Using a Toddler lens

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Back in April I wrote about my spinal cord injury diagnosis by referencing a comment a friend made.

After watching me move and wobble around the friend commented that I’d been demoted from being like a giant 5 year old to being like a giant toddler.

It’s been a slightly ironic lens we’ve used a lot. I don’t like clinical harsh medical stuff at all. But I do like bright colourful and bouncy lenses. It something is cute and fun then half the battle of acceptance is already won.

This is a really powerful way to approach life in the last year. It often means that when I try to do something we start with a simple version.

I didn’t rush out to ride a bike. I just rode a fixed wheel playground trike for a while. Got the hang of that. Then rode another type of trike with gears and then eventually I was ready for a bike again.

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I’ve always had very toddlery things (like having a crib like enclosed bed). The various buggies and strollers where another fantastic way to do it. We ended up with a friendly and safe feeling buggy rather than a scary tilt-in-space wheelchair. We took something scary and made it fun.

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The next three areas we’re exploring are bouncers & walking tools.

I can’t stand up for all that long right now. I just get very tired or slowly fall over. We took inspiration from the ‘doorway’ style baby bouncers made for toddlers. A friend designed and built a metal frame + harness combo I could use to stand up for an extended period. It’s also cute and fun. Painted nice colours and with a brightly covered playful hardness.

With it I could stand up long enough to build a Lego model! Something I’ve struggled to do all year. Just bouncing gently and watching TV is a good work out and rather fun for building my confidence and exploring my legs.

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The next project is probably some sort of pushing walker. Something with a very fisher price inspiration I am sure.

I really like the toddlery lens for all this stuff. I can’t choose what my body is doing but I can choose the tools. I can make life enjoyable by choosing them carefully and finding the fun in the things I use :)

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Spaced Out & Smiling is about exploring the fun side of Autism, and trying to understand what it means to be Autistically Happy.

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