurred.
Later into the afternoon lesson of this child running wild, she mentioned something like, “I think I am getting sick from Jacob.” I respond, “Really? I didn’t notice he was sick?” (Notice my question mark at the end of my observation comment.) Mom responds with, “Of course not, I have been giving him cough syrup every morning before we come. It is a 12 hour remedy.”
You might imagine my response, “Well, that might be exactly what we are seeing here, the half- life of the drug, this is exactly the six hour mark of the day.” I wanted to end this statement with an exclamation mark, but didn’t. So, I will do it here instead!
You see, not everyone is created the same. I’ve said this before, and it’s so worth saying again here. This little sweet one had a reaction we’ve seen many times before that someone has the exact opposite response to a drug. No wonder, no surprise. He is special and his body doesn’t methylate out product and byproduct as well as others might. So much to say here. But, the point is look how something so simple and meant to stop a cough actually revved this poor little guy up driving him wild and crazy. It couldn’t have felt good for him
So, today on day four these two short videos are after lunch. Look at what a different chance he has to learn, sense and feel. He knows what I am doing in our Feldenkrais lessons, he knows how they make him feel, and now he very clearly knows what he likes and wants. I am so enthralled with how he actually reaches out with his own hands to guide my hands to touch and move him in our lesson.
This is the greatest gift of his life to be able to feel, connect, and let someone know what he wants. That he, Jacob, knows exactly what he wants. Now, this is a gift.
with warmth and admiration for all it takes,