Autism Treatment Perspective
A child in need of autism treatment comes with a whole new world of perspectives and needs.
Parents of such a special child find themselves unexpectedly facing a huge range of challenges and anxieties. Especially over the first 12 months, adjusting to changes that come with a new diagnosis.
Unfortunately, no child comes with an instruction manual! But, even more so when looking at autism treatment.
This doesn’t stop parents from searching for one though! It is only natural, as we all want the best for our children; we are hungry for useful and inspiring guidance.
Failing To Prepare, Is Preparing To Fail
We all know, there are thousands of ‘manuals’ out there, on any given subject. But, most of them fail to give us the answers we want or need.
This is also true when searching for autism treatment. What are we missing? Are we doing it wrong? Is the guidance bad?
Before setting off on any journey, it is always wise to plan a route. It is helpful to know the landmarks we will pass on the way.
The Cactus Is In The Eye Of The Beholder!
For me, the search for a cure for autism is a derailed train; stubbornly pushing its way, straining the engine, up the wrong hill. When looking for solutions, I love to use stories to help visualise situations. And, here comes another one:
A family receives a gift and when they open it what they see is a lovely, cute cactus plant. They care well for it by reading a book on cacti and following all the instructions.
They put it in on the window sill for plenty of sunshine. Occasionally, they give it a few drops of water. They even try to trim a few of the spikes. Giving it the best care possible, they could not figure out why every morning it had rolled under the couch, chewed up their slippers and messed up the bin. They thought thieves had broken in during the night. They thought the house was haunted.
They went on buying more books on cactus problems. They searched for a specialised exotic gardener; they rearranged the house and called a ‘ghost-buster’.
All good solutions if what they had was really a cactus!
One day, a friend came to visit and they shyly shared their cactus struggles. They didn’t want to look incapable of looking after a simple cactus! The friend took one look at it and was speechless! The cactus was in fact, a small, beautiful, baby hedgehog. Of course, it was tired, malnourished, dehydrated and nearly blind from sitting on the sunny window… but a hedgehog nevertheless.
Now, with this new perspective, the lovely people did know what to do. It was easy to look for the right manual on hedgehogs. It was obvious that a gardener wouldn’t help. Their whole life shifted and fell into place with this revelation.
Sometimes, sadly, even the greatest of love can hurt when shooting in the dark. Having the right map to read is crucial. But, having the right perspective and vision is life-saving.
A New Approach To Autism Treatment
Established over many years, assessments, support systems and practices have been put in place for autistic children. Their focus has been exclusively on the child and the pressure has been mostly on the child to learn and fit into our world.
An admirable campaign, raising awareness of autism, has been running for many years. This can helps random strangers to be more tolerant. It helps for adjustments and exceptions to be made in schools and it can help develop a culture of more acceptance. Still, it does not ask people to take personal responsibility. The bulk of this still lies with the autistic individual.
Over the years I have been consulting families and individuals on the spectrum, I have come to realise that society’s mindset needs to change and URGENTLY!
The time children with autism spend in distress, misunderstanding and disharmony must end. Whilst we are teaching compliance and silencing their gifts, vital insights are slipping through our fingers. Autism Therapy requires us all to play our part. We all have work to do!
With fresh eyes and a new perspective, parents can add another piece of the impossible puzzle they are trying solving every day. During my experience in this field, I can give parents that perspective so they can see and better understand the ‘starving, little hedgehog’. Better understanding opens doors to new solutions that sometimes could make a world of a difference.
It’s the immediate circle of family, friends and teachers that have new ways of thinking to learn, feel and respond. We can all share the responsibility of learning to control our minds and emotions first before we can educate the wider community.
Solutions come naturally when the question is clear.
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