When 4 Bike Rides Isn't Enough
Summer Training

Parental Lag

More 'frog hopper' action

Sunday ended up being a four rather than a five bike ride day. Jim estimated that he and Charlie did 54 miles. If you count the 3 run/walks I did with Charlie, including a rare afternoon walk yesterday (Charlie has only requested walks at dusk or night for several months), the total would be 60 miles.

You can't say we don't get our exercise and I'm not even counting the runs we did in the parking lot of the little amusement park we went do between bike #2 and #3.

Charlie continues to favor smaller parks with rides recalling earlier, shall we say innocenter- days. Years ago we went to Dorney Park in Pennsylvania and he didn't have any especial interest in being at a bigger, splashier place. We also used to take him to the more honky-tonky-ish parts of the Jersey shore (like Seaside Heights and Wildwood) where there are huge ferris wheels and rides rides rides galore. But Charlie seems to favor the local carnivals we seek out and the same local amusement park.

Too, we never 'make a day of it.' Charlie likes to do only certain rides -- frog hopper, swings, ferris wheel, slide' -- in that order. (At the other carnivals, he does switch things up and starts with the ferris wheel, then the swings and slide.) And once he's done, he's done. There's no point these days in attempting a place like Six Flags or, heavens forbid, Disneyland, as we rarely spend more than an hour at any carnival.

(Anyways, Jim and I don't belong at Disneyland/world. For all that Charlie has spates of listening to Disney songs non-stop, he's never been interested in any of the cartoons or characters and I have a feeling Jim and I would spend our time in the Magic Kingdom critiquing rampart consumerism and over-marketing of mouse-eared item.)

I've also really come to appreciate the little local amusement park over the years. It's not terribly far from our house so it's perfect to perk up a day and the limited amount of rides cuts down on too many choices (= more vexations) for Charlie.

He was on-and-off sadder Sunday. He's always had an emotional reaction to my parents' coming and going; this time, he seemed to be managing without any extra 'behavioral fireworks.' But he was definitely more unsettled and mopey on Sunday -- lag -- dragging on bike rides after a speedy one in the morning.

In the evening, he wanted to get in the car and go somewhere. We'd just gone a few feet down the street when Jim realized he needed to get his sunglasses and we turned round. Nearing our house, Charlie grabbed Jim's arm, a precursor to him being very upset. We stopped the car, I got out and turned off and took Charlie's iPad; Jim got out and I brought Charlie something to drink and an apple.

Charlie doesn't have seizures but some kind of physiological event seems to be going on in him at such moments. Yesterday, his arms were shaking, quivering; at other times, it's been his legs.

He stayed in the car and after fifteen minutes, we went out for a brief ride. After that, Charlie was much more easy-going the rest of the evening which did involve one more bike ride, one more walk, and the consuming of a great amount of watermelon (it was around 90 degrees yesterday).

Jim and I were struck at how Charlie's initial grabbing of Jim's arm and his seeming on the verge of banging his head parallel a number of previous experiences (some of which were quite messy). Maybe after all these years we've finally got a decent grasp of the signs of 'behavioral storm' on the horizon and of what to do and why these seem to happen. 

Guess you could say we parents have a serious lag in understanding too.

A rare daytime walk





Hm..I had never thought of it as being an "autistic" thing particularly, because you always read in novels of people trembling with emotion or feeling as though their heart has fallen into their stomach, but come to think of it, you really don't see NTs showing their emotions in that way very much IRL, unless it's something huge like a car crash where someone died. Sometimes not even then. But it sounds like he might have thought he wasn't going to get to go on a desired expedition( since you had to turn back for something), and that would make me get shaky and upset, too, particularly if I didn't have the words to register my objection or concerns properly.

I remember once a friend of mine was saying she had always assumed that when they talked about women fainting from excess emotion in Victorian novels that it was just a literary figure of speech until she got in an emotional argument while dressed in Victorian garb with a corset and DID faint---but that surprised me since I don't NEED a corset to be capable of fainting( or nearly so) from strong emotions.

Kristina Chew

I think the turning round was part of it -- we try to avoid it but sometimes we have to go back for something necessary. It was kind of good we turned around as Charlie was 'on the edge' and it's better to be home than in a moving car.....

I'm interested in what you say about shaking -- and about NTs showing their emotions in very different ways -- a reminder to me to look for different signs for Charlie expressing how he feels. He seems sometimes just completely over-powered by something and it just all comes out.

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