Over the weekend, the three of us enjoyed an outing to see the Moscow Ballet dance The Nutcracker.
Joey liked it in his Joey way. That is, he stayed in his chair and didn’t protest. He likes music, color and motion. So we think this was a winner. Melissa and I sure liked being all together for a special holiday event.
Now, one of the ways that Joey is able to stay put in a chair is via his “fidgets.” Like many autistic folks, he stays connected to the world by motion and touch. This took many forms over the years, most of them undesirable, like chewing holes in the neckline of his t-shirts or whacking his hand against his head. With the help of therapists and teachers, we eventually arrived at the use of “fidgets,” flexible things that he can hold and shake or wave. Here’s an example:
So, at the ballet, Joey had a fidget to help him stay centered and calm.
Of course he dropped it once the lights were down and the ballet was in progress.
He leaned over and groped around for it. He said something like “You need to get the fidget” over and over, fortunately using a low “indoor voice.”
Then he tugged Melissa’s hand and tried to pull her over to poke around on the floor, too.
“You will have to wait for fidget” I hissed, which restrained him for about a minute. Then he went back to “You need to get the fidget” and yanking on mom.
When the lights came up entr’acte, Melissa and I looked all around and couldn’t find the fidget. Joey got tense and stood up, in his “I’m standing up because I’m done with this and am moving on” way.
Finally, I got down on a knee and stared at the floor. There was the fidget, which happened to be white, well concealed by curving within a white pattern in the carpet.
The second act went well.
Thinking about a family trip to hear a community performance of Handel’s Messiah this weekend. Will have to check the floor coloration and bring a properly contrasting fidget this time.