Why “Traditional” Type (1) autism therapy is letting your Child down
(- and the New Ways of looking at Mild Autism !)
Why is “Traditional” autism therapy letting your Child down? What do I mean by “Traditional” autism therapy and why is it letting your Child down ?
and what’s this about offering you “A totally New Way of looking at Mild Autism?”
I’m going to show you, and I’m going to show you why looking at Mild autism in a New Way
offers you better ways to help your Child
Hi, I’m Parent Power Pete.
Did you know there are 3 different kinds of mild-autism therapies?
I expect you don’t, because even most therapists are unaware of them.
Here’s a run-down of all three so you can see the differences yourself.
Therapy Number one, I’m going to have to give it a name, because it has never been classified before, but it is the “Traditional” method, and I’m going to call it the
“DISORDER-/SYMPTOM” APPROACH TO MILD AUTISM
This is where your Therapist considers mild autism to be a “permanent incurable disorder.”
And when your therapist tells you that treating symptoms is all you can do, that limits your thinking too, to just treating the symptoms.
The “Incurable disorder- Symptom” approach (that is Therapy 1) promotes two attitudes:
(1) If autism is incurable, you don’t look for fundamental change, you resign yourself to just applying band-aid remedies. And in my opinion if you do that, you will be un-necessarily limiting your Child’s future potential
(2) The second attitude produced by the “Symptom Approach” is a tendency to focus on the “autism condition” rather than on your boy or girl, which has the potential to depersonalize your Child, meaning his or her sensitivities and personal needs take second place.
It doesn’t have to be this way, but with a common therapy called ABA sensitivities do take second place, and I’ll be giving you an example of that in a minute.
To explore the shortcomings of the Disorder Symptom approach, we’ll use this list of classic autistic symptoms as examples.
My assertion is Therapy type 1 only offers “patch-over solutions” that potentially depersonalise your Child. Let’s have a look.
The classic trait of autism is to be more than usually self-absorbed. How to treat it?
The ABA approach and similar therapies, is to demand your Child’s attention, maybe badgering him or her, and if your Child looks up then he or she gets a reinforcing reward.
This outward expression of attention is regarded as a satisfactory response, (tick) .
But is your Child really seeing and responding to the ABA trainer, or just automatically replying from Own World, meaning not really seeing or responding at all?
More like a trained horse getting a lump of sugar? If so, all that has been produced is a symptom patch-over.
The second aspect, the de-humanising tendency, ? is your Child becoming robotically conditioned, and maybe suffering what Donna Williams calls “psychic scars” from being dragged from Own World unprepared? Such a question is not considered in Traditional Therapy.
But you should consider it, when deciding if this the best way to train your Child.
Another classic trait is your Child doesn’t understand social interaction. Here are two people talking and your Child looking on. The patch-over solution to not understanding social interaction is to be given scripts to rehearse, meaning your Child is told what to say.
But this symptom patch-over remedy does not give your Child any further understanding of what social interaction is really all about, and since the scripts can’t adapt to the fluid nature of social interaction, your Child will stand out whenever he or she uses them.
Far better if your Child can learn what social interaction really is all about, what interaction is meant to achieve, but you won’t get that awareness through the classic symptom-treating therapy.
Let’s say your Child is Anxious. Therapy 1’s approach is to fill your child’s life with structure that compensates for lack of real awareness. Structure means things are more predictable, so anxiety becomes reduced
Setting up a lifelong cocoon of structure thus patches over lack of real world awareness so keeps anxiety at bay, at least when the world is going to plan.
Let me concur that structure is essential for young Children at the beginning, but with the proviso that over time we will disassemble it, bit-by-bit.
So providing structure is a bit like providing a supporting crutch. And with Therapy 1’s, symptom-treating approach you will depend on that structural crutch for life.
But what happens if, as an adult, you are used to catching a certain bus, but you miss it? Disaster! You are likely to have a breakdown, because the structure on which you depended is suddenly no longer there, your crutch has been kicked out from under you.
So now to summarise
Therapy Type One says autism is a permanent disorder.
But Therapies 2 and 3 say this is not so, and it is at this Root Cause level, that they focus their attention. Why should you attend to a root cause in preference to a symptom?
You may already be aware that the medical profession prefers to find and change the root cause of a problem rather than just treat the symptoms:
So here you are with a shoe that doesn’t fit, causing you blisters and an odd gait. You take off your shoe to find what’s happening, to look at the symptoms of the poor fit
Your blistered toe, you put a bandaid on, for your painful walk, you slip a support underneath.
And that’s the best solution…is it?
If instead you focus on the shoe as the basic source of the problem and change it for one that fits and supports from the beginning, you don’t need patch-over remedies for each symptom, you get a much better solution from the start.
And so it is with mild-autism therapy, if you can change the root cause of the problem, which is your child’s withdrawing into his or her own world, you can focus on autism as one complete issue, and far more effectively.
If you are prepared to look at the Root Cause in a new way, new possibilities open up.
Rather than challenge your view of the word Autism I am going to rename the word instead, by describing it as Withdrawal, that most fundamental characteristic that all our children exhibit in larger quantities than most.
Now we can have a more flexible attitude, we know from ourselves that we can be more or less withdrawn depending on our moods, so likewise we have the potential to reduce our Childrens’ withdrawal levels too.
So if we can reduce Withdrawal, by how much can we reduce it ? How far down can we go? Down to this level. And what’s that level?
It’s the level of Withdrawal that most of the population experience, or at least very close to that level. And this is what Therapies Type 2 and 3 focus on, reducing Withdrawal to usual levels, sometimes called normal or “neurotypical” levels.
So going back to our model we see
the main differences of Therapies 2 and 3 is they focus principally on the Root Cause of Autism, that is being more Withdrawn in Own World, which is, as we have just discussed, reduceable.
No longer do we have the symptoms of an incurable disease to patch-over with piecemeal remedies, instead we have Withdrawal behaviours, that we can reduce to normal or close-to normal levels,
and we achieve Own World leaving, by using motivation techniques.
Note that every time we are successful in reducing one Withdrawal behaviour, then simultaneously all the behaviours are reduced, because they are all tied into that same Root Cause.
Let’s revisit the behaviours using Therapies 2 and 3.
The Motivating techniques off Therapies 2 and 3 are not high-tech, but they are focused on what’s important, and what’s important is to make the Real World attractive enough for the Child to Choose to reach out to it, in spite of the habit of remaining safe in Own World.
I can offer you an entirely relevant parallel, which is when you decide to leave your own world, your comfort zone, to achieve something desirable but difficult.
And likewise, if you leave your comfort zone your rewards can also be broad-reaching, profound and permanent!
The principal mechanism of Therapies 2 and 3 is to entice your youngster out of Own World and into Real World by playing games together.
Game playing is fun, and teaches real social interaction, as well as flexibility, comprehension and tolerance, in other words learning in the same neuro-typical way as other children. With similar interests they can play together.
And as said before, any successes enjoyed here, fuel your Child’s enthusiasm for further Real World entering on other occasions and in other areas!
The Real World, for your Child, is veiled in confusion and thus anxiety because he or she sees everything from behind an Own World veil or veneer.
But the more often the veil parts, the more Real World contacting is done – then, more Real World understanding is achieved. When you understand the world more, it becomes more predicable, thus less anxiety-making for your Child over the years.
So with Therapies 2 and 3 we are setting up a benign circle of self-motivated progress and improvement.
Whew! Ran out of time to discuss the differences between Therapies 2 and 3, I’ll do that in the next video. Essentially though, there is not that much difference between those two Therapies so you really do have an understanding of the main differences in Therapy-types.
But I do urge you to look at the next video for differences between types 2 and 3.
I’ll have that one finished for you as soon as I can.