The ‘Backwards Walking’ technique that has revolutionised our lives !!

OK….I’ve stopped counting the days but just for your reference this is day five !!

Life in ‘The Mad Shanks Residence’ is always interesting, mostly weird and often downright bizarre !  Having said that, living with seven children who all have their own special little ways means that I learn endless new things every day.

For example :  a few days ago Osborn came running downstairs shouting “Mum !”.  “Yes” I answered as he approached me.  He got within six feet of me and muttered an expletive “Dammit, I’ve forgotten what I was going to say !”.  “Hang on” he said and started walking backwards.  Puzzled…..I asked what on earth he was doing ?  His reply was somewhat unexpected.  “I’m rewinding my brain” he explained.  On further questioning he told me it was something he did all the time in order to remember what he wanted to say having forgotten.

Autistic children do struggle enormously with their short term memories and countless times every day we’ll experience meltdowns of varying degrees because they wanted to say something and instantly forget.  This is very frustrating for them and the main reason why Nikita and Kacie in particular don’t enjoy reading.  By the time they’ve read one page they’ve forgotten the plot, characters etc..and have no idea what’s going on unless they revisit the previous page constantly to remind themselves.  Imagine just how frustrating this must be ?

Anyway, back to the backwards walking bit !  Yesterday, as the sun had chosen to poke it’s head out for once I decided to get some plants planted so that they didn’t die.  I list my main hobby on as killing houseplants but actually I’m just as proficient at killing the ones in the garden as well !

I was happily potting away and needed something that was in the lobby.  I started on my journey through the kitchen, got halfway and suddenly had absolutely no idea where I was going or why ?  This is probably down to my brain always being cluttered up with an endless list of things I need to remember as opposed to early onset dementia !  Anyway, I stopped dead in my tracks cussing the fact I had no idea what I was about to do.  Then I remembered Osborn walked backwards to ‘rewind’ his brain and decided to give it a try !  Mirie was cooking lunch and watched with  a quizzical look on her face as I took a few very deliberate steps backwards.  “Mum, what the hell are you doing ?” she demanded.  “Shush !” I replied as I continued with my somewhat strange behaviour.  Within a few steps I remembered what it was I was about to do !  Feeling somewhat startled that his theory appeared to work I shouted something along the lines of “Got it !” and strode purposefully towards the door to get the pots I needed !

Osborn has now shared this technique with the rest of the residents and people walking randomly backwards has become a very common sight !  The fact that they frequently crash into random objects that smash to the ground is more than made up for by the fact it actually seems to work for everyone and therefore the ‘meltdowns’ have diminished slightly !  I will certainly be using this technique in future and have my beautiful if somewhat ‘off the wall’ son to thank for it !

Try it !….and if you have autistic children, get them to try it.  You never know it may just work and help to alleviate this particular little niggle in their life !

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