Belle watching birds
Being Belle

Backward hugs and head fives

One thing that I’m incredibly grateful for is that even though Belle is on the Autism Spectrum, she loves to cuddle, and give hugs. Many people on the spectrum have difficulties with physical attention–hell, many people in general have difficulties with physical attention. It’s hard for them to feel pressure of any kind, and can make them extremely uncomfortable.

But when you ask Belle if you can have a hug, she’s all for it! Although, you’ll usually end up receiving a backwards hug. What’s a backwards hug? Instead of running with open arms she turns around, slowly backs into you, and lets you wrap her up. It might be because her hands usually have things in them (see “It’s the Little Things“), or because she can easily take off running when the hug is over. She’ll give out full hugs, but only every once in a while, which makes it extra special when you get one.

This past year during summer school, Belle’s teacher would always ask her for a high five. In the beginning she would ignore the request. Eventually, though, the high five became a head five. Her teacher would put her hand up, and Belle would lightly rest her head on her teachers hand. At the end of every day, she said goodbye to her teacher with a head five. Maybe it’s because she always has her hands full of her favorite items, or maybe she just doesn’t like the feeling of her hand touching someone else like that. Whatever the case, Belle sure does love her head fives.

Belle has made a lot of progress with her high fives, though! If you catch her in the right mood, she’ll repeat, “high five,” and give you an actual high five. We like to make a big deal of it because it causes her to smile her adorable smile, and dance around. She’s very proud of herself whenever she does do it, just like we are!




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