Learning the language of Autism

 

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Doing the 'RIGHT' thing

Ha! what is the 'right thing' exactly? We all have our own ideas about this, on top of that there is the outside/social view of 'the right thing'.  The unspoken rules of how we should behave in all areas of our lives.  When, Who with, how long for? bla bla.

It seems a crazy way to live as we are all so individual and unique.  Yet most of us at some points in our daily lives conform to these unspoken rules.  Where do we get them from? I think, for me it was from birth.  Rules are created for almost everything. What to eat, and when, breakfast, you can't eat sheperds pie for breakfast! and dont get me started on cereal for dinner! Dancing in a supermarket, to music! are you mad? you dance in a club at a concert, not in a supermarket surely?

I think all of us who have children are temporarily pulled out of such rigid thinking, as children go into the moment without a care or knowledge of such restricting rules.  I think most of us really enjoy the freedom and innocence of child's play. 

Since Jeorge and autism came into our lives, rules of the so called norm have been challenged and tested on a daily basis.  At first I struggled with this as I didnt want us to be centre of anyone's attention.  Being pointed at and judged for wrong and inappropriate parenting and behaviour!

As time went by and our days out together became stressful beyond words, I realised the biggest reason for that was I was worrying about what others might think of me and Jeorge. I was expecting Jeorge to conform to the unspoken beliefs and rules of society.  Most of which to be honest I thought were ridiculous anyway! 

Slowly as my confidence grew and realisations that my responsibility was to assist Jeorge and to be truthful to who I was. Another heavy load of stress fell away from me almost instantly. FREEDOM! yes, at last, I became enveloped in Jeorge's joy as we walked and ran and danced our way around forests and parks.  The few indoor places we did visit (as Jeorge founds indoor places very challenging) were really interesting.  Through my new found freedom I started to see how so many of us live by unspoken rules.  Here is one example:  We visited blue planet a wonderful giant aquarium with a huge tunnel of fish and sharks. Jeorge loves water and sea life so this was a perfect place to share with him. Although there were no signs up stating silence whist in this building, or you can only walk in one direction when in this building. However people were behaving as if there were such signs so were epxecting their very excited and in awed children to do the same. Even though a huge almighty shark had just glided over their little heads!

Jeorge was running from one end of the room to the other, wanting to be under the tunnel face pressed right up against the glass, to really feel closer to the fish and sharks.  Pure joy illuminating from him, back to the rays in the pools, touching the water and calling them to him, more joy, then back to the tunnel.  People were looking atus and directly asking me if we were allowed to keep going backwards and forwards.  Parents were telling their children to 'shh' as they shrieked with excitement of what they were experiencing.  Not all the parents were of course, but an alarmingly large amount were.  There was Jeorge running around free to really enjoy and be in the moment and it was truly wonderful to be a part of.  But only because I had taught myself to not worry about anyone else's opinions of right and wrong ways to behave.  Jeorge was causing no harm to anyone else and wasn't inflicting any disharmony to others experiences..

I have found the more I engage in this positive attitude it filters through to others, mostly! and enhances the mood to a happier state. I do this more when I am on my own in a shop or anywhere, I will dance if the music is of my taste, I smile and say Hello to strangers.  I am practising living my life in the moment, if I feel like laughing or singing or dancing or talking to someone I will.  Most of the time, responses are beautiful and laughter is the end result. 

We create shackles of our own, without even realising it. it is only when we break free from them we feel the intensity of freedom and it feels soo good. 

We are naturally free and happy when we are children, so why lose it? I say as adults around children, regardless of their differences abilities or challenges- lets be in the moment with them, lets see the joy in living, the sheer excitement of breathing and experiencing the huge sting ray flying above our heads, express the joy, isn't that why we visit such places? 

I have learnt when I do this, my day is 100% happier than when I didn't.

Often it is the children who are our teachers, innocents yes, fully present and totally awesome absolutely!

inspiration from a quote by Laura Tisoncik- high &...
a parents point of view of autism
 

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