When Poss was first having troubles at school, before she was diagnosed, she was a pretty unhappy little girl. We tried lots of things to bring a smile to her face, but we noticed again and again that she just couldn’t tell us what was going on.
We now know that a lot of that came down to her inability to recognise and verbalise emotions, but at the time, it was frustrating for all of us.
One afternoon I was in the chemist downstairs at work, it was one of those big chemists attached to a major hotel, so always had a good range of cosmetics and gifts. I can’t remember why I was there, but I do remember a toy catching my eye – this lovely ‘Bug’ that came with a little bag of emotions.
The novelty of buying a toy bug for my little Bugg made me buy it, and it wasn’t until I got upstairs and looked at it properly that I understood it’s potential. That little bug was a Kimochi and according to the website they are “plush, educational toys designed to help kids identify, understand and manage their feelings in a fun, comfortable way.”
And you know what, it did. When he arrived home, the first thing that Poss did was pull out his little emotions and look for the one that she felt, holding up ‘happy’.
Over time, he has come along to lots of therapy sessions with us, and has been there on Poss’ bed as part of the bedtime crew. In fact, she has four emotions that, even now two years later, sleep under her pillow each night to remind her how to feel; loved, happy, brave and sleepy.
They don’t always work. Sometimes she too upset to even use her Kimochi feelings, let alone recognise her own feelings, but we often talk about how Kimochi is feeling and what emotions he might need in his little pouch.
We talk about the subtle differences between emotions. At the moment it’s a lot about anger, sadness, disappointment and jealousy – how they make Kimochi feel – and she how she can relate. It takes it away from being about her, giving us a third ‘person’ to act these emotions out with, and it helps.
I often think back to that day in the chemist and am still so pleased that I bought the little bug for our little Bugg.
This is not a sponsored post, however the lovely team at Kimochis are sponsoring me to attend the Victorian Autism Conference next week as well as having a long-term sponsor button on my blog, so I wanted to share a little bit about why I have so happily aligned myself with them and their gorgeous toys.