OMG! Understanding the aspect of first impressions can alter your entire view of day-to-day life. You can think you have one thing mastered in your household, but then an everlasting first impression can change that in an instant. For instance, flying insects for Carter is like the spawn of Satan trying to chase him down.
I want to go into detail about one instance to really bring it home. While deployed this last winter, Carter received a Hoverboard as a gift. This particular version came with a seat that allowed a child to sit down on the Hoverboard and ride it that way. Well, while at the campground that the family stays at, Carter got on this Hoverboard, and it went forward rather quickly while he was sitting on it. This ended with a small crash into the fence, which didn’t hurt him, but scared him pretty good. So from that moment on, he will not get back on a Hoverboard for anything. This goes for bikes, bugs, nurses, anything that gave him a bad first impression.
Like Carter’s time in surgery at 2 years old, from that time on he just hates nurses. Doctor’s not so much, but nurses are not his forte. This is because during his brain surgery years, the nurses are the ones who put in IV’s, gave him shots, pretty much made him do all of the uncomfortable things. So just like our other post about him getting shots, he had no problem seeing the PCM, just could not stand being around the nurse.
Understanding first impressions and how they effect the child is a huge advantage though, as when something bad happens we try to shift focus on happy thoughts or good times. We want to make sure that these events do not haunt him, or make him afraid of certain tasks. It took us a very long time to get him to come outside, let alone around bugs. We are slowly getting to the point where he isn’t afraid of the house fly, but we have a long way to go when it comes to bee’s.
We try extremely hard to understand why this happens for him, and come to terms with understanding that he doesn’t ask to feel that way, but that it just so happens to be that way. So why blame him for something out of his control. Just to be honest, this isn’t just an autism thing. There people all over the world who have these phobia’s. Kids with autism just have a few more. Kids like Carter, who have memories like a camera, can hold a grudge for a lifetime. You do him wrong, he won’t forget it. Tread lightly!