The complexity of Autistic Spectrum Disorders, (ASD), is the cause for misunderstanding, hopelessness, frustration, desperation and abuse.
Abuses can be done innocently or maliciously. Accountability and sanctions are the best defense at stopping the intentional abusers.
Correct knowledge, clarifications and accommodating resources are the best defense to end the ignorant therapies that continue to do harm by even the well meaning.
The repetition within Autism is often the major soure of the frustration. If we can understand this singular behavior then we can also grasp the correct ways we can best help our kids.
It is documented that Autistics have between 17% and 33% more seratonin than their neuro-typical peers. While many suggest this justifies the often larger head circumference, it absolutely helps to understand the repetitious nature.
To break this down and begin to see how teaching kids with additional seratonin, or ‘super brains’ differs, I will use an analogy. I realize that while nothing is so simple, we must also realize that even the most difficult explanations must begin with a clear picture. The exact location of the added brain determines the area of individual niche’, (math and science, art, music, literature, physical skill, etc…). Irregardless of the differences presented by the individual niches, the common excess of seratonin gives similarity.
If you held a car wash and only needed 10 kids to run it BUT 100 showed up, imagine the chaos.
Many people have experienced the frustration of having to repeat themselves over and over and some even begin to question the hearing and IQ of their child based on this.
Persons with ASD often repeat phrases and behaviors. Their tastes and preferences demonstrate an aversion to change. Difficulty in accepting new foods, new TV shows, new activities and new people during their younger years is common. Without diagnosis or interventions, getting ‘stuck’ in unhealthy relationships, keeping out dated fashions or hair styles, repetitive behaviors, etc… CAN be signs of ASD in adults. .I have Asperger’s and I am a classic example..
Even Dr. Temple Grandin who holds a PhD. understands the value of a well balanced diet yet she maintained her choice of jello and yogurt.
When you only need 10 kids but 100 show up, you have a few choices. You can get easily frustrated and send 90 home, (BZZZ wrong answer). You can have them work in rotations. (BZZZ strike two).
Or you can take the time and patience to teach them all. (Ding Ding Ding Winner!).
When it comes to the brain, it is not possible to send any part ‘home.’ Working in rotations is also unreasonable because these kids operate on full power.. Respecting the remarkable Autism brain means taking the time to patiently teach each of the 100 kids. You will wind up with a successful, streamlined, happy car wash.
Children with ASD are often recognized for one specific behavior.. He lines things up, counts them, studies them, categorizes them and stacks them. They don’t typically ‘play’ like neuro-typicals do. The logic and reasoning side of the brain usually dominates the creative side. ‘Playing’ routines are usually taught.
Like the teachers, therapists and parents, the children must also learn to adjust to their own unique Baby Einstein, ‘super brains.’
First of all, since it will definitely take longer to teach 90 extra kids, your car wash will not start on time. If you insist on starting immediately, you will find yourself trying to do every part alone. Once you have chosen this path, then you have already lost. Do NOT isolate children with Autism or give them time outs! This is reinforcing the Autism.
Involve them visually when they are not yet interacting physically. Be animated and have fun.
Remember, it is The ‘Mary Poppins Technique’ of making life a game and not a glass of rice milk or vaccine refusals that will break through.
There is a more detailed breakdown of this therapy and techniques in an older Autism Battle article.
Keep in mind too that persons with Autism are visual thinkers and learners. In many ways this simplifies our role. We can show them what we expect. Some of the 100 kids of the ‘super brain’ will learn quickly. These are the hopeful moments when we see the ‘lights go on’ usually long before anyone else. We find the connection. Many therapists call a behavior ‘accidental’ if it only happens once or inconsistently.
I call it a completely awesome, breathtaking, miraculous breakthrough. It IS.
As Sister Judith, Principal of St. Mary’s Catholic School used to say over the loud speaker every day after morning prayers:
“well begun is half done.” AMEN!
Her words have come back over and over throughout this fantastic Autism journey. She was/is so right!
My success with my son was initially for my eyes only and this caused others to accuse me of lying or imagining crazy things. They were all wrong. This was the bridge, trust and bond building between us. How often do people use the word ‘crazy’ simply because they don’t understand?
“The world is flat”, “machines cannot fly”, and” phones have to be connected with a wire.” Each time someone in history suggested an idea or invention new to popular beliefs, they were accused of insanity.
Uneducated and jealous people believe that genius and insanity are seperated by only a fine line. On the contrary, genius only seems like insanity to the ignorant and close minded.
Typically, new concepts that people don’t understand are put down. Superstitions, gods and withcraft were long used to explain the inexplicable like thunder, lightning, good health and seasons.
Sadly, even today the same fictitious explanations and ignorace are still widespread.
The Jenny McCarthy/ Andrew Wakefield anti-vaccine campaign has proven both dangerous and deadly. ‘Celebrity Science’ would never be used in a clinical heart or cancer patient so why were they ever considered legitimate?
When our children are involved we become desperate. We never dreamed anyone would intentionally lie to be famous or sell books when our kids lives were at stake.
We need to move forward with correct, evidence based and scientifically researched information. The tragedy, disability and killer is the ignorance surrounding us, not Autism.
Defrauding the medical community for the purposes of getting rich or famous is unprofessional. Defrauding the public to sell books is greedy. Knowingly defrauding anyone after children have gotten severely ill and died SHOULD be criminal.
Where’s the lawsuits now?.
I hope and pray that the anti-vaccine movement will continue to be exposed so that the attention can be put towards legitimate Autism help and attention. The kids are already here and we need to prioritze and restructure. We cannot effect change until we are unified. Disseminating and defeating ignorance should not be the battle.
How many lives were lost to AIDS before the facts were known? Even ONE life was too many.
The priority needs to be about appropriate and accommodating ASD resources and therapies.
Autism Battle is committed to providing correct, accurate and current information FREE to all and inspiring through our personal journey.
Home therapy was successful long before there were books, DVDs, diets or fads.
You may find yourself spending YEARS begging for marker tops to be put back on or bribing your child to watch a NEW program.
Potty training, getting dressed and eating are some of the earliest challenges. This has more to do with the fact that the kids have already gone potty, eaten and been dressed with you at the helm. These are established routines you are.attempting to change.
In the first moment you want to teach a new behavior you must use consistency and continuity or you will fail.
Allowing differences or a lack in methodologies doesn’t work. In 1999 The Surgeon General determined ABA was the treatment for Autism. Applied by BOTH teaching the parent and the teaching/therapy team is the correct application. However, in the unfortunate or negligent absense of ABA or a singluar, parent inclusive, consistent methodology, you and your child are being robbed. You must use ONE method. Schools are being held accountable every day for the lack of current awareness and accommodating and appropriate, SUCCESSFUL resources. Getting a ’10’ child to a ‘5’ is not helping the child to achieve their potential.
Schools put genius child in special ed, tell mom he can’t learn. Now he’s free, and he could win a Nobel Prize
Read more at http://www.realfarmacy.com/schools-put-genius-child-in-special-ed-tell-mom-he-cant-learn-now-hes-free-and-he-could-win-a-nobel-prize/#eYJgL5W0Fd42wOUO.99
So, your child is most likely being set back from not getting the correct treatments instead of failing in school! The correct interventions will work. Don’t blame the kids.
Breaking big issues down to simple goals is part of success. If you can see the mountain in front of you as a pile of stones then you can move it, one stone at a time.
Whenever you hit a behavioral road block, like months, (or years), of him not putting the tops back on the markers despite your pleas, remember the child is NOT trying to be stubborn or upset you! There was most likely a visual example preceeding the behavior. Someone they watched, (family, TV, day care, peer, etc…), left the tops off. You will need to sit with your child and play with the markers making sure they SEE you putting the tops on. VISUAL thinking requires visual therapies.
Be careful leaving your child with even a 5 star caregiver if they haven’t taken the time to learn YOUR routines. Getting ‘respite’ isn’t worth it if the babysitters cost you regressions. Visual examples don’t incorrectly will not be forgotten. Many children with Autism rival elephants when it comes to remarkable memory abilities!
My son’s head banging into family members and walls began with dad’s enthusiam watching football players smash into each other. It ended when dad left and I was able to limit all viewing to appropriate, educational programs. My son was trying to get the same enthusiam from dad that was being given to the football players. It was that simple.
As you try to modify your child’s routines, here’s the questions probably going through his mind. If you have been comfortably and routinely changing my diaper, then why are you stopping? If they have been feeding me baby food and mushy things, why are you stopping? Just when they had the entire ‘super brain’ on board, they also have to endure and effect the changes.
My Autistic son is my fouth child. I thought using the same parenting techniques would work one more time but I was wrong. Looking back now with what I have learned in the Autism journey, I wish I would have raised the older three with the new techniques! Neuro-typicals thrive with the routines successfully being used with their neuro-diverse peers.
With the older three, potty training for poopy was as simple as taking the poopy diaper and emptying it into the toilet with them watching.. With Dezi, that was MY silly mistake. Once he saw me do that, he also began to take off his poopy diaper and empty in into the toilet exactly as I demonstrated. I specifically mention this example because the day after it happened I read another mother’s report that said NOT to do that because it happened to her exactly the same!
I had to stop for a few months before beginning again and change both the environment and the circumstances. You see, all 100 car wash kids in the ‘super brain’ had learned the wrong way and that made the correct task much harder. It will ALWAYS be easier to teach if you show them exactly what you expect the first time and don’t allow others to exhibit ‘bad examples.’
You are only confusing your child and prolonging your own frustration by falling off the consistency and continuity wagon.
If two parents cannot work together with great communication and provide complete consistency then you might as well throw in speaking in a few different languages every other day. You are setting up failures.
Autistic kids learn and think in pictures. That is VISUALLY.
This also means all your lecturing is a waste of everyone’s time. You might as well be Charlie Brown’s teacher, “wah, wah waaaaaaah.”
This is the time we introduuce PECS. Picture Education Exchange System. Verbal and non verbal kids all benefit from using this globally accepted system to communicate.
Using posted pictures as reminders and helpers works! You can find them online and cut them out. You can draw them yourself. You can use white boards and draw pictures. You must, MUST get it through your head that VISUAL is everything! In working with Autism, a picture is 1,000 words. In the effort to ACCEPT Autism, learn to be VISUAL. (I apologize for abusing CAPS in places but you’d be surprised not only how fast and fun PECS are but how reluctant many are to accept them.
Working with your child’s strengths instead of steamrolling through his weaknesses is common sense. I often say we should call it the Department of Abilities instead of DISabilities. Who likes being picked on for a single mistake and overlooked for all the successes? No one does.
Accentuate the positive.
**Ten praises for every one correction is the formula with ALL children.
How many of us get mad at disruptive behaviors but sneak away and steal a coffee break or a chat when the kids are quietly watching TV? Right there you can see the huge mistake. They only get attention from negative behaviors. We’ve all done this so don’t feel bad. Ignore disruptive behaviors except to clearly state what is expected. Instead of “don’t hit your brother” try, “use your quiet hands.” Whammo, you clearly told them what you want instead of focusing on what you don’t! No, “bad kid” mistakes. The SECOND, the moment they give you the preferred behavior, praise them. When the kids are calmly watching TV, walk in and say, “great job!, This is wonderful. Thank you kids!” It honestly doesn’t take long for the kids to understand the way to attention is positive behaviors.
OF COURSE, risky and dangerous situations require immediate action.Touching the hot stove, running into the road and talking to strangers are all things that a good parent will see coming stop before they happen. There shouldn’t be a first time if you’re being a smart parent. Use play grounds with fences, use the back burner and don’t be a bad example by making a habit of talking to strangers yourself when you are with your kids.
If you would please watch Temple Grandin, the HBO movie, you will see that everything your child sees becomes an index they will scroll through the rest of their lives. .
Being an animated, higher energy, Mary Poppins style visual character and using visual aids like PECS are huge steps in teaching your child.
Remember, it is Pet Detective and not a glass or rice milk that make the difference.
Give every child a few weeks with a Robin Williams, Bill Cosby, Ellen Degeneres, Josh Gad, Tina Fey,
Tim Simpson ‘Boobiehatch’, Dorrie Rose, (Play Therapist at SPICE),
or a magical nanny and a chimney sweep pretending to jump into chalk drawings on a sidewalk,
Autism becomes FUN once you realize that literally everything can be taught through play.
YOU can put on a funny hat, sing a requested task or lesson, juggle, dance, draw pictures get down on the floor and play. PECS. Even the staunchest parents can find a way to create the fun, visual world that leads to success. This works with both neuro-diverse and neuro-typical kids so try it!
Quoting Suite. Judy Blue Eyes, “what have you got to lose?” A lot. Dr. Temple Grandin’s mother had a theater background and Temple grew up surrounded by a colorful, play friendly world.
Developing your own unique characters and using PECS creates the VISUAL environment no child can resist becoming a part of.
YOU CAN DO IT!
PECS fun can begin right now.
Putting the pictures in the areas where you’re working on routines is best. ie…hand washing PECS by the bathroom sink. Using plastic bags or laminating them for protection and creating a PECS notebook or putting your most frequent PECS on a ring are all popular techniques.
Homemade works too! When we had no funds I drew everything from ABC’s to PECS on pieces of paper. You don’t have to spend money to play.
You may want to attech velcro to the backs of individual PECS and organize them in a PECS notebook with velcro strips.
Or get very creative and make a PECS wall at home. I found this picture on another parent’s blog. Awesome job.
(Having a V8, “why didn’t I think of that,” moment.)
You can find hundreds of standard PECS through the internet. Try using the word ‘images’ when you search.
Back to the potty training story.
Thinking outside of the box and asking for help from others who’ve had success are both beneficial.
I devised a new plan thanks to the help of a mommy whose son also attended the same program ABA parent training program as me.
Most children automatically begin to pee when they are placed into a warm bath. She has already potty trained her son with Autism. She told me to fill a plastic squirt bottle, (dishsoap bottle, ketchup bottle), with warm water, sit him on the toilet and gently squirt the water just below the belly button, allowing it to trickle down.
Whenever we can incorporate environmental factors which already work, do so!
Incorporating the ‘Mary Poppins’, (Spoonful of Sugar), technique, I also gave the body part it’s own name and identity to make it a game.. I told my son we were going to trick ‘Mr. Weenie’ into peeing.
By isolating the involved body part, you also take the pressure off the child. It is no longer the child who may or may not succeed.
I want to remind you to please never tell your child he is bad! A behavior might be non preferred, your teaching skills may not be in tune yet or your expectations might be too high BUT your child is never BAD. The brain believes what it is told.
After waiting a few months and learning from my prior mistake, the moment had arrived. He sat down giggling over the prospect of fooling ‘Mr. Weenie’. FYI: Make sure your child has had enough juice or water to make this happen and don’t try this too soon after his last pee.
I was amazed that within 2 seconds of the warm water hitting ‘Mr. Weenie’, (drumroll)… it worked! It was that easy! I didn’t mind cleaning the mess from his jumping up and down in excitement before he had finished. I was jumping too!
As directed, our initial success started off with squirting the warm water. Soon. just the sound of the running water in the sink to fill the bottle triggered ‘Mr. Weenie’ to go. Within a few months of consistently doing the same routine, just sitting on the toilet without any running water or bottle was enough to start peeing.
We celebrated EVERY time. Cheerleading is the best motivator. The more excited and animated you are, the more your child will look forward to performing the positive behaviors that earn your cheers. Keep it positive by saying, “you can do this”, instead of, “don’t do that.” Positive, positive, positive.
It was only a matter of time before that pooping happened during the pee routine.
The first time he felt it coming out he panicked at the sensation and almsot stopped. This is why you MUST be there 24/7 for a few years to do this! You cannot miss the ‘firsts;. If I would have missed the first poopy and he stopped to look for a diaper to poop into, I would have ruined everything.
When the very first poopy splashed into the toilet, I was ready. I had already purchased new, favorite character underwear for the occasion and had wrapped them as a present. We started a conga line dance through the apartment…singing, “Dezi used the pah-TEE (kick), Dezi used the pah-TEE (kick)”. Then he opened the new underwear and we continued to celebrate like the ball had just dropped over Times Square!
Do you have to be a cheerleader or make a dance party out of it? Why wouldn’t you? This is also the end of buying diapers and having to change them and the beginning of a huge boost of confidence for BOTH of you! Be careful not to stop the party there though. Once is not enough. If you abandon the fun and attention too soon or let them go too long in between trips to the potty, you might have to start all over again.. If they only get your attention during diaper changes and are ignored for using the potty, .you’re not using common sense. Kids do everything for your attention so don’t lose good behaviors by ignoring them.
Now, do NOT expect the schools or day cares to do all the work. However, you absolutely SHOULD expect them to do the routines that brought success. The therapeutic or school environments must work hand in hand with the home to ensure the necessary consistency and continuity. I even went in to teach them the potty conga song and dance. It worked there too!
By shifting gears and changing the focus to pee pee I got a new shot at the whole potty learning experience.
In summation, when you are going to demonstrate any behavior, like a car wash or potty training, get it right the first time. You need to be sure of exactly what your final expectations are. Be clear and don’t get lazy. Don’t let others send mixed messages and always be the cheerleader.
A clear plan including your desired outcome, patience, enthusiasm and consistency is the key/
Once all 100 kids of the ‘super brain’ have seen every step of the car wash from making the signs and holding them out for traffic to drying the last drop off the chrome and mirrors, you will have a force to be reckoned with! Super brain, super car wash, super success, super YOU!
By understanding the depth and complexity involved with a child who has a ‘super brain’, and learning from others who’ve been through it, your journey will become a joy!
By becomiing an informed Autism super mom,
or super dad
or super parents working together,
you CAN do anything!
Hope this helps!
Thank you for reading, sharing and caring.
Share+Care=AWARE `C.A. Curie’