I receive many letters from people who are not parents of kids with autism but they are relatives or friends of someone who has autism. They have read my book and see the child has the potential to understand, but they cannot influence the parents to change the way they interact with the child or teach communication. It is painful to read these letters because I know the kid is trying, they are trying, and the parents aren’t ready to hear the message. So they ask me how can they change things.
I wish I knew. The parents or teachers must be open to new ideas. If they’re not, what can one do who has no guardianship? You can treat the child differently yourself, talk to him normally, perhaps even see if the parents will let you introduce a letter board just for practice, but beyond the steps people have told me, it cannot be forced.
I guess one argument to the parents could be, what do you have to lose by trying? Like I’ve written in the past, how is it harmful to read someone an age appropriate book or speak in normal speech tones? This is modeling for people who have never seen their child treated like that.
I know several parents personally who were not open to teaching their kids how to type in the past because they couldn’t see their potential, but after many other kids they knew began typing they started to become more open. They had lots of conversations with other parents and gradually it helped them.
I don’t blame them. They have had lots of professional opinion to overcome as well as confused and conflicted emotions. I guess it’s not always immediate, but you are planting seeds. Hopefully one day they will germinate.
Ido, I just want to tell you what a great job you are doing spreading the word. Your book inspired me to ramp things up with my son and also to start a support group in my area to reach other parents with non-verbal children. It is also because of your book, that so many of my child’s relatives and teacher, see more potential and treat him with more respect. I share the book with everyone. I have read a lot of books about autism and by people with autism but yours is by far the best one I have read. You are changing people’s lives, including my son’s. Thank you for what you are doing.
Thank you as always…you are a leader!!
Thank you for writing this. I know of some kids in my area that could use RPM, but I cannot force it on the family. An interesting idea that I would like your feedback on if possible is that if a student uses RPM in one situation but not at home then it may increase frustration. Do you agree?
There are parents here in DC who publish everything they can, either on Facebook or blogs, to help spread the message that non speaking does not equal non thinking.
Thank you again for your book and this blog. It is a great resource!
I think communication any time is better than none.
Ido, Thank you for another useful & insightful post. The first hand, “inside” information you share here on your blog is a wonderful resource for the family & friends of a loved one with autism. It allows us to better understand & hopefully be better prepared to help them reach their full potential, as well as be able to shed some of the feelings of frustration & loneliness that undoubtedly accompany anyone who is otherwise misunderstood & unable to communicate their feelings, thoughts & desires. As a gardener I can attest that a large oak indeed grows from a tiny seed. As with ideas, we have to keep thinking, & keep planting, as it only takes one. THANK YOU. Have a great weekend!
Because of you and your book my husband and I changed our way of thinking and now know there is no limit of possibilities in our son. He just turned 7 a couple months ago and today we signed up for our first camp with Soma! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!! Thank you for being the first of many to teach us the truth after we had been told so many untruths from the “professionals”.
Ido- I live in Van Nuys. I need help finding therapy for my son to learn to type. Do you have anyone to recommend ? We have ABA now but I am stopping it because f what you share in your book. My son is 7 and he has fun in ABA but I can see that it is starting to become annoying for him!
My name is Karen KarenvandeLaat@yahoo.com
Soma’s website may have some recommendations, http://www.halo-soma.org. There are a few local practitioners. We can email you if you need more info.