When Jack was three, he couldn’t walk in to a smoothie store. He was frightened to death, frightened enough to run, if he heard the blenders. So we stayed out of it. We stayed out of other places with blenders, like the bookstore. We stayed out of most public places for all the other sensory input that was all too much. We created a greenhouse for Jack. His house, his family, his friends, his cats, his swing, his yard. We provided him with the scaffolding he needs: a secure, nurturing environment. Five years later, without exposure therapy, without social stories, without behavioral training, Jack walked into a smoothie place and danced around happily as he waited for his smoothie. Three blenders going full-throttle. He wasn’t frightened. He wasn’t anxious.

Mama Be Good: Autism and Orchids: Building a Greenhouse


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