Published on January 28th, 20151
When they look right into your soul
People on the Autism spectrum have a keener sense than ‘neuro typical’ people do, and are, surprisingly, more intuitive too.
Part 4 of the Autism Diaries – When my son gave me the solution to something I was struggling with for years
A child on the autism spectrum may be more clued in to the world than you think.
It was my routine ‘work hour’ with Mohit, my son. It’s a time that I enjoy – a time that spells relaxation for me, as I need to slow down and be aware of the guiding happening between us. So, we had just finished cooking something and I noticed that Mohit went and brought his iPad and started playing a memory game on it. He took his time and I realised that this was what he did to just chill and regroup. I thought of how important a tool this was for him. He realised when he had had enough and more importantly, he knew what he needed to do to prepare himself for the next interaction.
Soon after, I was working with another student. We were building on coordination by playing drums. Whenever he found the interaction overwhelming, he would get up and pace around. I realised why he was doing what he was doing. All I needed to do was to give him his space and he came back to engage with me whenever he was ready.
In both the above cases, the boys knew when to take a break. They knew how much their system could take. They seemed to be minutely aware about this. I thought about myself: I mostly overshoot. I don’t have as keen a sense as they do.
Case in point – I was in a yoga class and my teacher asked me to do a certain asana which involved raising my head while I was lying on my back. I found it a little uncomfortable around my neck. Sensing my discomfort, she asked me to put my head down as soon as I felt the need. Well, I did not feel the need for two minutes! Believe me, this is a very long time to hold an asana. As soon as I put my head down, I felt a nerve pull. That was it! I was uncomfortable all evening and the next day as well. Somehow, I managed with ointments and painkillers. The following day was even worse, so I finally cancelled two appointments and went to see my doctor.
They’re more aware than we realise
Now, I’m going to make a point that is a little controversial. At some level, I feel people on the Autism spectrum are more ‘aware’ than we give them credit for. They perceive in a different way and sense things that you and I may not be able to sense. This, somehow, does not make sense to my ‘scientific’ brain – but it is something that I feel deep within. In living with Mohit, I know it to be the truth. Couple this with the fact that they all love unconditionally. I feel that I’m living and interacting with highly spiritual and advanced beings. Yet, there are deficits in terms of expression of feelings and ‘behaviours’ that may not be appropriate.
Below is something that I am going use to substantiate what I’m trying to say.
Some of you may have heard of Suzy Miller. She refers to autism as ‘awesomism’. Take a look at the following excerpt from her that is titled, ‘10 things your children want you to know’:
- Our behaviors rarely mean what you think they mean. Awesomism changing the world.
- We experience so much more than meets the eye.
- We feel our way through life, instead of think our way through.
- What you say matters very little to us, unless it matches how you feel.
- We are right brained, creative and connected to something bigger.
- We are communicating long before we talk.
- We constantly reflect the inner life of those around us – even you!
- The best way to connect with us is by being present.
- We are showing the world what no longer serves humanity.
- We are different but we are not disordered.
Once you understand and apply this awareness, our life together becomes an awesome gift to be shared. To get more information about Suzy Miller and her work, please visit her website.
So, this evening, as I was chatting with Mohit, here’s what I told him.
“Let’s make a pact, buddy! Just be yourself and reveal these higher truths to me. As a trade off, I’ll teach you about communication, understanding of relationships and figuring the appropriate cues of this world.” He looked at me very deeply as I said this. As if he was looking deep into my soul.
Do you have questions related to autism spectrum? Feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be glad to help.
Kamini Lakhani is the founder of SAI Connections. She is a Behaviour Analyst, an RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) Consultant, Supervisor and Trainer responsible for RDI professional training in India and the Middle East. She is the mother of an adult on the Autism Spectrum. She is also a member of Forum for Autism.
Next: When a child on autism spectrum understands the deeper meaning of life better than us.
(Pictures courtesy www.autism-india.org, topnews.ae. Images are used for representational purpose only)