Granted, I started out really scared and a little sad when we first got the diagnosis. Then I would find myself getting down about some of his behaviours at first as well -- like at the poo poo park.
But in the past six months or so, he's changed and I've changed. He's talking now and tells me he's my best friend and that I'm his best friend. He's right! I will cherish this for as long as I can, because I don't know where we'll be at when he's in his teens.
I've come to totally accept him and his stimming. My concern about it was my problem and not his in any way. It's who he is and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Now a couple of days ago, my wife sent me this photo essay about a study done in 1964 where researchers physically and verbally abused little kids. Because they're mentally crippled. How did these people sleep at night?
Screams, Slaps & Love: A surprising, shocking treatment helps far-gone mental cripples
Okay, where the hell do I start with this? It's thoroughly disturbing and depressing - not at all because the children are autistic but because of the horrendous treatment of the children!
By helping they mean yelling and beating them until they must do something - anything - to defend themselves. Children who cannot defend themselves.
They have taken on three boys and a girl with a special form of schizophrenia called autism — utterly withdrawn children whose minds are sealed against all human contact and whose uncontrolled madness had turned their homes into hells (p. 96). And, by alternating methods of shocking roughness with persistent and loving attention, the researchers have broken through the first barriers.Roughness and persistent and loving attention -- like cycles of abuse.
|Researcher slapping this kid in the face. (source)|
At one point Pamela had been making progress, learning to read a little, speak a few words sensibly. But then she came to a blank wall, drifting off during lessons into her wild expressions and gesticulations. Scoldings and stern shakings did nothing. Like many autistic children, Pamela simply did not have enough anxiety to be frightened.What the hell? They apparently need to be scared out of their minds to learn. So after being shaken and scolded, they decide to electrocute her.
To give her something to be anxious about, she was taken to the shock room, where the floor is laced with metallic strips. Two electrodes were put on her bare back, and her shoes removed.After being scolded, shaken and electrocuted, she attempts to hug the researcher with instinctive cunning. Perhaps get a little mercy out of him. The researcher denies her and insists she continue with her lessons. I wonder if he ever considered why she didn't want to do the lessons, that she would be punished if she failed or perhaps she may not believe she is capable.
Then, just like an abusive parent, the researchers would come in and offer affection and cuddling as if there was nothing wrong with the previous abuse.
Even more than punishment, patience and tenderness are lavished on the children by the staff. Every hour of lesson time has a 10-minute break for affectionate play. The key to the program is a painstaking system of rewarding the children —first with food and later with approval — whenever they do something correctly. These four were picked because they are avid eaters to whom food is very important. In the first months they got no regular meals. Spoonfuls of food were doled out only for right answers.Go read it. You need to read it to believe it.
|Original caption: 'Like a fragile Buddha, Chuck sits endlessly contemplating nothing while mutely rocking|
back and forth.' Or he could be stimming to try to deal with the fact he's being tortured. (source)