When the sensory system is severely enough affected
to derail relating and communicating,
then you are headed down the autistic spectrum pathway.
-Dr. Stanley Greenspan
Founder of DIR/Floortime
Dr. Greenspan’s words
settle down next to my anxiety,
and with a knowing hand,
gently push aside my panic and confusion
with clear explanations
about my son’s development.
Graham’s obsessions with lines, wheels,
and the sturdiness of a hard floor
brought comfort to our boy
whose sensory system could not regulate
the chaos of his world.
Our miracle awaited us in a playroom-
like a microcosm of our larger world,
with designated areas,
labeled and free of distractions,
used to rebuild neuro-pathways through play.
With toys that he loved,
games were created to motivate
imagination, circles of communication,
and motor planning of his body.
Therapist after therapist
arrived at our door
holding their bags of tricks-
and the magic of play.
In our home, this playroom
at the bottom of our stairs
became an entryway to emotion and interaction.
A world of relationships opened its door to Graham,
and the door of autism
closed behind him.
Jennie Linthorst, MA, CAPF is a therapeutic writing coach and the founder of LifeSPEAKS Poetry Therapy. She works privately with men and women helping them tell their stories and heal, through reading and writing poetry and personal essays. Jennie coaches clients all across the country and around the world via phone, Skype, e-mail, in addition to in person meetings. She is the author of a book of poems, Autism Disrupted: A Mother's Journey of Hope. Her family’s story is captured in the award-winning documentary film, “Autistic-Like: Graham’s Story”.