I found out very quickly through volunteering in a Son-Rise Program that Autistic children are extremely good at sensing things. I had learnt at The Son-Rise Start-Up Program that because these children had challenges picking up on social cues, they had other ways of figuring out the world to compensate for that.
I know that Robert was definitely in touch with the energy I put out because he would know when I was uncomfortable about a certain behavior that he would display and as a result of that, he would do it more.
For example, he would pee on me. I would get really uncomfortable because I didn’t know how to handle it and thought it was because he didn’t like me. Then it would always be me that it happened to and none of the other volunteers. Also, it’s common that Autistic people are either hyper or hypo sensitive so it makes sense that they would also have extra sharp hearing or an extreme sense of touch, etc.
One thing that truly amazed me was that after one of our group meetings for Robert’s program, when we had all left, Robert returned home from his Grandparents house where he had been for the entire meeting. The first thing he did was to go into the living room where the meeting had been held and circuit around sniffing the seats where we had all been sitting.
He then continued to tell his parents exactly which seat each and every volunteer had sat on and he was exactly right, incredible!
The beauty of The Son-Rise Program is that a large part of it is about attitude and beliefs, so after looking at why I was uncomfortable when Robert did those things with me, I was able to change my belief (in this case, the belief that he didn’t like me). As soon as I had changed that belief, he stopped peeing on me.