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.

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

One 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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