Everybody knows at least one person who thinks they know all they need to know. They will either be the person who wont listen or take your advice as their don’t need to know what you are telling them or they already know what you are telling them (or at the very least think they do).
I hope I am not one of those people. Although I know that I can become a bit obsessive in my thinking. I like to be in control but I am willing to listen to other people and change my thoughts if I need to. Why am I talking about this today? Well this week I have had at least two instances that have made me question myself. The first was an incident at work. I was talking to a colleague about the plans for a session and I made a few suggestions on changes I thought would work. These were not taken on board and the session did run to any sort of order or result in any achievements. I wonder if my suggestions had been considered if the results would have been more positive.
The second was incident was related to one of my tweets; Flapping or ‘stimming’ is a necessary part of daily life for some children; do not try to stop it. This tweet became the topic for a 3 day long argument. Maybe I was wrong in the information given, but I don’t think so.
The argument was that as children grow up their stimming may be the instigator of bullying and so stimming should be prevented or the child should only be allowed to stim at home and only then within certain boundaries. I can see this point of view, but the tweet did say that “’stimming’ is a necessary part of daily life for some children”. If the child is able to understand the concept that stimming may result in bullying then they could possibly be able to control it. As Autism is a spectrum disorder every child is different, some children will not see the connection, never understand the connection or ever be able to control their stimming.
Another point was made that society will never change its attitude to Autism so the children must learn to fit into society. I would like to think that society can change, but by hiding the already hidden disability by pretending to be ‘normal’ then society will not see the problems and will never accept them.
Every person I have ever met has some sort of habit or sign of unease; it may be biting nails or chewing the inside of their lip, stuttering, inability to stand or sit still, talking too fast, swearing, or doodling. None of these are seen as socially unacceptable and I cannot see much of a difference between these and stimming.
As I said I don’t presume to know everything, but I do think that I can back up any of the statements I make on twitter or in person. Autism is a complex condition that can never be understood by one person. As a parent you know your child, as a teacher you may know a number of individual children. Every one id different and will need different levels of support at different times of the day. So allow your child to be individual, teach them what is important to their level of understanding, and enjoy the differences. As Wendy Lawson said it’s a differbility not a disability.