I Love Autism.




I have a previous post about why I love ABA and my reasons for starting this blog, but in addition to ABA I also love Autism. If you do a web search of the word “Autism” most of the results will be about diagnosis or treatment, not positives or acceptance. Also quite sadly, many organizations that serve to raise public awareness of Autism do so by presenting very negative or dire stories or statistics. 

Depending on where you are in your journey with Autism, you may not love Autism right now. If you are a therapist you may be doing this as just a job, and have no passion for the field. You may be having a hard time dealing with some very difficult clients right now. If you are a parent, you may see Autism as a series of treatments and therapists coming in and out of your home. You may want to completely remove the word Autism from your vocabulary.

I am simply a professional who has worked with this population for years; by no means do I pretend to everything about what its like to raise a child with Autism, or have a loved one receive an ASD diagnosis.
What I do have are my own personal reasons as to why I find my career so rewarding and enjoyable, why I choose to continue working with ASD children, and what I view as some of the BEST things about the kids I work with:

  1. The completely creative ways they have of stimming to "get those wiggles out"! More than one of my clients have used my body to engage in stims as well (my arm, my back, my hair, etc.).
  2. My clients don’t always give away affection or love easily. So when I'm working with a new client, that first time they give me a huge hug or smile at me at the start of a session, it’s like winning the lottery.
  3. Like many of my clients, I also need to have organization, structure, and rules to feel comfortable and to be able to focus.
  4. The literal and concrete way of understanding things. I was once working with a 6 -yr -old teaching him to label “wrist”.  I pointed to my wrist and asked him “What is it?”, he replied “Brown”. :-) It wasn't the answer I was going for, but he was right!
  5. I love when I get to work with older kids or teens with ASD because they are some of the most unintentionally funny people I know. Due to a (near) brutal honesty, they have no problem telling you they don’t like your shirt, you've gained weight, or your hair looks funny.
  6. Depending on who you believe, Bill Gates has a mild form of Autism. So if he does, you can likely thank his Autistic traits (attention to detail, focus, persistence, logical gifts) for every computer you have ever touched.
  7. The excitement and sense of wonder they show when given a new sensory object or toy. I spend far too much money in stores buying sensory toys I know one of my clients would love, and their reaction when I give it to them is worth every penny.
  8. My clients are great at figuring out how to open something, how something works, or how to get into the “childproof” packaging. If I can’t figure out how to turn a toy on, or I can't remember how to find an app on my ipad, my clients usually can!
  9. Their laughter. 
  10. The first time I hear them vocally communicate. If a client is nonvocal sometimes I only hear them hum, babble, or grunt. So when my clients start to say words or phrases it's wonderful to hear them communicate, and even better to watch their parent react to hearing them communicate.
  11. My clients often have a better memory than I do. If I promise we will do something, they don’t let me forget it. If we are headed to the park and I forget their favorite ball, they let me know. If I move ONE thing in the therapy room from where it usually goes, they let me know.
  12. I love seeing my clients display pride. When I get excited and start shouting and clapping because they learned a really hard skill, they smile and beam with pride.

2 comments

  1. Yes, I agree! When searching for Autism I've only found 'sad' websites!! This is the first one that share lots of enthusiasm! Thank you!

    Val

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, and thats such a shame. I plan to keep on sharing enthusiasm :-)
      Thanks for your comment!

      Delete

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