Please help me!
Our 14 year old son Mirko suffers from autism and hyperactivity. My nonmedical practitioner recommended as a remedy for him an inflatable trance suit (see FAQ), which works similar like Temple Grandin's hug machine, but on a more subtle level with additional complex sensory interactions.
After a short test session in his surgery, we ordered a Cocoon PS1 suit of 1mm thick rubber. Because it was expensive and made to measure, I first feared that Mirko would immediately break it, because he often vigorously romps across the house (sometimes running into furniture) and occasionally even tossed the telephone at me when he got angry by unknown reason. But in this inflated suit he was like completely exchanged. It calmed him very much and he obviously felt safe in it and enjoyed it a lot. Especially he liked to indulge himself into the low purring sound of slowly rubbing his fingers against it. Although it was me who had to learn to care for the delicate latex material after each use, he apparently knew well about its fragility and treated it almost overly careful. After few hours in the suit, the calming effect lasted a couple of days, which did him very good and my nerves too.
Mirko's favourite TV program are music videos; when I don't stop him, he would watch them all day long as he gets kind of mesmerized by the fast and rhythmical stimulation. Unfortunately then on MTV came the TV show "Fist of Zen", in that such a rubber suit was overinflated and burst with a pin. Apparently he got a kind of phobia from it. I still remember how we were watching TV together; someone zapped away and back into that show. At the beginning of the mentioned scene, I expected nothing bad and said halfway joking something like: "Hey look, there is your suit...". Mirko rapidly leaped close to the screen and intensely stared at it while that inflating suit in the show was destroyed. From that day on Mirko was not quite the same anymore. He seems to have a strange fear against his therapy suit now and does not relax in it anymore. It is hard to understand how an autist feels (Mirko has no words for his feelings), but from the way he behaves (he guards it, stares around like a soldier and locks all needles far away) I think he does not really fear his own harmony suit, but that a foreign intruder would suddenly sneak toward him and burst it.
Me and my wife have tried to explain Mirko many times now that nobody intends to burst his suit, and that he would immediately get a new one if anything bad may happen to it. But he either does not realize or believe it. The pictures were stronger than words, and how shall anybody prove that it NOT will happen. Mirko knows well that it had taken 5 weeks to order his suit, and how vulnerable and expensive they are. But I think it is not just a material object for him, but something strongly emotional that he wants to protect. These suits reach the autist at a much deeper level than words ever could, thus it is hard to argue verbally against his fears.
I am desperate. Mirko has lost almost all the social progress he gained within the last 2 years. What can I do?