Saturday, January 14, 2012

Allowing Imagination to Become His Therapy

I originally wrote this article for the Tourette Syndrome Association Georgia Chapter's monthly newsletter a few months back.  I've made a few changes, but it's mostly written as it was in the newsletter.  This is the follow-up to my previous post, which was also written originally for the newsletter. I will share more of the articles in the near future.

                Monster Man’s imagination has always stood out to those who spend time with him.  From the time that he could talk, it was obvious to us that he was one-of-a-kind.  At home, he was always living in a world of make believe.  He wore costumes as often as he could get away with it, he repeated movie lines and acted out scenes from all his favorite movies, and came up with stories that constantly kept us entertained.  When he started preschool, his teachers often commented on his incredible stories and drawings, pointing out how advanced his imagination was compared to his peers.  His elaborate imagination has followed him through all the years, remaining with him even as he started middle school earlier this year.
                Monster Man's imagination has been a big part of all of his favorite activities.  He has always loved to read, getting wrapped up in books for hours on end.  He loves to become a part of the world that lives inside the pages of the books, putting himself into the scenes and interacting with the characters in his mind.  Sometimes, he enjoys acting out the scenes and pretending he is his favorite characters, getting his brother and sister to act out the stories with him.  Sometimes, he likes to write out his own new ending to the stories, building on where the stories left off.  Most of all, though, he loves to draw out the scenes the way that he sees them in his head.
                Drawing has become a form of therapy for Monster Man.  It allows him to live in his own fantasy land, making an escape from the pressures he faces on a daily basis.  Whenever he is feeling overwhelmed, when his tics are at their worst, or when he’s having a bad day, he will sit at the table with some paper and his tools of choice – pens or pencils, crayons or markers, even paints or oil pastels – and sets to work drawing and coloring his cares away.

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