A 20-cent kiddie ride suddenly started up because a mother put a coin in it, and the sudden loud music gave her such a fright, that she cried the rest of the day.
When autistic children get shocks to their sensory system, it is amplified compared to typical children. It's like they feel it ten or twenty times more. Imagine your senses as a giant omnidirectional microphone, and you will get a sense of how some autistic kids feel when assaulted with sensory input.
For the rest of that day, she was inconsolable. I was working late, so it was up to her mommy to settle her. My mom got so worried she might get a fit from the crying that she thought of taking Faith to the doctor's. But the missus got back just then, and calmed Faith down.
The wife told me Faith jumped on her to be carried, the moment she saw her come home. And when I called from the office at 11pm, the wife told me Faith fell asleep on her tummy. So funny, mommy and her two girls, one on her tummy, one inside.
The rest of Wednesday, I stayed home on urgent leave, just hanging around to help Faith feel more secure.
She was extra jumpy, and things that used to frighten her but she learned to cope with, those things made her frightened once more. Like loud motorcycle sounds. Even leaving the security of home to go into the outside world made her cry.
When she left for special school with my mom on Wednesday afternoon, she started crying despite being relatively calm all day with me. And my mom had to take her home after an hour, because Faith really had a hard time dealing with school in her state. A trip to the doctor's showed a slight temperature, but the wise family doctor, who has a son with Aspergers herself, said no point giving Faith any sedatives because it may make things worse. Just let it run its course, she said, and the fears should fade.
It is unusual because Faith is very close to our helper, and my parents. Yet, in a moment like this, when she was truly shaken, she sought out her parents for comfort. I suppose the bonds run deep though we do not see it when things are fine.
Thursday night, Faith seemed better, calmer. We sat there just watching mommy play with Isaac. At one point, she leaned her head against mine, and pressed firmly against me.
Hmm. Two heads are better than one.