The Tyranny of Gravity

Newton left long time ago

Image by r-z via Flickr

My son hates gravity. I first noticed this hatred when he was about two and was obsessing over lining up his cars in exactly the right way. This line-up was sometimes on a slope, typically the slope of the edge of the couch. If gravity moved one of his cars, there was hell to pay: Screaming, biting, throwing, often directed at the offending car, and eventually directed at me as an innocent bystander.

He would avoid anything that got his feet off the ground too; anything that let gravity take its evil hold. Slides and swings especially. While other children his age were climbing ladders and throwing themselves onto slippery surfaces and in every-which-way the playground allowed them to go, my son would have a meltdown if we dared to move in their direction. He wouldn’t even go up a ramp. It took weeks of the physiotherapist and occupational therapist working together, to get him to start moving up a very safe and gradual ramp in their gym. He was three-years old when they succeeded.

Gravity still upsets my son, a recent example is somewhat (and sadly) amusing. He learnt to jump when he was about four and a half. It was a huge deal, and he loves showing off how he can get both his feet off the ground. The other day he started to get upset as he was jumping; “no down, no down!”. It was hard to keep a straight face as my husband and I tried to inform him that what goes up, must come down, as he effectively attempted flight by denying gravity. There are times I wish I could jump and not come down too, so I do sympathise with him. (Though I didn’t get as insistent and upset as he did about Down’s refusal to stop.)

I dare not show him what happens to gravity in space, it would be like a cruel tease, and would likely end up in his insistence and expectation that we make it happen down here on Earth’s surface. I know parents can seem god-like at his age, but there is a limit to my power! Until he becomes an astronaut, he’s just going to have to come to terms with the constant tyranny of gravity.

This entry was posted in Parenting an Autistic Child and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Tyranny of Gravity

  1. Casdok says:

    All our kids do have some super powers – so you never know!

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