Traveling and My Brain

Jace in New Brunswick in August 2018, on vacation with his family

Note: Jace decided to draft this post in dialogue with his mother, Karen.

Jace: My brain missed my house while I was on vacation. Mania made it hard to relax. Mostly I’m homesick because my brain is majorly moving a million miles a minute making sense of all the new things. When mom helps me make sense of things, I feel better. Like when she tells me what’s coming. It makes me a lot more comfortable. My guess is anxiety plays a big part. My goal is to get better handling this because I love going to new places. Mostly mom must manage my expectations.

Mom: What about other tricks for managing expectations? Do you use any memories to help set expectations—think about what a new place or new thing reminds you of to make you feel more comfortable? 

Jace: No. My memories are so particular I may not be able to.

Mom: You and Dad read a lot about “event modeling”—how people sift through all of the sensory inputs around them and make the unfamiliar into something familiar. Is that something your brain does? [Here is a link to the article that we read.]

Jace: Not at all.
Mom: What did you think when you and dad read about event modeling?

Jace: I thought it was weird.
Mom: How do you make sense of or sift through all of that sensory input?

Jace: I make new memories.
Mom: How do you categorize those new memories? Or compare and contrast your new memories with your old ones?

Jace: I do it after. I’m waiting for proof.
Mom:What if instead of event modeling we thought of it as hypothesis testing—taking an educated guess about what a place might be like, but accepting that it’s OK if our experience there proves our hypothesis wrong?

Jace: Maybe if we talk it through.
Mom: Talk through not only what a new place reminds us of but also why?

Jace: Yes. Mainly mania on vacation is from my not managing to make my brain categorize memories ahead of time. I bet I’m not alone!

8 thoughts on “Traveling and My Brain

  1. Tara Mariano

    Thank you sharing this incredible blog with me Jace! I love understanding how you think and process! You are an incredible boy and I am so excited to continue reading your entries!

  2. Brooke

    Jace! Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. My daughters Tennessee who is 9 wanted me to let you know she is going to follow your blog too 🙂 she wanted to k ow if maybe drawing comics might be fun for you too? She loves to draw comics about everything going on around her :)

  3. Patrick Keyes

    Jace, thank you for sharing your perspective with us. What a remarkable young person you are. We are looking forward to learning more about you and your experiences. Very best regards,

  4. Trisha M Moller

    Thank you so much for explaining your point of view of the world. You have amazing talent. Please know that you are not alone with anxiety about changes. We use role playing and talk about future events to prepare us all too (parents and kids).
    I would really love to talk about math concepts with you. What is the best way to convey my thoughts to you?


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