Stones Smashing into the Earth
No don’t worry that’s not some kind of sensationalist headline. No it is my son’s latest worry. When I say worry that’s putting it rather mildly. He has managed to convince himself that some stones are about to crash into planet earth and we are going to then crash into the moon.
I don’t know where this fear came from or why it has appeared all of a sudden. He loves space and finds it very interesting although he finds it very difficult to comprehend anything you tell him about space. He has high anxiety and ocd tendencies but normally these are related to me not being there or germs (the germs are my fault — I’m a bit of a germaphobe myself but he is me to the power of 10).
In his little, strange brain he had linked his obsession with Mario (we vowed we would never allow him on computer games, now we can’t get him off and he has commandeered his Dad’s kindle fire) with our impending demise, and ascertained that he was meant to save the “planet earth” through Mario. How, I do not know. What I do know is that my insisting that it was too late to play computer games (after his father had already allowed him to without thinking) led to a meltdown of the highest magnitude (think 8 on the Richter scale for comparison).
He smashed up the living room, he smashed up the dining room. He attacked himself, us, etc. He lost all his speech (this happens whenever he gets stressed, he reverts back to non verbal). He screamed, he cried, he wailed and he ended up having to be restrained with giant bear hugs.
In the end we did manage to calm him down, how? By giving in a little and letting him watch Angry Birds on his dad’s kindle at the dinner table.
Were we wrong for giving an inch? I don’t know. What I do know is that it is nearly impossible to deal with him when he is like this (which happens a lot), he seems unable to reason or accept instruction. Indeed he thinks he is “in charge of the whole wide world” most of the time and though we continually explain that he is not and about the free will of others he refuses to accept this.
The ridiculous part is that he doesn’t even like the stress he feels come with being in charge of everyone all the time, and yet he still will not accept that it does not matter as people have free will and he does not have to worry about controlling their lives. He even repeats over and over how he is the only one with pictures in his heads and in everyone else’s head there is nothing.
I can only assume this is related to the Theory of Mind and that as he is unable to understand that others have feelings or emotions, outside of what he places upon them; he also cannot accept that others exist outside his understanding of reality. This I guess would tie-in with his belief that he is “in charge of everybody in the whole wide planet” and that we all must “do whatever it is I say”. It is so hard as a non-autistic adult to understand how difficult this must be to comprehend: that although everyone is under your control, they will not bend to your will. When looked at like that the world becomes a very scary and confusing place.
One where stones crash into the earth and the earth crashes into the moon.