I do not talk about it a lot, because at first I didn't understand it, but now as he gets older, and I get wiser, I recognize the things in Callan that lean towards the spectrum. His official diagnosis is more along the lines of anxiety and his PTSD, but I think it all ties in together. When we had school from home due to Covid this past Spring, it slammed me in the face one day when he got so frustrated with his schoolwork, he kept hitting himself in the head or rubbing his forehead obsessively. At one point he broke down in tears. It was frustration overload for him. And it built up and up until he exploded. This year we have decided on a different learning route for him than in person public school. We enrolled him in an online academy where he will get more one on one individualized learning. And I have been on the hunt for tools to help him cope and keep him focused. I came upon Calm Strips.
We all deal with anxiety sometimes. Most of the things designed to help us cope are either literally toys, or conspicuous and cumbersome. Calm Strips are sensory adhesives. They are made from a thin but extremely hardy and durable vinyl. Crafted to help soothe anxiety and fidgeting by grounding you in a calming scene and giving you a gentle, but textured, surface as a stimulus.
I plan to put one on his phone case, one on the table where he does his work, one on a keychain he can carry with him, and really anywhere else he thinks he wants one. I figure the one at the table where he does his work, he can worry away at it, and it will help him focus. It has already worked on a cup he uses a lot - this kid chews ice all day long, and has a favorite cup. So I slapped one on that and I watch him rub it, seemingly mindlessly, but it keeps him present, and not off in la la land. A simple strip. It is pretty cool. I have one on my phone case as well.
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