Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Making Your Child a Partner in Autism

Understanding sensory processing makes for an explanation of my autism. Senses translate the world. Injured senses misinform. My response is what you call autism.

Senses work both alone and together. Multiply the senses by their parts and it equals a plethora of possibilities in autism. Stims often reflect the autist's sensory reality as different. Learn what we experience as a way to reach us. Understanding puts us together at a start point.

Forgive me but I hate all knowing experts who know nothing of my processing. It is irresponsible treatment to go at autism blindly. Like a sloppy effort it yields a sloppy result, a damaging outcome. Children are turned off and away from the world you seek to have them understand and join. Lessons unintended are taught – things like failure, confusion and inconsistency. The world is capricious, unyielding, and hostile to the children of autism. You can be our guiding light or persecutor depending on how you approach us. Only taking time to learn about us will forever save a multitude of sins against us. No one knows this better than I.  I am a child of sensory dysfunction, the "severest of the severe" Mom says. The good news is growth is always possible. Lapses show themselves. Corrections and compensations can be developed. Much of what you see in our autism is just that, our own systems attempting to adapt for what’s missing. But false premises yield poor adaptations – like my walking on tip toe to avoid being swallowed by the earth.  Only it is my life’s work to adapt for what my body fails to do. But lesser impairments may be addressable in a shorter time span for others.

But this writing is not supposed to be about sensory dysfunction. It is actually about common sense in approaching treatment. We are not an experiment to be tried. My humanity is one thing that should be treated always as sacred. Learning that encroaches on it is ill conceived. Learn to teach. Teach to my strengths. Use my strengths to teach to my deficits. It is a win win,not a win lose, you seek to succeed.

Only too know my intelligence can shine through one time and become lost in sensory confusion another. Cause and effect learning requires consistency of response. The light I know will always respond consistently to on and off. Not so my sensory learning. This is obvious to me now; not so when I started. Navigating the waters of sensory dysfunction eases our learning and lives. Autism is not about intelligence. It is about performing in an inebriated state most of the time, making sense of what is nonsense to us,  trying to see through muddy water to find the fish hiding behind the rock. It is all these things at different times. Your understanding does not make clear the water for us, but it offers bait for the fish.

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