FROM SIMONE – Even though in the Son-Rise Program we are told to join our children’s isms and we are reminded over and over how they are the door to our children’s world, I too have caught myself thinking or saying “How can I make this stop?” I have thought for months before going to my Son-Rise Intensive Program how when we got there they were going to show me how to stop my son chewing everything in sight, yet I remember vividly William Hogan looking at me with his serene face saying: “Love the chewing”!
Here I was miles from home being told to love the very behaviour I told myself to hate every single moment of my day! I reflected then on how I too needed to ism as a child and how it felt soothing to me, how it even felt as if it was a body function like something that seemed so logical to do.
At that time I was more concentrated in starting a full time Son-Rise Program and on the bio-medical side of autism, trying to find the best possible diet that addressed my son’s needs so I just followed William’s tip and loved the chewing.
It wasn’t until a couple of years later when my Son-Rise and Bio-medical programs were more established that I got interested in researching the neurological side of autism and I actually found quite a few studies which, although people don’t realize it, support isms.
You can see a great number of references to the term fidgeting such as when you play with a pen chewing it or pressing its button a million times while you talk on the phone, for example, which really is a sociable accepted ism. Fidgeting is great for stimulating the brain, for keeping one focused and alert, for brain integration, for tidying up thoughts, as you could say, which are the very things we wish for our children.
Physical activity and the force of gravity on our nerves can stimulate brain activity, especially in developing children, more than actually sitting down to read a book. The typical school approach has been questioned lately more and more, perhaps in good time as the amount of television and video games our children sit through nowadays is contributing to a new generation of extremely unhealthy children.
The mouth and hands have millions of nerves sending information to the brain, helping it to make connections. We are so happy to see our Babies mouth every object and explore them pretty much in a similar way our autistic children do, we buy special chewy toys and rings for our babies, we buy colourful sensory toys and display them with pride, yet when our autistic child or adult displays the same need for brain stimulation, judgement comes in the way and tells us to stop them doing the behaviours their body is telling them to do to help themselves, to help them balance their sensory disabilities.
Have you been through those train crossings which say “Stop, Look, Listen”? I would say a similar thing about the ism: “Stop, observe, Love it and Join!”
Wonderful blog! I have often found reasons children do things simply by paying attention to what is happening in my own body as I join with the ism. Such as humming gives me a vibration between the eyes and helps my sinuses. I also know that stopping myself from fidgeting is nearly impossible and uncomfortable so I love knowing I am helping the child just by joining.
Thanks Katrina. It was when we started doing H.A.N.D.L.E. which is a wonderful non-judgemental sensory therapy that I found out how all Thiago's isms were very clever decisions on how to help himself perform better. The creator of H.A.N.D.L.E. was autistic herself and knew of the need to ism. Our Therapist Sean Williams actually worked with a Son-Rise family and did courses at the Institute. During our consultations he joins Thiago and does just like you say checks out how he feels. This therapy also uses what they call Mental rehearsal, which is when we do a neurological exercise on ourselves the child also benefits from it, even if they are not looking at us, so joining our children also benefits them in this way. It's a great biomedical therapy to use with Son-Rise because it also has in its core phylosophy that the child is our teacher.