My response to puzzling or stressful situations has always been to write down whatever was upsetting me, so as to order my thoughts and maybe find some solutions by removing the emotion and scientifically analysing the data. I had been doing this during my son’s early days, usually writing about how to manage his condition to minimise his distresses, rather than find a “cure”,
but now fired by my recent observations that it was possible for my child to engage in the Real World rather than always be out of it,
my writings and researches took off.
I was thirsty for knowledge about Therapies that involved strategies that encouraged autistically-oriented kids into more neurotypical zones.
And guess what? There was none! No books, no DVDs, CDs no support groups using this as their main focus, NOTHING.
(Since those times ten years ago, therapies like Floortime and Son Rise and Autism Experts have appeared and grown, and they largely support my points of view. But they still miss the point in some critical areas, and most involve very costly involvement from outside Practitioners. )
All the information was, and still mainly is, devoted to managing the symptoms of autism, the fear of change, the social awkwardness, the need for routines, etc., all supporting the unspoken assumption that the child is irrevocably to remain in his or her own world.
Nothing about tackling the Own World-orientation itself,
as I saw from personal experience this could be done, nothing about encouraging the more autistic person to step into the Real World,
whereupon, with time, all the autism symptoms described above: the fears, the strange behaviours, the social uninterest, would all lose their potency and begin to fall away.
The therapies collectively added up to making the loved one as comfortable and coping in their own worlds as much as possible. There was one exception.
This one exception was Julia Moor’s book – “Playing, laughing and learning with Children on the Autism Spectrum” . The common thread in the multitude of games she and others have invented for our Children is that the children must step outside their worlds and respond to the game organiser, in order to achieve the game’s goals: meaning a piece of the game is withheld until their “reaching out” completes it.
Funnily enough Julia seems unaware of the fundamentally different approach her book takes, or if she is aware she certainly makes no overt reference to it.
The games in Julia’s book are referred-to in the Junior/Basic Training. To which I have added some rather useful tips (if I may say so) about how to navigate through this resource.)
Of course it is often necessary to implement coping strategies to keep the loved one on a sane course. But in themselves such strategies do not extend the child, whereas by contrast other less-autistically oriented, (or ‘neurotypical’) children are constantly extended as part of their education.
Thus, on its own, this ‘coping’ therapy is not fair on our Children, and taken to extremes reinforces the act of living in your own world.
The final separation device is to apply the Autism tag, where “we”, and “they”, are to think of each other as fundamentally different, and “never the twain shall meet”, when in actual fact we are all to some extent “autistic” ; you will see reference to this throughout the website. There is no uncrossable “gulf”. And the Training I offer you on this site is designed to move your child along the spectrum or continuum closer to the neurotypical norm.
A further disadvantage of separating someone with a tag is to no longer see them as needing the same things as “normal” people do, things like the need to laugh, to receive reaffirming support as constantly as the rest of us do, the need to be challenged to extend ourselves, the need to be given motivation rather than sterile rules. If considered at all the normal human needs are placed well behind other considerations – they have been downgraded or ignored, and rationalised (usually unintentionally, but with the same result) through the application of the Autism tag. Be assured the Training offered here will have none of such things, instead consideration for, and attempts to fulfil, all the needs we all have.