Konner is a pacer. He tends to pace quite a bit, and I used to think it was just when he was getting overstimulated. However, recently I have noticed that he also does it when he is bored, thinking, and in a deep conversation.
I began to think about this recently when I was lying down watching a Kansas City Royals game. I was deep into the game, and it was beginning to get excited when Konner decided he needed to tell me something.
Now, I don’t turn him away usually when he decides to talk to me. I’m just happy that he is talking. As I’ve said in the past, we were told he might not talk, so anything he wants to say I try to let him.
The problem is that he, like many on the spectrum, talk only about what they want to, and tend to dominate the conversation. That wasn’t the worst problem though. The problem was that he was pacing while he talked. So, as I’m trying to enjoy the game I gave a head flashing through the screen. Left to right, then right to left, and back again. I didn’t know what to do. I tried to tell him to stop pacing, but that’s like telling a smoker to stop smoking. It’s probably not going to happen, and would cause some physical and mental side affects.
Lucky for me it was later in the night, and Jennifer was quick enough to ask him if he wanted to take a bath. It worked, he moved on, the Royals won, and we were all happy.
This is not unusual though. As I said, many on the spectrum pace. It is usually a sign we use to determine if someone is on the spectrum. Then it becomes a sign of overstimulation. When I see Konner do this I usually start looking for ways to calm him. Over the years though I’ve learned to recognize the difference between the two. The key is the level of frustration in his face when it’s going on.
These are just some observations I hope will help.