A solution implies a problem. But the child is not the problem.
My name is Kevin Foley. I have run an autism unit attached to a primary school, taught in mainstream secondary schools, and coordinated support for University students disclosing Autism Spectrum Conditions. I also have a son, Sean, who was diagnosed with Autism (high functioning) aged 12.
The experiences have helped me accumulate some insights but generic understanding is insufficient because the 'solution' for every child will be unique to that child. I have been Sean's Dad for 26 years. I am not even an expert on him - he keeps changing. Being the mentally healthy personal navigator he has become, it is far more important that he is the expert on him.
Sean was exhibiting signs of Depression when he was 13 and not coping with the demands of mainstream secondary school. It was time to explore a different less stressful path - so that is what we did. We subsequently spent several years together covering a more personalised curriculm. It is only since he left mainstream secondary school behind that I began to appreciate just how difficult it is to gel atypical neurology with 'schooling'. I have put some thoughts in an ebook (below) and believe it may be food for thought for parents/teachers/support staff.
Talking of life with his autistic son , Nobel prize winner Kenzaburo Oe reflected ,
"I feel human beings can heal themselves, the will to be healed, and the power of recovery are very strong in us. That's the most important thing I've learnt in my life with my son."
The most important resources in the battle for a decent quality of life is our children's innate desire to help themselves and their strengths/passions. They have an agenda and we do best when we can ally our agenda to their agenda. Their 'passions' can be a source of analogies, success, confidence, esteem, and vocations.
So as soon as they are able we need to start collaborating with our child to mitigate the impact of the condition on their lives. Observing their strategies and strengths and passions - latching onto these and nurturing them - and trying to get others to do likewise.
Please do download the 'Asperger Solution' e-book
Update. Since the book was written Sean has also...
- appeared on the RTE programme ' Living with Autism' (on youtube now)
- written his own book ' Does my AS look big in this ?'
Sean's ebook and my ebook are £5 each. I trust you to make your payment on the shop page via Paypal. If you cannot afford the fee - download for free
Good Luck to you and yours