|Posted by Admin on December 5, 2012 at 5:35 PM|
Some people think I'm kidding when I say that my hamster has Autism, but I'm not kidding. I actually think he could have Autism. Here are the traits that make me believe this:
1. He doesn't like to be touched. I'm not talking about the idea that he may not like to be held for very long. I'm talking about the idea that he only tolerates me touching him if he is distracted because I'm going to give him food. He HATES to be held. Yet, if I hold him tight enough, he doesn't squirm. But if I just gently pick him up, he resists with all of his might.
2. He doesn't like change. Instead of being excited to explore new objects, he ignores them and pushes them away (unless it's a food he likes the smell of). He doesn't like new chew toys, though. In fact, he is VERY strict with his routine. (I may influence this part, however.)
3. He does NOT like to be outside of a familiar environment. (Sort of goes with change...) He has resisted his hamster ball so many times that I feel bad I ever made him try it out. He hated the cardboard box maze that I tried to make for him. Instead, he is much happier with the wheel inside his cage. Which brings me to...
4. He hyper-focuses on his wheel. It's as though it's a safe haven for him. And when I've finished cleaning his cage and I put him back in, he doesn't hesitate to go right into his wheel for some quiet time. That's the interesting part. He doesn't just run in his wheel, he SITS in it. Or he will take one or two steps and peek his head out. (It's an enclosed wheel that is a part of the cage design). It's almost as though it's a self stim for him. And when he isn't running or walking in it, sometimes he even SLEEPS in it. And if a piece of food gets stuck in it from EATING in the wheel, he tries to move it out of the way so it won't make so much noise.
Now, some of these traits may be common for hamsters, but to have all of these traits together is just very interesting to me. I like to think that he is like me, and might be a little bit on the Autism Spectrum.