When was the last time you had a meaningful conversation with your ASD child? What we want more than anything as parents is to experience moments of true connection with our children, and to witness them developing meaningful connections with other people in their world—with friends, siblings, teachers. Why? Because we can’t be there every moment. We want their lives to be fulfilling—full of meaning, full of love. And when do we feel most like we have done our job as parents? When we see our children take healthy steps toward independence—from their first steps as they learn to walk, to starting their first job, to [marriage,] and beyond. For too many families, receiving a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder is experienced as a moment when the expectation of these moments of true connection and accomplishment come crashing to the ground. Sadly, this experience of ASD can last years or even a lifetime.
However, in a time when current research is revealing that brain plasticity—the ability for the brain to change and grow—exists throughout the lifespan, and new methods are being developed specifically to address the core challenges that individuals with ASD struggle with, this doesn’t have to be your fate. Current findings tell us that despite the perplexing variability in how Autism presents itself from one individual to the next, the common thread is a breakdown in the child’s ability to fully benefit from the guiding relationship offered by the parents, due to environmental factors within and around the child. Let me emphasize here—AUTISM IS NOT CAUSED BY FAULTY PARENTING! Rather, something within the child or their surroundings disrupts their ability to fully benefit from the guidance their parents provide.
The good news? This relationship can be restored, and with the guidance of a trained consultant, the child can progress to develop meaningful relationships and grow into his true potential.
The ultimate goal is to develop “dynamic intelligence,” the creative, flexible thinking needed to make connections with other people, meet unexpected challenges and solve problems. When we are fluent in the language of dynamic intelligence, we can function independently in our uncertain, ever-changing world.
Genuine Connection and Independence.
We can help your child reach their potential, together.
--Julie G. Meyerowitz, MS, CCC-SLP
As published in Baltimore's Where What When on November 6, 2017