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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Response: OT Therapist pressing charges against a 13 yr. old Autistic Child

http://thautcast.com/drupal5/content/autistic-student-faces-felony-charges-hitting-teacher-headphones

 I love ThAutcast! This is my response to the story above about an OT therapist who is pressing charges against an Autistic student for (having a meltdown) hitting her in the head with headphones. Normally, I don't recommend listening to the news, as I see it as a form of gossip, but if it enlightens, or causes introspection, change for the better, then I believe it's valuable.


    There's my answer! (at least for now) I tend to pray or meditate about a decision, then I wait and see what information comes. The story above showed up without my searching, but then these stories are plentiful enough that I'm not surprised. I'm more surprised that people are shocked by them, day after day, story after story.
   I was considering seeking to find if there was OT (Occupational Therapy) for adults. There is always room for improvement in me, after all. One deterrent (ok several) makes me hesitate. I had a therapist in high school  who talked a lot about relationships. She'd been married six times, was rather young and had spent a lot of time in the sun. I always worried about her skin, and other decision making skills. Nice lady though. Moving on.  I had a friend, turned creepy stalker who used to be a therapist. (No worries, I'm too logical not to nail these things.) Are you hearing that they have issues too? Surprised?
    If you've read this far, you're no longer allowed to be surprised. That's right. Tomorrow's or next week's story of abuse by parents, teachers, therapists, docs, nurses, bus drivers, care givers, preachers, never mind just get a dictionary. If the occupation is listed, abuse is possible in it. Abusive people don't pick just one particular field. I guess they like variety just like everyone else. (eek!) Am I saying people are dumb for going to therapists? No. I'm saying I'm shocked by the persistence with which people are shocked when they find out these people are human and sometimes are stricken with the intelligence of turnips. It happens to everyone at one time or another. It even happens to geniuses who are not therapists. (case in point--->tina jones) Now that the shock is over....
    Stalking and other abuse happens a lot with Aspie women, so I've heard. (It happens with males too, and I'm not certain that they don't have an even worse time when it does.) For whatever reason, disturbed people like us a lot. Yeah, it's creepy, and the awareness that one has to watch even the Tupperware salesperson, the ladies' auxiliary and the local produce provider, doesn't make it easier.
    We don't often get abuse cues, body language gets past me, and always looking for the positive, I don't always see a predator. Often used to misunderstanding people, even if something hits me as being off, I all too often assume, it's just me and my perceptions. I too often have taken blame for the misconduct of others. (ie. I breathed wrong, and that's why they are stalking me. B.S.) For me, I absolutely have to rely on the judgement and input of those who love me, as well as trusting my gut. I have a few very close friends who act as interpreters when a new person comes into my life or when an old one gets weird. I am short on the ability to see intention, and I rely on these few who have always been supportive.
   What do I do for these reliable friends? I love them. I'm the first to point out logic that they might miss in very emotional situations. (ie. Someone bugs you. It's not personal. Report it!) I make them laugh.  I accept them as they are, and I care deeply about their feelings, Just to be clear, it's not a one way street. We help each other, and if you don't have a person with Autism in your life, I strongly suggest you get one! (big smiles) We're cool people. We just make good bait for weirdos, and who else are you going to call to set up your computer, organize your rubber bands, teach the joys of hand-flapping or point out the obvious in a world of swirling emotion? We can be veritable Yoda's at times. (humor, but you ARE reading this. grins!)
    Years ago, I had a person who had studied therapy tell me that people who get into studying and doing  therapies often do it to heal something in themselves, and that they were often, "some of the sickest people on the planet." Many in the field have since agreed when I asked them. It seemed an odd statement at the time, but the reasoning becomes clearer as time and stories like the above occur. That said, I've known many therapists and more docs on a personal level having been married over a decade to a doc, who helped other docs with addictions keep their licenses as well as therapists, nurses, etc. I've met many from all over the world. I've held so many of those kids (their fragile state leaves me no other word, and it's meant with the utmost compassion.) in my arms while they shook and cried, and I'm the one with Autism. (So much for that lack of empathy theory.)
times, sickness and mistakes. Ditch the pedestals. Pedestals do no one any good.)
     In this news situation, I wonder about whoever it was that hired this person, and decided it was ok to allow them to work with children. More, I wonder about the state of systems that don't provide enough support for teachers, therapists and students.  It's not a decision I would have made, and certainly no one, no matter how put together they seemed should have gone without their own therapy if they were to be working with children or adults, as well as a back up to relieve them should they crack, as I've seen so many do. The news is enough evidence that it happens without having had my experience on a personal level with them.
   The child needs more than this person can provide, of that much I am certain.
    People are people, and they make mistakes.....even me. (I probably should have written "especially" rather than even, but we all get turns.)
     "Be the change you want to see in the world." Mahatma Ghandi
    On the positive side, I am capable of many things, and aware that therapists and docs and produce providers (or whatever) often help us to find the answers that are already inside of us, so I'll be looking to whatever best part of me there is for my own growth. I didn't get much help as a kid, and I made it. I'll make it now. I also look to friends, those on spiritual paths, those who are growing themselves. Even a child can enlighten me when I'm open enough to hear it. Further, they don't yet have a lot of the baggage associated with alleged adulthood. (That which is chronological, and without further evidence.)   Sometimes we just have to travel territory that others haven't, make mistakes, try again, and sometimes we even get to use our very mistakes to encourage another. I've made plenty of mistakes, so I have a treasure trove of them to grow from.
    Help is fantastic where it's available and healthy, but if it's not, don't underestimate the ability of a non verbal, stimming child to climb mountains. I'm still doing it, and I've seen some of the most beautiful views!
  Oh, I'm still open to the idea of therapy, but there will be no expectations, and I'll bring the compassion, and balance I'm looking for with me. If I need it, chances are others do too.
  
tina jones

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