My autistic son loves to jump. And when we moved to this apartment where we’re currently staying, we had to discourage him from jumping at home because the neighbor who lives right below us complained to the building management the first week we moved.
For the first three to four months, we had to constantly remind him not to jump at home. We even bought him a mini trampoline that he could use if he really felt he needed to jump (I’d put a mat under the mini trampoline to help cushion the impact so our neighbor downstairs won’t hear the thumping).
That was almost a year ago. And I hadn’t really thought about it until our nanny casually mentioned it this morning. “He hasn’t used his trampoline in a while,” she commented as she pulled out the mini trampoline from under the bed to vacuum the floor. “That’s true,” I confirmed. And we started wondering what caused him to stop doing something he loves so much.
We couldn’t pinpoint a specific cause. It could be one or a combination of different things:
- He has outgrown jumping, like he has outgrown a lot of his other mannerisms. For example, he once watched an episode of the Little Einsteins where they were patting their knees. After that, he’d pat his knees every time he takes two to three steps. At first, it was cute. Then it started becoming annoying, especially when we’re in a hurry to go somewhere. Imagine having to stop every two to three steps because your son has this compulsion to pat his knees. It went on like that for a month or two. And then one day, he stopped doing it. Of course, he developed a replacement compulsion, like closing all open doors that he sees.
- He’s more tired with all the activities from school.
- He’s swimming two to three times a week now, so he doesn’t have the energy to jump at home anymore.
- He’s growing up. Of all the possible causes why he stopped jumping, I want this to be the real reason.
It’s a mystery why he has stopped jumping. But it is a good one. At least, we don’t have to worry about receiving a letter from the building manager that our neighbor downstairs can’t sleep because our son won’t stop bouncing.