It was Linus Van Pelt of the comic strip Peanuts who coined the term “security blanket,” referring to the blue blanket he was emotionally attached to. When it comes to comfort and security, we all crave these good feelings and this is normal for many of us, even for those with autism. My son Alex loves the green comforter he inherited from his Dad (who got it as a present from my Mom) and would not sleep without it. My choice of a comfort object is a stuffed doll, a Hello Kitty Build-A-Bear doll, to be more precise. But Alphonse, well, let’s just say he has more nontraditional tastes.
This ís his “teddy bear.”
Alphonse took this orange plastic bowl to bed last night and refused to let it go. I finally pried it off his fingers at dawn, but he quickly looked for it when he woke up. He even giggled when he saw it again this morning.
Then again, I really shouldn’t be surprised. Alphonse has always had a love affair with the weirdest things, using them as his personal comfort objects, often until sleep, as seen here below:
At least they were toys! As he grew older, his tastes for comfort objects turned to more nontraditional things. These were things he liked holding on to but did not really fit into the concept of a toy. Also, with age, the desire for comfort derived from these objects became more persistent. Nowhere is this best seen than when he needed them to stay still for family pictures like this:
and even this:
Looking at the pictures above, I am reminded of the long months when Alphonse wanted nothing but broken pieces of plastic plates and bowls. I spent hours each day filing down the sharp edges off broken melamine shards. When he lost even just one piece, he would panic and cry so we ended up using a hammer to destroy perfectly good plates and bowls from the kitchen cabinet. Worse, imagine sleeping with those plastic pieces beside you- they do not make for comfortable sleep at all! Ahhh, those were the days. I do not miss them at all, haha.
So, when I see him sleeping peacefully with his orange plastic bowl, I am tempted to run out and buy him as many colored plastic bowls as he wants. After all , those smiles are precious and I would do whatever it takes to keep him happy always.
But who knew plastic bowls can be so comforting?