Firstly, I want to say what an amazing, enlightening, tear jerking, emotional read this blog I have linked below was. I have two nephews who are on the huge Autism Spectrum and up until now, ashamedly, I had never REALLY thought about how they think, feel and engage on a daily basis and how these feelings, actions and thoughts have been seen as ‘not right’ and must be changed. Sure I know that living in their world is very and vastly different to mine, and my children’s, but I just didn’t really GET it. I am guilty of thinking that some of their behaviors should be quashed, but I have been so wrong, or misled, who knows, but for that I am sorry. Truly sorry.
Thank you so so much 5 Cheeky Monkeys, for opening my eyes.
Everyone, please, please , please read this blog… and then my thoughts on it below. 🙂
I welled up with tears reading the struggle that this family with an autistic child have lived through, when it comes to early intervention. I have at times done the same for my sister and her two boys, the struggle is real, I know it is, but I had no idea that this kind of stress even existed, and just assumed, like many that an OT would know what is best. Clearly they don’t in most circumstances, and the biggest question we should be asking is, why is it that the mentors are not autistic adults? It makes so much fucking sense to me. Why make a child change because his or her actions are not seen as socially acceptable. Nothing is fucking acceptable now a days if we all think about it and why on Earth should we change the behaviors of our autistic children to fit in with something that isn’t accepted anyway? I mean we can’t even breast feed in a restaurant now, and how natural an action is that? Intervention should be the support, and knowledge building, and compassion that this family have finally found with their ‘therapist’.
This whole thought of changing an autistic child’s behavior really made me angry after hearing it explained. I’m quoting from the article now “…Kids are encouraged to swap current feel good/coping movements for other ‘more socially acceptable ones’. From the way they sit to the way they hold a pencil, from the way they walk and run, to the way the flap their hands. “Quiet hands” is a term that gets flung around an OT session like no- bodies business… Nearly all of the tools our OT’s got for us have made the situation worse, and once we removed the tools we gained a happier child and a more harmonious life…”
AGH! It makes me bat-shit crazy to think that so many beautiful children are being told not to be THEMSELVES.
My heart just breaks thinking of all the confusion and stress we as a community may have caused, all simply because we either don’t understand, haven’t been educated correctly, or this knowledge is not yet conceptualised. Even myself, possibly with my nephews at times; encouraging eye contact and conversation with them, forcing or willing them to eat, possibly something they didn’t like or I haven’t cooked right. I feel sick about it.
They just want to be themselves and they damned well should be allowed to be themselves. Most of all, we should encourage them to be themselves, and not some idea of what society portrays as normal or acceptable. Fuck society. Fuck having to wear jocks because you ‘should’, free-balling feels way better I am sure when you’re six; and stuff eating my meatloaf crust, my brother eats the crust and I eat the guts that’s the deal; and get me MY vacuum while I use yours as well. This is why we love them. They are unique and individual so just let them do their thing.
So I guess this is really for Lana, who I love with all of my heart, and her two beautiful young men, making their merry little ways into this world; I hope I have never assisted this pattern of hindering their spirits. I hope they both become the huge lights of love that they are destined to be, and that just reading 5cheekymonkeys blog has reaffirmed that what you, and my amazing B.I.L are doing, is right, and the best for them, and you. It’s also for the few I have tagged in my FB post, because it will make sense and you might get as much out of it as I have.
5cheekymonkeys: I am so thrilled you finally found someone who is HELPING and I wish you and your beautiful family all the very the best.
Make sure you turn the teapot twice clockwise and once anticlockwise!