Restoring wellbeing after a new joyful experience turns into a fearful one

It was exciting for my brother and me.
Inspired by a visit to the local West London Art Factory (a big space full of studios) I posted, for the first time, four of my brother’s pictures on an Autism Facebook group.
Taken from the art therapy book ‘Garden of Eden’ they were bright and colourful.
By Sunday lunch the likes were coming through.
And through the day the tally steadily grew.
People were noticing his artwork.
And he was delighted.
‘I’m famous’ he said.
But by late afternoon the smile had disappeared. Along with the innocence and joy.
‘What’s the matter Nigel?’
‘I was wondering if putting my illustrations on the internet would break copyright law?’
Ah, anxiety had set in.

All too often this is his default setting when something is new.
He’d created this narrative in his head that his actions were illegal.
He was reassured but I could see that the anxiety remained.
Sure enough, the treatment next morning revealed how tight his body had become.
‘What are your thoughts today?’ I asked him.
‘Have the number of people interested increased?’ He asked.
His mind hadn’t been able to switch off through the night.
As a result his body had become hyper aroused. This explained today’s tension.
I treated him as usual and he steadily relaxed.
He remarked, ‘I find it easier to walk... because my knees are so much more flexible’.
The fearful thinking had gone (for a while anyway…) and his body felt better too.
That was lovely feedback.

(Please note that treatments do not just help the autistic child or adult but also the, sometimes unnoticed, stress that those around are subject to.)