Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lenten Reflection

I am in the mood to talk about God today. Time is passing quickly until his return. I sometimes wonder at his continued interest in so disappointing a species as man. My own disappointment colors my perception I know. How is it we have so much and yet do so little with it? You speak of Haiti, but it can just as easily be Africa, or India, or Afghanistan. I think we are a crazed species, self destructive. Such a disparity of action we are capable of. We are our own polar opposites.
I watched NOVA last night and listened to the expert describe the effects of water fracturing on ice. A tiny trickle becomes a river, eventually causing huge pieces to break away from the glacier. Is that the same effect with us? What starts as a tiny disassociation from God becomes a river of divide, until our entire underlying soul structure caves in and breaks apart.
Today is Ash Wednesday, a significant day within my religion. It is a day to reflect on the sacrifices of God and our own relative insignificance. But today I can only see the significance of our selfish choices. It is not what the day is assigned for, but it is the path of my thoughts. If small acts can so change the world negatively, then could they not do the same positively? To do something of sacrifice is customary of lent. But I want to do actions that are positive on the world instead for lent. I know my course of action. It is between me and God.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A New Environment - One You Can Create.

Tina writes:

If you could, would you please share with us your thought of what an environment that favors autists would be?

Tina's question is a hard one because each autist is unique as to need. To give me what works for the visual learner is to give me nothing of use at all as example.

But attitude might make a huge difference of equal application to all. It is a huge deterrent to our even trying sometimes. Now I do what I do for me, but for many years my eforts at learning were Mom directed. To be other motivated is a horrible way to live. What was important to me was ignored as unimportant or unworthy. I am of limited interests, but many autists have intense passions that can be used to learn with. Reading, Math, English, Art, even Music can all be tailored to one's passions. Imagine to actually have learning matter as something of interest to you. Imagine to match things you liked or sing to speak about something you love. When little my favorite speech session involved using my string as a tug of war to bring out a sound. I like speech now because I practice phrases I've chosen as important to me. How many of your lessons are child interest directed, not neurotypical child,individual child? I know I offer only one example here, but trained learning is a huge part of most autists' lives. It has been largely my whole life for years. To develop motor coordination and skill in the pool is something I'll gladly work on everyday.

Dr. Reinson is now helping me further my independence in typing from Mom. I love her enthusiasm. She spent last session playing war with me with weighted cards, had me scan and stack, and use my pointer finger to detach pieces from a velcro board. The embedded skills I use to type. It is a fun way to develop the motor I need, and the anxiety over the actual typing is not there to interfere with the learning.

Kick me for suggesting any environment could actually be favorable to all autists. An environment rich in the cues we each need would be best. I am an auditory learner so sound is important to me. I am a smell distracted individual, so smell limited to relevant information is best for me. To smell my dinner or coffee brewing in the morning, that is relevant. The antiseptic wipes in the new speech room I would be well rid of. For me,to smell is to resort to an impulse response, one I can not tame all the time. What is your addiction of choice? It is a bit like that. How we respond is key to our ideal individual environmental needs.