|Spider in a web|
High sensitivities in autism can trigger phobias so far as I have read. It makes sense. And currently my son is having trouble in this area. He is already skittish around animals. If they move towards him, especially before he feels absolutely ready, he will run away or at least move away a few feet. He is the very most afraid of dogs, bees and spiders. This year, with prime bug season going strong, I have seen an amplification of this.
I know that having something buzzing around my face drives my senses crazy. I can't help but do everything I can to get it away from me. So I understand how that must be sending him into a tizzy. Fear of being hurt plays a large role as well as his need for things around him to be predictable. Animals, without a great deal of experience, are not predictable.
We've had two occassions of screaming hysterics with climbing me like a tree in order to escape in just the last 7 days. One was with a small dog that was behind a tree and surprised us. But it was friendly and no one was hurt. The lady who owned it felt terrible. And the other was this morning with a bee outside.
I feel awful about how he must be feeling, but what can I do other than try to coach and comfort? Whenever we meet a nice dog, we try to meet it and get him a positive experience. He wants to, but is afraid. He has had two very bad experiences with small dogs that play into this. Teaching him how to deal with bees is a little harder. Heck, I don't like them myself.
All of this is making it hard for him to enjoy going out to play. The parks are full of flying bugs of all sorts. Dragonflies have been out in clouds over the beaches. Amazing to see actually. But you can't tell him they won't do anything to him. They fly around our heads in that unpredictable fashion and it freaks him out. Even large flies right now, that are hard to discern from bees will get this reaction. That's just how deep this goes.
I just hope I can help him get over this phase and to feeling more confident around animals. No one likes to see their child terrified. How about you? Is your child on the spectrum dealing with phobias?