donderdag 21 april 2016

Autisme begrijpen op zijnsniveau.

Op facebook volg ik de pagina van  Bill Nason, Autism Discussion Page. Bill geeft hele waardevolle adviezen. Natuurlijk zijn ze niet altijd onmiddellijk toepasbaar voor Pelle, want het blijft maatwerk. En soms ben ik het niet met hem eens. Maar met zijn uitgangspunt kan ik alleen maar van harte instemmen: zorg in de allereerste plaats dat je kind zich veilig, geaccepteerd en competent voelt. 
Vandaag las ik een stukje van Bill dat ik graag hier wil delen. Hij beklaagd zich over de focus op gedrag als het om autisme gaat terwijl het veel belangrijker is om een ander niveau aan te grijpen, als je je kind wilt helpen. Autisme is een andere manier van zijn, van in de wereld staan. Daar moet je respect  en begrip voor hebben.

Autism is not about behavior.

I so hate the way Autism is diagnosed. It has always been about a cluster of behaviors. We reduce the human condition down to a set of behaviors, which you either meet or don’t meet. Diagnosing based on behavioral symptoms makes it believed that if you change the behaviors the person is no longer autistic. Autism consists of perceptual and thinking differences; a different way of perceiving and experiencing the world. Nowhere in the diagnosis do you see all the sensory processing issues, difficulty reading context, struggles processing multiple information simultaneously, difficulty filtering irrelevant details, the list of executive functioning challenges, attention to details and facts, emotional regulation issues, lack of flexible thinking, and other mental processes that still stand regardless of our focus on changing behavior.
With a diagnosis based on behaviors it leads to therapies to extinguish and shape behaviors and drugs to suppress “autistic” behaviors. It ignores the many perceptual and cognitive differences that defines autism and underlies all the social and emotional challenges they experience. Unfortunately, for many on the spectrum who do not exhibit the obvious “autistic” behaviors, their struggles go unrecognized. Autism is a human condition, not a behavior disorder.
The reason why this page is so popular is that we look at autism from the inside-out, trying to understand how the person thinks, feels and perceives the world. This page and the books are devoted to giving parents, teachers and professionals a better awareness of how the person experiences the world in order to help support them and the challenges they experience. In doing so we also respect, accept and validate the person so that they can feel safe, accepted and competent in being a person with autism. The only way that we can support all people is to stop labeling behavior, but understanding how the person thinks, feels and processes the world.
Autism is not a behavioral disorder, but a package of complex processing differences. It is a different human condition, not a set of behavioral symptoms. We need to assess the person’s unique ways of perceiving and processing the world and build comprehensive plans to not just extinguish and shape behaviors, but support the individual challenges that the person experiences (sensory, cognitive, social and emotional struggles)

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