So I thought I'd post a little video. First of all, to see if I can :) secondly, to show people who might be regular readers exactly what we are dealing with here.
This is Sophie, at her Sophiest. The only thing missing is her Thomas video. With autism being a spectrum and all, I know some people deal with tantrums, and meltdowns and over-hyperness... we don't. What we deal with is different, but still hard, and still scary. It's a little girl who is here, but isn't. Or is here for fleeting moments like a shimmering bubble floating in the air, you marvel at its grace and perfection, then POP! It's gone and you can't even be sure if it was as glorious as you remember it or if your mind is playing a trick on you. And she is just that delicate, shatters just as easily.
Little intro. Even the brief exchange you see here is a LOT for Sophie. The moment I turned the IPad on and started to engage with her she began shutting down. The video is about 2 minutes. Few minutes afterward she fully shut down and went into deep sleep standing by my side. I should've tried to capture it but it was an awkward angle and I just shut the iPad down without thinking.
As you will notice once I realize what she's doing I'm not saying too much and not engaging with her too much. If I did, she would shut down even sooner. This behaviour happens at all therapies, assessments, all settings that are one-on-one with even minimal expectation of a "performance" from her. She does not do this when left alone. If anybody has any ideas I'd welcome them. I do think its pretty unique because its not that we don't want to work with her or teach her... It's just next to impossible for us, let alone for an outsider. If I was able to achieve shutdown within 2 minutes, imagine what a therapist would do- she probably wouldn't be able to get her coat off coming in. And yes, we have tried. It doesn't matter what the time, this was about an hour and a half before her usual nap, but she can shut down at 9 in the morning if circumstances call for it.
Oh and by the way, I was not trying to achieve the shutdown. I thought it would be nice to post a little home video of Sophie in her natural habitat so to speak. It is quiet and peaceful, the baby is asleep, Sophie was in a happy, cheeky mood. Only when I started rolling I noticed that it was too much, too much expectation, too much spotlight... Just too much everything.
Open to suggestions.