Autism Spectrum: So many questions…looking for the answers

10 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Towards the middle of my undergraduate career, I began to become increasingly aware of autism and the challenge presented to countless children and families to unlock the mystery behind the diagnosis. I recall reading Barry Kaufman’s Son-Rise. As I remember, the book spoke from a perspective of integrating one’s self into the world of the child with autism and slowly drawing him or her into the greater world over time.

When I finished my bachelor’s degree, I spent a year working as a 1:1 classroom aide for children in preschool, many of whom had autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses. I supplemented this job by working as a discrete trial (Lovaas/ABA) therapist. I was trained and supervised by a licensed clinical psychologist who had worked under Dr. Lovaas at UCLA, and at my peak, I spent about twenty hours per week doing something entirely different than the protocol discussed in Son-Rise. Rather than trying to integrate myself into the child’s world and slowly draw him out, I was working on providing very specific and repeated practice for the child to learn how to function more adaptively in the world, a world which might be confusing and overwhelming when viewed through senses blurred or magnified by ASD.

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