Friday, January 13, 2017

Autism Answer: Werewolves and Anxiety

Walking into the high school with my second youngest son (on our way to watch my youngest son perform) he stopped suddenly and squished my cheek.

"I think I figured out why I love werewolves so much."

"Umm... okay."

We started walking again, heading with the crowd toward the ticket sale line, and he explained. "As soon as we started walking toward the school I could feel my anxiety rise, my body felt nervous and fuzzy. Then when we walked in I felt a shift, a change, and I even noticed my body move like in the movies when people change forms, become the wolf. My anxiety has always been like that. I feel it coming, and then I feel myself change no matter how hard I try not to. I can't control it." 

I stared at him for a minute. As he had explained his theory I'd watched his body move subtly like werewolves in movies. It was fascinating! Insightful, scary, enlightening; useful!

"Wow, that makes so much sense! Do you feel the anxiety now?"

"Oh, yes. Always at this school." He turned at looked straight into my eyes. "Always at this school."

By now we had made it to the front of the line. I purchased our tickets, exchanged a few excited words about the upcoming show with the mom volunteer, and then held my son's hand as we headed into the theater. 

"Well, I'll tell your brother how much his show meant to you. That you were willing to risk staying in your werewolf form for him. But if you need to leave at any point just tell me. For now, you can control the anxiety - or 'the wolf' - by choosing your environment."

"Thanks, mom." 

He looked relaxed. He held my hand. 

We enjoyed the show.

Hugs, smiles, and love!!
Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook) 

My son and I, at the show!