Sunday, September 25, 2011

Zucchini Experience

Our landlord brought us some zucchini yesterday, leftovers from his wife's garden. I hadn't pulled it out of the bag till today, so I had no idea how HUMONGOUS they were. One green, one yellow. I offered them each in turn to Liam to examine, and then to Sam. The differences in the way the boys experience them is so telling.

Liam tried to pick up the green one.

After multiple failures, he decided it was too big.

The yellow one was just right, however.

He proceeded to bang it on its end with much gusto,
because this made such lovely noise.

He also tapped it against his head.

Liam, being the sensory seeker, really enjoyed interacting with the zucchini with his whole body (as much as possible being in his high chair.) He loved touching it, feeling it, smelling it, and making noise with it. Sam however, took an entirely different approach.

The green zucchini immediately became a weapon.
And yes, the crazed look was part of his desired pose.
Sam is not one for candid photos. If he knows there's
a camera, he is posing for it.

Only when I asked him to calm down a little did he
choose to cradle the zucchini like a baby, his idea.

Note that Sam chose to interact with the zucchini in a more limited way, and use it as a tool of his imagination, rather than for its own sake. Not that either way is wrong, just different. And very directly related to how each experiences sensory issues and the Autism Spectrum.

I like observing them in the same activity sometimes, for precisely this reason: to watch how differently they experience life, and yet how similarly; and how I can share it with them. I did, after all, offer them the zucchini to play with, and took pictures. It was fun, for all of us I think.

- Adrienne

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