Day 16 - Behaviour

Yesterday was Day 16 of this (mad) ride round France. The reason this blog is going up this morning is because yours truly fell asleep before he had the chance to write and post the blog. Apologies to those of you were waiting avidly by their computer last night (I know there were a number of you, not). Yesterday was longer and lumpier than originally planned because I have decided not to camp so that I don’t need to carry the tent but mainly so I can take advantage of a hotel’s air conditioning. After yesterday’s cycling was finished I met Iain, Ally, Luke, David, Andrew and Pat for a cold drink and a wander round Orange. Thanks to you guys for driving over the mountain passes to meet me.

Some of you have asked me whether or not spending 24 days worth of my annual leave riding round France is not an example of apparently strange behaviour. There have been points where I may agree with you, but this behaviour appears to be drawing some attention to autism and raising some money for NAS – so it can’t be all bad. Whilst it may not involve riding a bike those on the autism spectrum may appear to behave unusually. There will be a reason for this, it may be a way of communicating or dealing with a particular situation.

Many people on the autism spectrum may have difficulty processing everyday information – watch the video here to see what I mean. They may be over or under sensitive (or both at different times) to sounds, light, colours, flavours, or textures. This can potentially lead to challenging behaviours. These sensitivities may end to sensory or information overload. This may result in withdrawal. If someone is having a meltdown, don’t judge them, be aware of what might be creating the difficulty. Can you change anything? This might be something as seemingly innocuous as a tripping tap. Be creative, think of positive experiences. Be prepared, tell the person about the possible stimuli in the different environments they pass through.

I remember Laurie picking up a coffee table and bringing it down on top of the television. If I remember correctly we had come to the conclusion that Laurie reacted to the logo (which was a skeletal fish that swam round the screen). The TV was robust it survived with cosmetic damage but we didn’t watch that channel when that programme was on again.

You will be getting two blog pieces today for the price of one assuming I don’t fall asleep tonight.

Thanks for reading,

Neil