Childhood

This cartoom shows what can look like from the outside, like a simple tantrum. 

However, in autistic children and adults it is actually very likely to be a result of environmental over-simulation!


Zaffy was born into an Italian / Australian family in Sydney Australia as the youngest of three children.

Zaffy's mum says Zaffy was always an unusual happy, self - contained child.

Zaffy has always felt a close affinity with animals. This is a photo of Zaffy as a child.

Zaffy was sensitive , quiet and gentle as well as being highly energetic.

Although Zaffy has matured, he still shows all these traits. Autistic children respond well to calm structured environments. At the age of 3 Zaffy's family moved to the Central Coast  where Zaffy discovered SURFING at the age of 9.

Zaffy's mum says when Zaffy's feet first ever touched the sand, Zaffy cried because of the uncomfortable feel of sand on the skin. Once Zaffy found the sea at the other side of the sand however, all worries were washed away!

Around the same time Zaffy discovered snow. Zaffy was on a family holiday in New South Wales, Australia. 

Zaffy was having a fabulous time, playing happily in the snow until some got into his boot. Zaffy's mum reports that it seemed as if Zaffy's whole personality had changed. 

Zaffy was screaming and was inconsolable. Zaffy was in what he now calls " meltdown".

Zaffy says " As a child I was just perceived as having and unusual personality - I was a bit odd."

 Zaffy was raisied in a close, religious community which was goverend by strict rules. Zaffy's days were tightly structured.

It is obvious looking back that this is how he coped with childhood.

School was quite another matter.

Zaffy struggled to understand why he was there at all, Zaffy  was learning so much more outside of school.

All of the noise and confusion in the classroom and the transition from one lesson to another meant Zaffy completely was unable to take in and process information.

School is not an easy place for autistic children to learn !

Consequently, by the age of 10, Zaffy had been labelled as a 'problem pupil' and special measures were put in place to 'manage' what Zaffy's teachers called challenging behaviour".

I found the talk really interesting, It was great to hear how Zaffy regulates himself and knows when he needs to use his breathing techniques, it gave insight into how our children might be feeling when they are self-regulating well.

Resonance @ Seashell Zoom

My feedback for Zaffy is he is simply amazing! The time he takes to explain how he perceives the world and the care he takes to make sure the information is not generalised is so important.

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Resonance @ Seashell Zoom

Zaffy explained everything in such a way that it was easy to understand.  The theory part of what we are learning on our Autism  course made so much more sense as he explained it from a personal experience. 

Resonance @ Seashell Zoom