Reducing the Fear of Social Misunderstanding
There are days that make the work that I am doing feel like it is all worthwhile. Today was one of those days as I got to experience the difference that we are making in the lives of those on the spectrum in a concrete way. I sat and listened with a heart bursting with joy, knowing full well that I have made a definite difference in the life of one family. It becomes so much easier to move on to the next family, knowing what is possible.
Autism is a mystery in so many ways, and defining exactly what can be considered progress is not always easy. My focus in autism is on the impairment in communication and social interaction. It is through them I measure what I call progress. I share this experience with you as a demonstration.
So what happened today? A young boy came in who went through the autism clearing process before Christmas. His interactions in the office were different than they were before. This is just one example of how an autism clearing can affect a child.....
We have a pile of DVD's in my office and children are allowed to decide if they would like to watch a movie during their session and then choose which one suits their fancy. AC has consistently chosen to watch a movie when he is with me. Back in November when he came for his first 3 initial sessions he spent the whole movie talking, asking us to clarify what was happening as each frame went by. This constant chatter throughout the movie made it not only difficult to pay attention to what was happening on the screen but also difficult for me to stay on task on the SCIO. I can't imagine what the family went through every time they watched a movie with him at home.
He was cleared just before Christmas and came back to the office in January for a follow-up session during which we work on the trauma that has happened to him since he was born now that the miasms and viruses are no longer blocking his ability to heal. Again, AC talked constantly through the movies he watched, but the focus had shifted. Instead of asking what was happening during each scene and why people were doing what they did, he was telling us. I am not certain if what I was hearing was his new awareness of social interactions at that point, or if he was just repeating back what he had been told during previous viewings of the movie. However, he appeared confident in his understanding of what was going on. Yes, this was progress and it felt good, but one must admit that the fact he never stopped talking didn't add much to the pleasure of watching the movie.
It's been awhile since I have seen AC. Today he came in to see if we could figure out the source of his eczema. Again he chose to watch a movie, but this time the experience was very different. He watched like a typical child, commenting every now and then about the story, laughing out loud at the funny parts and pointing out a few situations which he claimed he did not understand in the past. When his mom asked to what these meant to him today, he was able to clearly define them. And I sat beside him, quietly working on the SCIO, heart bursting with joy. I told him how happy I was just before he headed out the door and he said "thank you. It feels so good to know that someone is happy to be with me." He smiled and went on his way.
The important lesson that we need to pay attention to here, is how his behaviour would affect his interactions with peers. In the beginning there was no way that he would have been able to go to a movie with his friends and have anyone enjoy it. His constant chatter would have stood in the way of anyone in the group, or around him in the theatre, getting any enjoyment out of what they were watching. He likely would have been shunned and ridiculed by his peers. His parents avoided this issue but never taking him to a theatre. Today he is free to go without fear. What a great place to be.
And the eczema....appears that he is allergic to both strawberries and whey, the major ingredients of a protein shake his mother has been giving him. So we have another problem solved too. Life is good!!