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It would be wonderful for schools and educators to think about this a little more – to integrate movement into every aspect of the day including field trips and outdoor activities – even in inclement weather (my parents never protected me from it).I fear with our autistic children in Canada, that we are growing more back towards re-institutionalization in a different costume; we segregate and we isolate in order for our kids to be “safe.” In this, I appreciated mother and author of the book , on her autistic son, namely, her “philosophy of muchness.” Never stop exposing (even with ticks, flaps and screaming) autistic children from many things – theatre, music, the outdoors, and accept the difficulties and make room for them.I am certain some of Adam’s stress comes from having very little autonomy, and although he is strong and willful (which I believe will bode him well), if you can’t communicate fluently in our society, or you can’t cross the street by yourself, your autonomy is limited.This, of course, is where the concept of supported-decision making and assistance comes in, but assistants (and parents) really need to understand this and how to be good listeners (for some reading, look to Val Williams’ conversational analyses between caregivers and non-verbal individuals).On my yoga vacay, I met another dad with an Asperger’s son.He too mentioned that his son ticks and these anxiety attacks, let’s call them for now, make it difficult to get back to schoolwork. So too, autistic autobiography reiterates the length of after sickness.Think of the life-skills training in addition to the education that our children also deserve.This takes more time than the allotment prescribed during the Industrial Revolution. Then there is the need to reconsider how we look at behaviour from the outside.
Which leads me to some new revelations for me as a mom: that Adam’s “voice” is a part of his growth.
It’s hard on me to watch him in a kind of pain from which he can’t escape (sometimes the ticks are a loop he can’t stop and sometimes they are willful – one “behaviour” can serve many different purposes) but also, I want so badly to give him the tools he needs so he can gain some latitude in his life.
His life is so restricted with people always watching his every move – and this is, as I mentioned, for safety reasons.
I felt pressure in trying to help him, because let’s face it, screaming disturbs the peace. With it, Adam’s flight-fight prompts him to bolt when he sees pathways and stairwells.
These are all the signs that had to be put into effect.