Theories or What Does the Least Damage?

“Of all the therapies and various interventions we tried before you were able to write to us, did any help you?” I asked Emma the other day.

“No,” she wrote and then looked me in the eye and said out loud, as if I might not have understood her, “No.”

I have written about what we would have done differently had we known all that we now know ‘here‘ but still, I have to admit, I was surprised.

“But what about OT?” I asked.

“It is helpful to move,” Emma wrote.

“But did it help?” I asked.

“It’s helpful to move,” she wrote again.

And then I realized.  I was doing that thing that people so often do.  I was asking her a question, she was answering and then, because I couldn’t fully take in her answer or because I was hoping for a different answer, I was asking again.  If this were an interrogation it would be called, “leading the witness.”  Asking questions to elicit a particular response.

“Really?” I said, without thinking.  This time, Emma didn’t even bother to answer, she just looked at the timer and observed out loud, “Six more minutes and study room is allll   doooooone!”

I know for parents new to autism, these words may strike terror.  I remember early on being told about a parent who chose not to do any of the recommended therapies and being horrified.  Wasn’t doing something, even if it wasn’t helpful, better than nothing?  And then I met Henry and Kamila Markram.  They are the two neuroscientists who came up with the Intense World Theory of Autism.  It was Henry who suggested that if you could create a stress free environment for your young child, if you could shield them from surprise, create a calm, safe environment, you would do more for them than any therapy currently available.

Now for those reading this who are thinking I am saying this amounts to doing nothing, I’m not.  But there are those, like Uta Firth and Anna Remington, who insist the Markram’s recommendation, to lessen or adjust the stimuli in autistic children’s environment, is comparable to Romanian orphanages’ and go on to say, “insufficient stimulation and impoverished neuronal input in early development are damaging to children’s social, cognitive and emotional functioning3.” Except this shows a serious  misunderstanding of what the Markram’s are suggesting.  Neglect, mistreatment and being chained to a bed are not what I would call providing a safe, loving, environment free of surprises and lessening of outside stimuli.  

All children crave stimulus, but with the hyper/hypo-sensory issues that confront most if not all autistic children, Dr. Henry Markram suggests sheltering children in a comforting environment that minimizes surprises, sudden unexpected changes of plans, entering new, unfamiliar environments without any preparation, sensory assaults from loud sounds, bright lights, etc. He especially suggests avoiding confrontational behavioral therapies that demand eye contact, verbal responses, compliance and restricting movement.  What makes sense to me?  Following the child’s lead in seeking out craved stimuli. This is an aspect of Floortime that I think is a good approach.

As for other suggestions on “the right way to do it” I’d love to hear more ideas from our autistic readers. What do you think would be truly helpful?

Ideally we would have more scientific studies that show which of these various ideas are correct and that parents should do x, y and z while knowing that they were doing the right thing, the best thing, for their child, but we aren’t there yet.  So until we do know, without a doubt, one way or the other I am going to continue to look to Autistic people and my daughter to guide me.

Riding on the carousel - 2010

Riding on the carousel – 2010

 

 

68 responses to “Theories or What Does the Least Damage?

  1. UGH, it’s really annoying when “professionals” use false analogies to argue a point they can’t actually argue – how in the world is a calm/safe environment akin to a neglectful/abusive situation? Sigh. I went to the article and left a little ranty comment for the “professionals” that did that. Most of the comments on the link were, actually, not impressed with these people’s opinions (thank goodness).

    • Originally I wrote a whole thing about Uta Firth and how she and Simon Baron Cohen are in the “opposing” camp from the Markrams, but it veered so far off topic I deleted all of that. I also deleted everything I wrote about how Uta Firth co-authored another theory – Theory of Mind – which people accept as though fact.
      It was good to see how many Autistic people made comments on the article.

      • There’s a “spin off” to it where they have 5 professionals, one of which is Temple Grandin. Markram was one as well. Not as many autistic commenters, but a couple of parents. At least one of the professionals was actually autistic.

      • My view of the autistic (and it stemming, as with everybody’s view of the autistic, from how that autistic figures for me and mine) makes the movement out from autistic silence to engagement with the collective, the crux of things. Engaging with experts (about the autistic) valorised and looked-to by the collective, is crucial moment and event in that moving out from autistic centre to collective horizon (and back again). One crucial exigency you encounter as the autistic party in this, is what JE phrases as: “Today’s truth: You know you are autistic if nobody listens long enough to even determine you are a liar, but instead systematically discounts you without ever listening.” The pathway across collective process is thereby withdrawn; worse, reductive perception of the autistic person requiring that pathway, can plunge that person into the void of being pathologised across collective process.
        I say we take on the conversation, as a convenient and movement-progressing opportunity to extend our network of autistic-trodden pathways across collective process.

        Grateful for the three articles linked to.

  2. I’ll admit, this isn’t what I wanted to read ccoming outt of my daughters’ IEP reviews this morning! I will say though, the PT and OT Were quick to confirm that any “deficits” or whatever, in those areas would not be reason to hold them back academically. I wonder what you and Emma would recommend instead?
    Thank you again for all you do! You and Emma are huge inspirations for me!

    • It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to write either! I would love to write a post entitled, “Here’s what you should do” and here are all the links to prove why this will help your child more than anything else. That’s the post I REALLY want to write!

      When you write, “…Were quick to confirm that any “deficits” or whatever, in those areas would not be reason to hold them back academically. I wonder what you and Emma would recommend instead?” can you explain, as I don’t know what you mean, instead of OT and PT?

      By the way, there is, without a doubt need for many kids to have PT and OT, just not sure Emma was one of them… though as she wrote, “it is helpful to move.”

      • My girls are 3, almost 4, and have a global developmental delay in addition to their autism diagnosis, so they get PT and OT to work on fine and gross motor skills and muscle strengthening. My question to them basically was, “if they don’t meet the goals you have in these areas will they be held back?”. And they gave me a definitive ” no”. And, yes, I was wondering what you might suggest instead of or in addition to those therapies. Or speech?
        I wish you could write that post too, or at least that children come with a rudimentary set of instructions! 😉
        Thanks again!

        • I can only speak to Emma’s situation and relate to you what we did and would have done differently. I would definitely not have done any behavioral therapy, I would not have done floor time, though I think DIR’s approach of getting to know your child and take their lead is one of the best take aways from that method. I would not have done speech at all. Again, remember this is what I would have done with Emma, knowing now the issues she has related to speech that was a HUGE waste of time and not a single SLP ever seemed to understand what she now has told us over and over again – that what is in her mind is not what comes out of her mouth, no matter how hard she tries.
          I would have begun doing RPM much, much sooner and I would have presumed competence. I can’t really say enough about that last part, because once I began presuming her competent, that’s when the real change began to take place…

          • Thank you! We are lucky that our first home provider was all about the child led, play based approach, and that has flavored our interactions from the beginning. I do my best to presume their competence, and try to make sure everyone the girls come into contact do the same, but I’m still learning…

          • Presuming competence (and, concomitantly, eschewing deficit/impairment perception of the other as not-like-you) as the fulcrum of engagement with autistic (and all persons), is both wise and healthy.
            The field of autistic-allistic engaging and interacting and relating is then so vast, that all of us (as you repeatedly say) can only speak to and about our local part of that field.
            Intervention with the autistic is not just the technical side of that intervention; it is also how that intervention plays out across the people side of that intervention. Provider and consumer (individual, familial, and institutional) details on that people side of things, can outweigh the technical. A given intervention can end helping or not helping across any one or set of these technical and people aspects. Does O T or PT help in a given situation of client: maybe yes and maybe no; and all depending on such a complex nexus of things.

            All this then speaks to the do-no-harm aspect of your post. This is key. This rather than any question of stimulate or protect.
            I’ve struggled for a long time to put into words how I sense autistic persons, including myself, experience and evaluate others, and manage relating and interacting on the basis of that evaluating.
            For my own part I track and map what others are “doing”. With autistic-students it seems to me that they sense and evaluate the other on the basis of whether that other’s being and activity will harm or obstruct their own process of being. So this coming back to the harm theme.

            So, I think, the topic or potential argument here, could be misleading. We stimulate the other with our being and presence and action. That’s a complex and nuanced input. However, we should modulate what we thereby do, across feedback from that other person. There is then need for a wisdom and sensitivity and respect, to see us not harming the autistic other we are bearing on.
            Addressing that matter of not-harming, and making autistic-authored feedback key, is then at the heart of things.

  3. Do you homeschool? What does Emma’s school day look like?

  4. It is amazing how many “facts” are accepted about autistics without input from autistics.

    Typically, when a person invents facts he is said to be a liar. Only in the world is autism can people invent facts and not be called liars.

    In fact, not only is this acceptable, but most of the time preferable – but only in the field of autism

    – where those with invented facts are never called liars, but instead held in high esteem

    – while those living the daily facts are presumed to have no knowledge so discounted systematically.

    Today’s truth: You know you are autistic if nobody listens long enough to even determine you are a liar, but instead systematically discounts you without ever listening.

    Hope today’s truth becomes tomorrow’s lie!

  5. Tough one. As parents we try to do the best that we can with the knowledge that we have. And if our kids can’t tell us if something is effective or helpful, it can be hard to know whether to continue or not. Personally, I kind of went off of a combination of my mommy gut, what I was observing to be helpful, what Nathan liked to do, and what I consider to be necessary, even if he doesn’t appear to be loving it. (An example of this last one would be RPM….he doesn’t really like to do it…..apparently Soma hadn’t met my son when she said that RPM would be the “dessert”. For him it’s the icky medicine he needs to take. But, I continue with it because I know that it will be beneficial one day.) Anyway, it is hard to know what will work because each kiddo has such different needs, so there is no clear cut list of things that will work for everyone.

    • It really is tough. So very, very tough and if Emma were not telling us these things we would never know. How could we?
      By the way, Emma does not exactly jump for joy at our daily “study room” sessions doing RPM either. But I’ve found that finding interesting material helps, making the sessions playful also helps and keeping things upbeat is huge. (I’m not suggesting that you aren’t doing all of these things, just saying what’s helped us.)

      • Thanks for letting me know that. It does help to hear that some of the kids who are doing very well with RPM do not always gleefully dive in to each lesson. Today’s “lesson” (I use the term loosely) involved me drawing fire trucks and all things related on our giant chalk board, and climbing in and out of Nathan’s 8 foot trampoline where he was jumping to ask him his questions and spell on his letter board. Better than not doing it at all, I guess. I strongly believe in the “if you can’t beat them, join them” motto here.
        Until Nathan can tell me what is beneficial for him, I just have to continue to go on gut and what other autistics say. Hopefully one day he will be able to tell me what he needs himself.

        • As Emma has stated in a number of different ways, “Words are not as meaningful to me as they are to you.” To then translate a thinking that is not based in words, would be hard, it seems to me. It then makes perfect sense that writing or talking, both of which are word-centered systems of communication would be extremely difficult.

  6. Sissy Cardenas

    My daughter’s IEP was a couple of weeks ago. She met all goals except the speech portion and she gets distracted quite often so her attention span is a key goal for her to join a general education class. The IEP meetings are hard, but we have been lucky to find a very supportive and structured school district and teachers who have my daughter’s best interest at hand. Since she loves art so much, this summer she will be doing that along with her summer school. I found a couple of websites for her to learn how to read on her own so I will give it a try as well. She is quite vocal and to my surprise can spell out almost anything she wants. She loves the sounds and the rhythm of spoken words, so I read for her until she falls sleep every night. Quite frankly I don’t know if all the therapies work, but if she is having fun, learning and improving in her ability to communicate and her social interactions we will go for it. My goal is for her to be happy, but also to prepare her as best I can for life. I always ask her what she wants and if she says “I want to go to school and play with my friends” I know it is a good fit for her.

  7. The best advice I can give is to expose Autistic children to Autistic adults. That is an “intervention” that I didn’t have growing up, but got later on for myself. Autistic children need to know that there are people who think like they do, including adults. No matter how much your parents tell you things like “you’re not broken”, you still feel broken until you find a community of those who share your neurology.

    When I was Emma’s age, I felt like my neurology was a curse, and I wanted to be “cured” of it. I no longer do, because I now have a community, online and off, of people whose minds work like mine.

    • Great advice Laura! Hugs to you and your mom.

      • Do you know of any programs that have Autistics who mentor Autistics? I’m thinking of a Big Brother, Big Sister type thing.

        • This is exactly the sort of thing I’d like to see developed. All the programs that currently exist (that I know of) are non autistics mentoring Autistics, which is not at all what I want my daughter subjected to. Judy Endow wrote a brilliant post about this – http://ollibean.com/2014/02/05/assigned-friends-outcome/

          There needs to be Autistic/Autistic mentoring programs. Some of these relationships develop organically, but most kids, unless their parents have Autistic friends, will not meet Autistic people who might mentor them, and that’s really too bad. I hope that will change in time.

          • Read JE’s post. Found it a brilliant piece of reporting, of research-finding, of activist construction. Then I tumbled through a hole, and cried, when JE said: “That it is indeed YOUR world And thus, your right To continually put me in my place”.

        • I’ve seen this on Karla’s ASD page – but it’s local to her, I believe.

  8. Sydney improved significant when I removed her from a school environment where she was overwhelmed to point of dropping to the ground and crying every day. It was suggested she would adapt. Well, she didn’t. So having her at home with lights and sounds dimmed, plenty of time for rest and exercising outdoors, eating properly (she wouldn’t eat at school 😦 ) , working on goals when she was feeling her best each day meant that she would actually make progress. Her O.T. and P.T. came to the house and were astounded and so happy to see how well she did in her home environment. On the other hand, I was able to ask Sydney once she learned to communicate which therapies had helped her the most and she quickly typed chelation and removing colored foods and dairy. Every child is different. It’s SO important to follow YOUR child’s lead, and your gut.

  9. Hmmm. I am wondering how many of the things I have both my child with autism and my NT child do, they would feel is a benefit to them vs just something I made them do, i.e. going to school, practicing piano, therapies, etc. They are 7 and 9. Just because they don’t understand, doesn’t mean they aren’t getting something out of it. interesting idea, though. I love your blog, you always give me something new to think about.

    • Hi Stephanie! Your comment made me pause… except here’s the thing,
      most of us do not put our non autistic children through the same types of rigorous and demanding therapies suggested as a matter of course for Autistic children.

      • Marie Brennan

        Ariane that is so true, When we don’t know what we are dealing with we tend to try things or experiment on our kids. We don’t experiment much on our NT kids, but I know in our case, we experimented a lot with Katrina. She put up with a lot. Some of the things we tried (like holding therapy) didn’t feel right after a while, and we stopped doing it for that reason. Other things like patterning exercises seemed to work but were really hard to maintain over time. We tried lots of things on a shoe string budget. And in a way we still are trying things, FC/RPM and special diets. It’s a whole long story. Lets just say I’m glad that Katrina still seems to like us, and I am thankful for her patience, forgiveness, and willingness to try.

        • Marie – “I’m glad that Katrina still seems to like us, and I am thankful for her patience, forgiveness, and willingness to try.”
          You are lovely. 🙂

  10. Great post and great comments. I was especially moved by this from Judy Endow:

    “Typically, when a person invents facts he is said to be a liar. Only in the world is autism can people invent facts and not be called liars. In fact, not only is this acceptable, but most of the time preferable – but only in the field of autism.”

    and:

    “You know you are autistic if nobody listens long enough to even determine you are a liar, but instead systematically discounts you without ever listening.”

    And this from Laura Butler:

    “The best advice I can give is to expose Autistic children to Autistic adults. That is an “intervention” that I didn’t have growing up, but got later on for myself. Autistic children need to know that there are people who think like they do, including adults. No matter how much your parents tell you things like “you’re not broken”, you still feel broken until you find a community of those who share your neurology.”

    • So true. Autism is one of very few fields where someone can literally just make stuff up, and be accepted as an expert. I’ve noticed it with regard to the general public, too–it is considered widely acceptable to say *anything* about autism and autistic people, such is the mystique attached to it, without getting called out as a charlatan or ignoramus.

      Except that we’re actually fine the way we are, we just have different strengths and weaknesses and often need different kinds of support than most people. Anything but that.

  11. I wanted to mention that I met with Henry Markram at the weeklong conference “Toward a Science of Consciousness.” Henry was there to speak about his work as director of the Human Brain Project, for which he was funded a $1.2 BILLION grant from the European Union (shortly afterward Obama announced the US Brain Initiative).

    When you listen to Henry speak it’s easy to see why he was entrusted with all that moolah and why his project won the prize over all the finalists. He’s brilliant. He’s professional. He doesn’t overreach. He says what he knows, and what he doesn’t know. He says what he thinks is knowable, or unknowable, doable or undoable. He doesn’t make up “facts” to support the conclusions he wants to advance.

    I spoke to him afterward privately. The first thing he asked me was how Emma was doing.
    “Fantastic!” says I.
    The second thing he asked me was whether we’d been able to minimize unexpected surprises.
    “As much as we can,” I reply.

    He talked more about how important this was and used the word “surprise” frequently. There was something about hearing that word that made it register on a deeper level and sparked memories of all the times Emma had been “surprised” (shocked and traumatized) and how she will talk about these things quite often. Not in a good way.

    I asked Henry if there were any new developments in the Intense World Theory. He said yes, and he told me about his recent experiments. They blew my mind. And they will blow yours. He is publishing them “later this year.” I asked if I could write about it. He said no.

    How’s that for the ultimate teaser?

    • “He’s brilliant. He’s professional. He doesn’t overreach. He says what he knows, and what he doesn’t know. He says what he thinks is knowable, or unknowable, doable or undoable. He doesn’t make up “facts” to support the conclusions he wants to advance.”
      “… he asked me was whether we’d been able to minimize unexpected surprises.”

      These two aspects of person and corpus, would seem connected. That connection then likely to be at the heart of what he can offer others.

      A person can be a universe to an other. In dyadic relation can be provided what is looked for across collective process. Crucial in this is that the providing person’s core philosophising holds together all that is offered, dynamically (so not static, but rather engaging with all).
      Henry would seem to be able to offer a universe without surprises (event and encounter which shock and traumatise).

      That wouldn’t work for everyone. I have an aversion to finalisation; and won’t allow myself to be confined within any conception or discourse. I feed off catastrophe, feel comfortable with it. Shock winds me up and galvanises me across a dynamo effect. I have what equanimity I have, by containing stress. Psychologically, I am a bag of ferrets.

      Neurological science, as it stands as a research field and a corpus culturally engaged with, attracts those with a need for fundamental certainty.
      I took a course with Fredrick Toates, a brilliant and much beloved in the neurological and biological field, and found that my autistic-centred thinking and expression antagonised him and his student acolytes.

      • Colin it is hard for me to understand how your “autistic-centered thinking and expression” could antagonize anyone, let alone someone who has devoted their life and career to neurology and biology.
        That makes me very sad.

    • Richard – loved reading this and thank you for adding this. Henry is (as is his equally brilliant wife, Kamila, who actually is the one who originally came up with the Intense World Theory, even though Henry gets most of the credit for it) kind, thoughtful, generous, and one of the most brilliant minds working in autism at the moment.

    • It’s way too much of a teaser! Will you or Ariane post something on the blog when the Markrams publish their new research? Or is it going to be soooo huge that I couldn’t possibly miss it unless I turn my computer off for the next six months?

  12. I *think* were doing ok so far but i also think much of it is the particular therapists we work with. E gets PT because he has some physical problems with his hips and too improve balance and coordination…i dont worry about the specific goals as long as he improves (he couldn’t run, climb steps, or jump until 3), OT mainly concentrates on self care and helping him to learn to regulate himself, in speech we got a rare gem…she is the one who suggested and championed for over a year to get his AAC device. She works on mouth strengthening and movements but overall she just agrees with me that any communication is fine and if i send her info she looks into it.
    Will I know if this is really ok for a few years? No but for now i dont feel and have seen no signs with him that they’re a problem or useless. When we get to regular school i may stop any or all of them, because it’s honestly the approach and the respect of the therapists of him and of my input that is important. Argh my usual rumblings but no time to revise im sure hes inhaled his food by now 😉

    • At Emma’s school, the “communications” therapist is terrific and sounds similar to your current SLP. There are others, and it is always such a relief to meet them!

  13. I was in therapy for years and sadly my experience the experts didn’t understand a thing about anything. Mostly they just wasted my time and made me very frustrated. The couple of useful things I did learn were things like telling what time it is from a clock and other very simple everyday skills.

    Probably no therapy will ever turn our lives into just sunshine and rainbows. There are no easy solutions. And that’s fine. Life is meant to be hard. That is the only thing that gives happiness any meaning. To get there takes a lot of work and a lot of patience and a lot of love.

  14. I have always been vocal (although not always confident in my speech when anxious….I admit that when stressed what I mean to say isn’t always what I actually say…this has been something my boyfriend has struggled with remembering when we get into disagreements but he has gotten better at remembering how unreliable my speech can be when I’m upset and believing me when I say I honestly didn’t mean what I said) and I was not diagnosed as a kid. So, I can’t speak for the types of therapies used with kids since I never received them other than to say knowing myself as I do and knowing how I was as a kid I can say that anyone forcing me to make eye contact or to interact with people in situations where I felt anxious would have done little more than the forced interactions I dealt with at public school. Those situations only caused me anxiety and to get much LESS vocal and develop a fear of public speaking and an intense dread of forced socialization and working in groups (I’m 31 years old…I still have these issues that started when I was in public elementary school). They basically chipped away at my confidence. They did not improve anything. I believe home school and a safe calm environment would have been the best thing for me. Things like girl scouts and after school activities that are much shorter than a school day would have been enough for me to learn socialization without the added anxiety. The intense world theory sounds about right to me.

  15. I wouldn’t necessarily say *no* stress is the way to go, but that avoidable stresses be kept to within a child’s readiness to handle…meeting challenges is how we build resilience, but the level of sensory and social demands often placed on autistic children at very young ages is totally out of proportion to what our nervous systems are equipped for.

    I think the Markrams are right on about intense therapy that does things like demand eye contact. Having to destroy out own sensory boundaries and instincts in order to meet those kinds might force someone to look more “normal,” but is actually highly counterproductive to being able to function *well.*

    The therapies that I do wish I could’ve had, if they could’ve been done by a sensitive, insightful therapist and allowed to work at my own pace, would be PT and OT.

    • So just throwing this thought into the mix… I think any interaction, regardless of title, would be a positive one if it is based in a presumption of competence. Well trained people who have done the inner work necessary to treat another with the respect, love and kindness all people should be shown, without exception, are what one hopes for when meeting any who are in the position of caring for others..

  16. “Six more minutes and study room is allll doooooone!” Hah hah that made me smile 🙂

  17. Kathy Marie Adkison

    Thanks so much for sharing this. I’ve shared this with fellow professionals that work with my AU students as well as my students’ parents. ❤

  18. I read the comments from the SFARI link that PK listed above. One of the “experts” who commented is a senior researcher at the Groden Center in R.I. Six years ago we had to pull our son out of their program after 3 months and hospitalize him because he was so traumatized by the numerous prone restraints they performed on him! They advertise themselves as the “autism experts”. It has taken him years to get over that experience. Thanks Ariane for sharing all you and Richard have learned. Emma, you give me such hope for a brighter future for my son.

    • Maren – that is horrifying to hear. I met Matthew Belmonte years ago. His brother is Autistic and was institutionalized as a child. I had hoped he would have aligned himself with a more progressive thinking place.

  19. Hermann Hesse had a neat grasp of the function of autobiography, where it becomes a resource of recreating ourselves in an ever-moving present. The autobiography we need and author today, not needing to be the autobiography we provide ourselves for tomorrow. The key to integrity in this, then being connection to the all-that-is. What-is being so richly vast, that any single autobiographical draft can only do justice to a small part of what needs to be taken into consideration; such that any autobiography is more like a song of salutation to the very idea of biography and autobiography.

    The language of “did any intervention help” is complex. What is understood as intervention? What is meant by help?
    We are held back from re-entry to an earlier moment in becoming, because of the ins and outs of change in what we have later become. Can we ever really get back to an earlier time?
    The question, as a living itch to be scratched, may have differing import for parent and child, and that varying over lifetime.

    I then love Ariane’s suggestion of Emma’s fielding of the question. That fielding so nuanced, so cheeky, so adolescent, so redolent of the growing Emma. So expressive of the child becoming parent to the woman.
    I can’t then decode just what Emma meant and was expressing; that taking nothing from the delight-at-a-distance involved.

  20. “That fielding so nuanced, so cheeky, so adolescent, so redolent of the growing Emma. So expressive of the child becoming parent to the woman.” Ha! Yes, I think so too. And in becoming “parent to the woman” becoming a model to those who may be struggling in their own “becoming”. Thus the autobiography as instructive manual, affecting another’s and another and another…

  21. Thank you for your words. We have been pushed to so many therapies, i have read too many books about parenting until we have found a therapist who took our sons needs into focus. He has taught us to listen to our son, he will showu us what he needs and can to. No comparing to others, just support, love and TRUST. I have to say our son is on a low autism spectrum, but has huge difficulties socially. We have now found a school where he can learn free! No schedules, no pressure, huge progress!

  22. Brilliant Brilliant, I love this blog so much

  23. RachellieBellie

    Thoughts on ABA therapy? We are newly diagnosed and just started ABA. It’s only been a few weeks and it seems like his behavior is getting worse, not better, and they tell is that’s expected. Something about an expulsion burst. Any thoughts would be helpful.

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