Last week, Jeff captured Roman engrossed in creative play in the wilds of McKinney Falls State Park outside of Austin.
Roman plays all the time, but this is unusual. Currently, Roman’s favorite form of play is equal parts active and passive - he watches a YouTube video of a garbage truck (physically blocking extra sensory input by channeling the audio through his headphones) while simultaneously mimicking the actions in the real world with one of his toy garbage trucks. The YouTube videos variously capture sanitation workers on the job or kids demonstrating the gear and features of plastic trucks similar to his. In this way, Roman is learning work and play skills through the internets. :(
But tragically, McKinney Falls State Park HAS NO WIFI.* So Roman wandered around the campsite until he found a drainage pipe, and got busy doing some serious acoustical improv. And I love his creativity, stripping a superfluous branch off a stick to make a proper drumstick, varying his technique with dragging and drumming, then adding leaves and rocks to his musical arrangement.
Extraordinarily though, the rest of Roman’s oppressive and demanding sensory environment simply evaporated. Jeff stalked him like a three-legged lion, but eagle-eared Roman didn’t even notice, transfixed by the spiral echoes he was producing. He is completely focused, tunneled in, blocking all extraneous sensory input. And this? Shows a capacity for SELF REGULATION.** The golden ticket, y’all. I hope we don’t lose it!
*What is this- Russia?!?
**Because what he is NOT doing - stimming and anxious self-talking - is just as important. Gotta love nature. Maybe you should also ask your doctor if nature is right for you. ;)