Friday, April 25, 2014

Learning From Autism, One

This from my special needs kids blog, with a new title
Say you are in a crowded room.
There are five or ten people, all talking loudly, in different languages.
A train is roaring by outside.
Inside, in the next room, someone is playing loud rock and roll.

The lights are going on and off, sometimes very dim, sometimes very bright.

Someone is talking at you,
demanding that you explain to them what you want,
you have to say it in Chinese ( assume another language if you speak Chinese)
and you have to look them in the left hand side of their right eyelid while you talk,
and you have to lean to the left if you are talking to women and to the right if you are talking to men

What would you do?

Run out screaming , probably, except the big people, for there are a bunch of people clearly bigger than you, keep you in the room, and
keep giving you some ask to do which doesn't make sense.

You can't drink.

If given an electronic device, you'll dive in as a lifesaver to divert your attention,
but what if that's not available?

You just want all the racket to be shut out
You just want to calm down inside

Say you start to rock,
Back and forth
Back and forth

Now, here is something you are in charge of
You can back the going back
You can make the going forward

And you start to feel calmer in your body
because all sorts of reasons,
but your head and pelvis are connected ( riding a horse could help, but there are none in the room)
you can breathe easier as you do this
you can use up energy

you can shut others out
the noise seems to go away
the lights seem to go away
the whole world seems to go away

and you feel calmer

And if you are an autistic child
this feels like safety
and control
and calmness all at once

And then,
the big people decide:
"This is stimming.
This is a behavior that isn't leading anywhere."

So they try to, or do, make you stop, or try to divert you,
or talk louder about options,
none of which gives you safety and exclusivity and control

This seems cruel, doesn't it?

And then, what are we the parents, we the caretakers, we the clinicians going to do?

At least three things with the child,
but I have a challenge for you, today.
Think of the most troubling aspect of your life.
Tense up your breath.
Wherever you are tight in your body, make it tighter.
And now,
gently slowly but for awhile
longer than "makes sense"

rock back and forth,
just do it
feel it
breathe into it

I'll tell you later how to use inner words to make it better

on May 4, Sunday, in Austin, I'll be giving a talk on Autism and Meditation,
and teaching you how to make this a basis of a great and simple

think about what a child wants from this stim:
to be calm
to shut out the world
to bring themselves out of the chaos

why do people meditate?

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