Tuesday, November 22, 2016


I have been dealing with impulsive behaviors lately. An impulse is like having an itch you have to scratch. It only gets relieved by giving into it. People think we can just stop but it is almost impossible when the impulse comes.

I have been having impulses to throw things, flip light switches, spit, or request tickles. It is awful. I know it is rude and inappropriate and yet I cannot stop myself. I feel horrible when I cause trouble for others and myself. I feel anxious when I am having impulsive feelings. I feel I might cause a scene. Sometimes I do. One time I flipped a switch many times causing my classroom to have a strobe light ambience. Another time I threw my socks and shoes in class and had to leave the class.

I know I am hindering my chances to be more included when I act like this. Part of getting out of an impulsive loop is reminding myself what the consequences are to my actions. I also should take responsibility for my actions. I should pick up the things I throw. I should apologize for spitting and disruptive behavior. I should take some time to think about how my actions affect others.

Peace comes when I don’t give into an impulse. Like scratching an itch, giving into impulses always makes things worse. Learning to quiet impulses by purposeful alternative actions is my goal. I have given myself a motor plan of rubbing my hands together when impulsive thoughts start. I have been practicing at school. I am doing a lot better since I  started this. I hope my learning to control impulses can help others like me.

Relaxing in my "Space Explorer"

Copyright 2016 Philip Reyes.  All rights reserved.


  1. Hi Philip! (And family!)

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts here and your postings on Facebook. You have a lot of insight and you write very well!

    I wanted to talk to you about your anxiety you feel. You mention that you feel horrible when you cause trouble for others and yourself. In previous posts, you also have talked about being embarrassed about having to deal with meltdowns and your worries about annoying other people.

    What I think is important for you to remember is that the people that truly care about you will be understanding of the challenges you face, and will support you in every way possible. What I mean is, if for instance you were doing something with me and you had a meltdown, I hope that you know that I would never think any less of you for it, or hold it against you. Also, if you do have impulsive behaviors that you can't stop, I would understand that it is not something you choose to do and that you would are trying to control it. Naturally, I can only speak for myself, but, I would assume that your teachers, friends and family also understand this too!

    The thing I want to know is, how can we (by "we" I mean the general public) help you and other autistic people to feel like you don't have to worry about what we will think about you when you are having trouble controlling your body. I think that every person (autistic or not!) should feel safe and be able to trust their friends, teachers, co-workers etc. to understand and support their needs.

    I think that by helping you understand that its OK if you're having these difficulties, that will help you not be so anxious. When you are with a true friend, you don't need to worry about embarrassing yourself in front of them. (Trust me, I've ended up looking pretty silly in front of my friends!)

    Thank you for what you have written so far. I hope you understand that from reading your writings (and the writings of other autistic people), I've come to learn that what I was originally told about autism way back in 1996 (that autistic folks were in their own world and really weren't aware of what was going on) was incorrect. I've learned a lot from you, and can't wait to read more! It was awesome meeting you last year in Manchester too!

    I hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
    -Rick "The Geek" Miller

  2. Debra Vair (Debbie)November 23, 2016 at 1:00 PM

    Hi Phillip,
    I am a mother of a 17 yr. old boy with autism who, unfortunately is not high functioning. I've been reading some of your blogs for a short time, and I want you to know how much I appreciate you sharing your difficulties and triumphs so personally. It is so helpful for me to read your perspective because it's very hard to understand my son (Luke) and why he does certain things.

    For example, lately he's been doing a lot of pinching. I know sometimes he does it because he's agitated, but sometimes he seems perfectly fine and all of a sudden will pinch me. Well, after reading this blog post, I wonder if it could be an impulsive behaviour as you describe?? I don't know. But what I DO know Phillip, is that God is using you in a wonderful way to help others to understand autism better and that is so important!!

    Thank you again for sharing. It's a brave thing to do! May God bless you and I hope you and your family have a very nice Thanksgiving. There is much to be thankful for!

    Debbie (Luke's mom)

  3. Hey Philip, I'm glad to hear you're working on controlling those impulses. It sucks that you have to but as a teacher I can understand how hard it is for everyone else. I haven't seen you in a while. How old are you now? I'm teaching art to 5th and 6th graders now but I haven't gotten a better response than yours when I ask about favorite colors. I will never forget you telling me, "there are no colors like some blue in the sky". I hope I get to see you soon :)
    Hannah Hawk (Jackson's sister from Carlos' soccer team)

  4. hi philip, u are not alone. i tear up toilet paper and make a mess. lets pray.


  5. hi philip, u are not alone. i tear up toilet paper and make a mess. lets pray.


  6. Hi Phillip! My grandson is autistic and I am looking for ways to communicate with him. He is in therapy and learning new words. He cannot read or write yet.do you have any ideas that might work?

    1. Hi Cheryl, this is Lisa, Philip's mom. I would recommend looking into Rapid Prompting Method (RPM). This method is what caused Philip's breakthrough to be able to communicate. The creator of RPM is Soma Mukhopadhyay. Her website is www.halo-soma.org. You can see her at work in the movie A Mother's Courage. Seeing that movie was a strong influence in getting me to try RPM for Philip. Best wishes!

  7. Hi Phillip,thank you so much for your insighsupport on autism. My grandson has autism he is in therapy and is learning more words and using them more. He cannot read or write yet. How can I help him learn to communicate. I know everyone is different. If you have ideas I will try them. Thankyou!!Cheryl