On school breaks and weekends, we need to take her outside to let her run around, otherwise she experiences discomfort in her legs as well as meltdowns.
Since toddlerhood, Frances has always found ways to move around. For instance, she sometimes constructs ‘roller blades’ or ‘scooters’ using very large Lego.
She has also used stationary bicycles to pedal and thereby release some energy.
Before she was even tall enough to sit on one, she would stand beside the exercise bike and just pedal with one foot; the other foot would either remain on the floor or rise and lower with that which was on the pedal.
(Her pedalling has always made me nervous tho’, so I hold onto the bike while she does this. I’m much more comfortable with the idea of her getting rid of some energy by going to the backyard or to the park.)
Sometimes, we come up with new ways to help her. For example, over the past long weekend, we took her ice skating two days in a row with the idea that we would allow her to skate until she tired — this just didn’t happen. After two hours, she just wanted to continue to skate. We ended up leaving when WE were too tired to keep going.
At any rate, a neuropsychologist observed that Frances moves as if she has a motor inside her, and my family and I would agree.
Over the past couple years I’ve spoken with quite a few parents of children with ASD, and I’ve learned that the extremely high energy is pretty common.