On an airplane a few months ago, I sat behind a Dad and his two young children … a boy aged 6-ish and a girl aged 4-ish. He was sitting on the aisle, grim faced. As people continued to board the plane, the boy, who was seated in between his father and his sister, spoke with his Mom. “Yes, Mom, we’re on the airplane … it hasn’t taken off yet … No Mom, the door is still open! … Ok Mom, I’ll have fun! … Mom, do you want to talk to Daddy? … (The dad stared straight ahead) … Ok Mom, bye Mom I love you too Mom.” As he handed the cell phone back to his dad, he sneaked a peak at him. Dad continued to stare ahead.
He then turned to his sister, who had been silent during the phone call. She began a blow-by-blow narrative of everything she was observing out the window. “Look at that red truck … there are the suitcases … why is that man standing there? Who are all those people? When is the plane...
“Darling … You’ve got to learn not to take the bait … They’re just doing it to get you!”
Those are the words my mom would say to me, as I ran crying to her, seeking comfort from the teasing that my brothers and father used to do periodically when I was a little girl.
I so desperately wanted to be in on their jokes, to be included in their camaraderie, to not be made fun of or laughed at … and … from my perspective, it didn’t happen … and, they were merciless.
They made fun of what I said and how I said it.
They laughed at the way I looked.
They would promise to stop … and then keep on even more.
Moments of inclusion in their worlds frequently ended with me in tears, as they would say or do something that they knew would upset me.
And, as I lost it, they would laugh, and then grow quiet, knowing that my mom would reprimand them and demand that they “Stop it.”
by Anne Maxwell, LCSW
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
~ Albert Einstein
It has become clear to me, having worked as a psychotherapist for the past 25+ years with children, families and adults of all ages and kinds, that there are particular cultures of thinking or attitude in regard to the way people, and especially kids, should function. Those that don’t function according to the rules and regulations in play around them are labeled with ‘disabilities,’ especially in educational and medical communities.
Autism is one such definition.
I have a different way of viewing people who have been labeled with autism, and, 10 years ago, when I discovered the tools of Access Consciousness®, my practice changed, as did the children and adults I was working with... more ease, longer-lasting change, happier families.
Some questions I was invited to...
“Want to go riding?”
My friend Alison and I were in Dublin with other friends, attending a class. She had found a stable just outside Dublin. The website showed spectacular views, through woods, up in the hills, looking down on the city of Dublin and the ocean … hard to resist!
On the day of the ride, the sun was shining, soft blue Irish ocean sky with puffy clouds.
We arrived at the stable and were welcomed by horses peeking out from their stalls, curious. “You picked a good day … the weather is beautiful,” the guide said, greeting us. “It doesn’t happen like this very often!” She had us fill out paperwork (the last time I rode was as a little girl, riding a large, gentle old horse named Sasha, bareback.) She and the stable hands saddled up horses and brought them out in the courtyard.
“This is Divo,” she said, as she handed the reins over to me. ...
I took my first Foundation class eight years ago. That class changed everything for me. It turned my world upside down. It created space for me that hadn’t been available before. I was different. I was happier. I actually liked myself a little! And I noticed that people wanted to be around me, more than before.
The day after that class, members of my family and extended family came to our house for a holiday celebration. They stayed for three days. We had been estranged from each other for many years, and this was the first time in a very long time that we occupied the same physical space.
It was incredible!
We enjoyed each other’s company. We had conversations with each other we hadn’t dared dream about. Old wounds healed. The past lost its significance. And, we had fun together.
And, it happened without upset, without drama.
It was so different.
Since that first class, I’ve taken many Foundation classes and facilitated even more. What I love...