Over the next few weeks, I am going to be sharing – and busting – some common myths regarding learning differences such as dyslexia, ADD/ADHD and autism.
Myth #2: “We need to make autistic people learn how to act normally.”
Every person is exquisitiely unique. Autism is just one way of being uniquely human.
Prizant encourages parents, educators and clinicians to consider “autistic” behaviours (such as hand-flapping, rocking, and spinning) as strategies to manage in a world that feels chaotic and overwhelming.
Eye contact is another area in which autistic individuals do not ‘conform’ to the expected normal behjaviour – at least not in the Western world. Should we insist on autistic people making eye contact? My answer is simple. No. I don’t believe we should.
A person’s eyes can convey a lot of emotion, and taking in all of that information can feel overwhelming. Some people describe the feeling as being very intense – like looking into a very bright light. Others say eye contact hurts them, makes them feel uncomfortable and confuses them. However it feels, it can contribute to overstimulation and overload of the brain.
#2. It can be difficult to make eye contact and listen to someone at the same time.
Avoiding eye contact allows them to take away the huge amount of rapid info coming at them (from facial expressions and eye contact), which can alleviate the pressure on their brain and allow the person to process and to follow along a lot better than if forced to make eye contact.
So next time the issue of eye contact comes up, consider this question that Ametyst puts to us: ”Would you like me to make sustained eye contact so that you feel more comfortable, or would you like me to hear, understand and remember what you say?”
One of the unique things about the Davis Autism Approach®, the thing that makes it different to any other therapy or programme, is that Ron Davis really understands autism from the within. And his programme truly reaches to the core of an autistic individual.
The Davis Autism Approach® programme bridges the gap between the autistic world and this big world beyond, and embraces both worlds so that they are able to work in harmony.”
Here is what her gorgeous autistic son had to say about the Davis Autism Approach:
For more information on dyslexia, ADD/ADHD, autism and other learning differences, head over to my website or drop me an email. I’d love to hear from you 🙂