Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Starting RPM and the Problem of Automatic Movement

TF asks:

Is it normal for there to be a lot of frustration when starting RPM?  My son tried to spell something on the board tonight but I could only get some of it out of him.  He said, "no one ever noticed."  Now he's in bed screaming.  I keep trying to comfort him but it's just not working.

To TF,

I want to talk about starting RPM. When I first started, I got frustrated because I wanted to be able to do it well right away. But I was unable to get my body to cooperate. I talked the answers in my head. But my very carefully made answers could not be expressed. I had to practice every day. I tended to go to an automatic motion. I went to make a motion to spell my answer but my finger would get distracted. I needed a prompt to get me out of my automatic responses. I am truthfully trying to do my best to get my words out without getting distracted. It is hard for me. I can’t get myself out of my automatic rhythms sometimes. My body can feel like it has a mind that is not in control of it. I may know exactly how I want to move, but my body has a set of commands it follows that I did not order. I am coaching myself constantly to carry out the right instructions. I am daily fighting the impulses that make my body automatically move without the planning from my thinking mind. It is very tiring and a part of my life always. No one can fully understand unless they are autistic too.



  1. I think your response will be very helpful.

  2. My son Ben, age 44 with nonverbal autism who uses FC on a letter board, just wrote: "There may be an answer that is compatible with RPM or FC. I will let you know more in August."