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Fri Apr 25, 2014, 03:02 PM

The 3 biggest non-medical tools (In My Opinion) for any young child or adolescent on the spectrum.

April is Autism Awareness Month. I've been meaning to do to do something substantive with regards to Autism. I thought hey why I don't write some advice for younger people on the Spectrum. But when I reflect on what advice I could realistically offer without sounding cliché I end up coming back to stress management devices. Not surprising really since for a very sizable portion of those of us on the spectrum just being what we are is stressful, whether that stress is social in nature or comes from a disposition(for whatever reason) towards anxiety(which I should add here is usually not by choice). Anyway here are my top 3 tools any child on the spectrum needs to deal with the stress of growing up Autistic

1. An all-consuming passion or passions. Why is this number one you might ask ? Well the answer is straight-forward. Autistics are well-known (notorious even?) for being extremely passionate about a certain subject or subjects. The intellectual pleasure we experience while learning (for a lot of us it's feels more like indulging) things about our particular passion can be at times indescribable. When I think back on my adolescence I can tell you the reprieve that my passions gave me from the dark and poorly lit road that is growing up Autistic was essential for maintaining what little peace of mind I could gain.

2. Favorite Music. Why is music so important ? Because it is a vehicle for the occasional catharsis that people on the spectrum often need from time to time. Something that allows us to sort of "ride" our at times intense emotions. When I was younger I would listen to
Slipknot when I was especially angry. After 2 or 3 of their songs my anger would be spent and while I wouldn't be in a good or even neutral mood I was not angry anymore and could face the rest of the day with manageable levels of stress.

3. Meditation. Perhaps some might say this is cliché but I can tell you from first hand experience that meditation in both the short term and long term can be extremely beneficial. Modern science has shown that regular practice of meditation actually enables people to deal with stress more effectively. By being able to sit down and use deep abdominal breathing to slow the high-speed train we call our brains can be very, very helpful. Seriously why psychiatric medicine has not done more with meditation is beyond me. Perhaps it's the fact that the meditational methods that are common come out of Buddhist, Taoist, and Hindu spiritual traditions. But here's the thing about meditation as a whole. After a period of regular practice the process can be applied to a wide range of activities. You need not be religious on any level to get real benefits.

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Reply The 3 biggest non-medical tools (In My Opinion) for any young child or adolescent on the spectrum. (Original post)
De Leonist Apr 2014 OP
seabeyond Apr 2014 #1

Response to De Leonist (Original post)

Fri Apr 25, 2014, 05:02 PM

1. Excellent. When son so young, I would sit him down at table with bowl of clay

 

When he had been over stimulated by company, friends, family... I pulled out the clay. He wouldn't use any new clay cause he had this worked perfectly for feel and sculpting. Motion, feel, able to be within self in quiet would do the trick.

Passion for sure. Walking into high school he grabbed onto cross country. That was the best blessing and a time I was worried about was real actively easy for him having the outside sport.

And hear you on music. Interesting

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