Chapter 7: What It Takes to “Get It”
“I just pay attention. He made it sound so simple. But those four words said so much. [He] was effective in providing exactly the support this teenager needed not because he had mastered a particular kind of therapy, followed steps in a behavior plan, or dispensed the right “reinforcers.” What enabled him to provide exactly the support [she] needed was that he had the instinct and ability to watch, to listen, and to be sensitive to her needs” (136).
“[S]ome people are just naturals: within five or ten minutes they would know how to interact with her son and he would relax with them; there was a chemistry. “We say those people have ‘got It,'” she said. No matter their title, no matter their training, they connect” (136-137).
Traits that individuals who “get It” have: (138-141):
- The human factor.
- Shared control.
“People who have “got It” understand that: that the significant relationships people with autism develop often bear little resemblance to the relationships other people might have” (142).
“That was a principal who “got It,” who understood that it’s essential to be creative, responsive, and flexible in supporting children of different abilities” (145).
“Principals who “get It” see it as their responsibility to ensure that families of children with disabilities feel welcomed. They visibly interact with students and their families, and when problems or challenges arise, they see it as their role to help devise creative and appropriate solutions. Such principals create compassionate, caring communities” (145).
“Some professionals view a child solely as the sum of his deficits, when it’s more valuable and sensitive to take a developmental approach, understanding children’s strengths and needs as they grow and evolve over time and through stages” (149).
“Professionals should communicate to parents that their observations are valid, respected, and important” (149).
“But they need to treat each child, and each family, as unique and important. Being sensitive to the needs, hopes, and dreams of each child and parent is essential to building trust, working collaboratively, and serving the best interests of all” (153).
“‘The people we valued most were the ones who never judged us,’ she said, “but joined us on the journey”” (153). ~ Mother of a child with autism
I love this quote at the end of this chapter. It’s not only important and relevant when discussing interaction with individuals with autism, but also to anyone that is going through a hard time or struggling with something in their life. For all of those that work with individuals with autism, or another line of work where it’s important to listen, understand, and embark upon a difficult journey with the person who it ultimately belongs to, remember: never judge and be empathetic by following them on their path.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post and will read my upcoming posts on Uniquely Human by Barry Prizant! 🙂 ❤
Prizant, B. (2015). Uniquely human: A different way of seeing autism. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
Featured image: https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com