“Everyone falls down, the question is: Will you get back up?”
Just to keep us on our toes –( or our knees, rather) – there’s been an uptick in challenging behaviors with our Rhema girl. Grabbing. Non-compliance. Trouble transitioning. Spurts of aggression.
Rhema’s school has been tracking the behavior for years, and once a month every month I look at a graph that shows how much my kid’s been hitting the deck. I’ve Googled it, I’ve asked BCBA’s (Board Certified Behavioral Analyst) about it, What’s with the flopping? What is it about some people with autism that they flop?
Naturally it’s been the precursor to a tantrum. I get that. But sometimes it’s when everything is cool, we’re happy, we’re walking, and then FLOP! Down she goes. It’s not a seizure (thank God) or low muscle tone or some physical impairment; it’s just a flop. Eight year-old style.
I’m so curious to know what it does for Rhema. Does it release tension? Is it purely an escape mechanism? Does she just love inhaling the floor?
Sometimes when I’m in a crowded subway station, or on the playground, or in the middle of a meeting, I wonder, What would happen right now if I just… FLOPPED!
I decided I just had to try it. It took me a while to figure out the when and where. Who better to do The Flop on than Flop Queen herself? Not only would I experience whatever it is she experiences, maybe it would give her a taste of her own medicine. Two can play this game, baby. Yeah.
This afternoon she took my hand and led me to the refrigerator. It’s a daily routine. She wants cheese so she leads me to the kitchen and throws my hand at the refrigerator door.
But it was at this precise moment… instead of getting the cheese… I went down. Hard. Definitely a score of 9.9.
And there I lay on the floor. Big. In front of the refrigerator. Contemplating patterns in the hardwood. Trying to absorb the whole Flop moment and wondering what Rhema thought of her mother.
My girl, she didn’t miss a beat.
She sat on my head.