Zachary's Room of Colors...
Note: Right mouse click on the image below and select "View Image" to enlarge...make sure you read notes below pictures, too!
Note: If you look closely, you can see the places where Zachary literally gnawed off the plaster (you only see about 1% of what he actually chewed off - look on both sides of the green wall...on the left, in the small orange section of the wall next to the green wall that happened to be captured in this picture, you see where Zachary chewed off some plaster...you also see it to the right of the picture, in the lower part...there was a window there...Zachary literally gnawed the plaster off completely around the window's edge - down to the metal stripping under the drywall/plaster). Most of the "damage" was fixed when I repainted the room...what you see here is "new gnawing" after I had repainted the entire room.
I now believe that biting, in the autistic child, is but another coping mechanism, one used especially in dealing with frustrations that cannot be eliminated via spinning or other "coping strategies". Although I have now come to realize that "biting" seems to increase with the intake of phenolic foods (i.e., apples, bananas, tomatoes, raisins/grapes, etc.), "biting" in the autistic child is also, in my opinion, very much a coping mechanism. This coping mechanism of biting I clearly saw in Zachary. When frustrated by my partially open living room or bedroom windows - things he could not "spin" - he simply resorted to biting to deal with the frustration of the situation.
Also, he found a "drip" of paint in the orange triangle. Since it "did not belong there", he proceeded to "peel" it off...the very day the walls had dried. Like I said...you can't get too attached to material things when you have an autistic child. Don't sweat the small stuff!
Note that in Zachary's room of colors, he could literally touch every letter, every number, every shape! The letters were not in perfect order so as to provide "more challenge". Also, each letter was painted in a color different than the color for the letter next to it to provide more visual stimulation.
It is easy to replicate such a room with fabric, Velcro letters, etc. This room is what prompted Zachary to talk...he started saying letters the very first time he walked into this room!
I apologize for the glare in the pictures. I had only taken these as a "sweet souvenir" of our "room of colors" and wasn't really concerned about photo quality at the time. I did not know then that I would later use these images for an online book.