But he’s also got the wings.
Autistic children usually have moderately low to severely low muscle tone. It’s such a common related condition that physical activity is highly encouraged during therapy sessions and in general. This is another aspect of “typical autism” where Dmitry’s a clear outlier. He is a wiry sack of sand and broken glass and gristle, and he’s STRONG. He does pullups to pull himself onto the counter without a stair step (though he loves stomping on the open stove to break it further). He will also climb right to the top of the 5-ton A/C condenser in the backyard. Especially when it turns on and he can see the spinnies and feel the hot wind in his face. He has not met a table he can’t overturn, a chair he can’t dash to the floor.
I think it’s the all flying he does. Dmitry is a fantastic flapper.
He’s so incredibly active that he gets a lot of exercise, and seems to have almost unlimited endurance when it comes to things he loves. I never see him breathing heavily, winded from exertion, and he rarely perceives something as too difficult. He’s very tenacious. Even with his tendency to toe-walk he’s a very fast, confident runner at just 3 years old.
We never discourage his flapping anymore. It’s what he loves and what he does. I remember “learning” ( in my first apprehensive forays into autism lay research) that as parents, you should discourage the flapping. It will make him seem weird among his peers, and he will have a harder time making friends. But my wife showed me something from Leigh Merryday of Flappiness Is that pulled me up short as I reconsidered the path I was preparing to embark upon:
Please don’t try to stop him from his flapping. If he isn’t autistic, he’ll stop one day. If he is, you are trying to stop a mockingbird from singing. It is simply how he expresses his excitement. You’ll get used to it, don’t worry. Flappiness? It just is.
Strap a few dynamos to his arms and he’s a surefire solution to the energy crisis.