Thursday, 5 June 2014

Is Autism evolution, spiritual enlightenment, or a disorder?

I read a lot of articles these day about what autism is and how we must "fix it." Or understand it. On what level does it operate, the mental or the spiritual? May advocates thinking it's a horrible disorder that requires a specialist with little parental interruption and then the other side of that coin is the requirement of a dedicated parent with little specialist interruptions. So, many different descriptions of what autism is and is not. It can make any parents head spin and undermine the creative way of looking at it.

Here is my personal definition of what autism is. A repetitious new way of experiencing and reacting to the senses. I find that that definition works for our family. My son feels and reacts accordingly. Does not make him less? No, just more interesting and with new perspective on a world we see one way. Does it mean evolution. Yes. There's something new. A growth of different neural processes that senses and reacts to the world differently. I wouldn't say it's a disorder because they are seeing something we're not. A new way of being. 

Is it spiritual. Well, we are spirit having a human experience so of course it's spiritual. 

The important question. Is it a disorder? Depends on who you talk to. I don't have a son or daughter that I have to worry about self-harm with. I imagine there are those parents experiencing extreme behavioral problems who view it as a disorder. What I know is my son. And while the communication is still something we're working on. And the tantrums are a bit crazy when something triggers him, we know he is processing the world around him differently and why not give him the time and space to do so. Do we still keep a routine for such a free thinker? Of course, but we don't force him into something unreasonably uncomfortable to him. 

So what is autism? Well it's something that people have made a title out of. I use it because it gives people a little heads up, that they need to be patient with my kid who doesn't think the way they do....I think. lol. I also use it to help guide people to my blogs, so that they know they are not a lone in the whole parenting a kid on the spectrum. 

In the most simplest of terms. It's a new way of processing. People may not think that, if they have a child on the low functioning side of the spectrum. I accept that. It's not my place to tell them what they should think it is. I only know wheat it means for me and my son.

It means drawing numbers endlessly on the menu at our favourite restaurant. It means blowing bubbles and playing play dough at all hours of the day. It means reading him his favourite book 10 times a day. It means learning more about our solar system that he is fascinated by. It means making sensory toys and helping others parents to make them. It means sharing stories and networking with other parents. It means sleep deprivation, not understanding all the time, making it through the obstacles, and supporting our wonderful community of autistic children. That's what it means for me.

As always thanks for reading.

With Gratitude,
Amber Jones

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