Why it is Time To Focus on Autism Awareness
I recently went on an evening tour with Purposeful Autism, an autism awareness nonprofit that focuses on training parents, early childhood educators, pediatricians, caretakers, therapists, teachers, school personnel, and other autism “connectors.”
The first stop on the tour was a preschool for toddlers and preschoolers, where the staff had a lot of questions for us parents.
“What do we do when the children are awake and active?” we were asked. We were told we could sign them off so that they were asleep when the teacher goes to work.
“What happens if you feel like the child may not be responsive to you right now, or she just seems to be having a hard time?” the staff asked.
We were told it is best to wait until the teachers go into the room, so they can sense what is happening.
On the other hand, our intention to improve their everyday learning experiences and their overall well-being makes sense, so they should be put on a routine schedule to adjust to their environment.
I could picture a future where this type of training has proven to be effective to better support and teach these kids.
There were one or two parents who brought up the fallacy that autistic children are too intelligent to be happy. Everyone, including myself, knows they are just as capable and joyful as any other child. However, with this kind of misguided and unfair thinking comes myths of autism.
Showing How an Intense Attention to Intensity Benefits Quality of Life and Creates Ability to Experience Positive Emotions
The following events were discussed on the evening tour:
•The part about autism children being hard to handle that “no one wants” and their difficulty moving through social situations.
•The “obsessive issues” that need attention, which can lead to disability if left unaddressed. This group places more of the focus on looking at benefits that truly are related to autism.
•The children having difficulties sitting still and seemingly always moving. They need training to become aware of how to be as still as possible while still moving as much as possible, so they can relax and be open to receiving attention.
I would like to refer my readers to MindShift’s articles published in 2015 regarding ways to better assist children with autism, especially the last one where Jane Shumaker discusses how exercise benefits “Children with Spectrum Disorders.” She states:
“It’s that science-y thing where when something is very good for one of the autistic patient’s bodies, it becomes good for all the body—so I have learned to exercise. It turns out that’s not so difficult when you know who you are for a change. You know, my favorite is Pilates, which is good for children and adults.
“But in addition to that, what I do is combine Pilates with warmup movement to get ready for the day. I use the movement as my exercise, but it is the warmup that really gets me into that good place. There is a reason children with autism or children with any kind of disability will come into a place and its noisy, as if in danger—but they are really not because something is preparing them to do what they really need to do.
“As an old woman, I can testify to the fact that I do not have to actually run or shake my fists or scream or shout—all those obvious signs of really having to get something done. I am perfectly able to smile and take a nap and deal with whatever mental or physical barrier comes along to get me where I need to be in that moment.”
When everything is working correctly for your child, find your way through the noise and focus on gaining a better understanding of their behaviors so that you can help them on a deeper level as soon as you can. Also help parents with their concerns and questions by sending over a copy of a magazine that supports autism awareness.
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