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Can we talk about Temple Grandin? Alternative books?


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I've been reading one of her books (The Way I See It) and, although I really respect the work she's done, I find myself pretty aghast at some of her suggestions. Obviously, since she's a proponent of ABA (and received it in it's "original form"), I'm going to disagree with much of what she says, but can we talk about specifics?

 

I'm reading her chapter on stimming. She does not believe that even very young ASD children should be allowed to self-soothe with stimming any time it is needed -- she suggests only giving them, for example, an hour or two daily when they are "allowed" to stim, even if the stims are not harmful in any way... largely because it isn't considered "socially acceptable." I guess my main problem with this is that I'm more concerned about harmful behavior, and less concerned about flapping or my son talking to himself. 

 

Then I read her suggestion that when a child has a meltdown... and even if there is a clear cause, such as sensory overstimulation (very loud noises or very bright lights, for example)... her mother would punish her after a meltdown by taking away a privilege. It never occurred to me to punish a meltdown. I'm differentiating "meltdown" from "tantrum," because I understand the difference between the two. When Marco tantrums because he didn't get his way or didn't get something he wanted, I view it as entirely different than when he "melts" due to sensory issues, being hungry and not having the verbal skills to convey it properly, etc. 

 

Again, I can appreciate her views on this, especially considering she is an adult who has lived it, but I've read many more articles written by autistic adults who really, really resent therapists and parents doing all of the above. 

 

I'll continue to read her works because I find her fascinating, but if I'm looking for books to read on it, does anyone have suggestions for some that may fall a bit more in line with not punishing or disallowing stims and meltdowns caused by external "real" factors? 

 

This isn't meant to be a debate, because I am a Grandin fan (with regards to her personal experiences) although all conversation on it is welcome, of course. I've received several suggestions from posters and have already purchased some of those books -- and I'm doing some self-education this summer. I'm also looking for suggestions regarding "how to" teach dyslexic teenagers with executive function problems, although that's somewhat off topic :P

 

 

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I don't really have any good book suggestions. I'd love something similar to hers but from a different POV. I think the saying that "if you've met one autistic person then you've met one autistic person" is very true. And while I do appreciate reading about Grandin's experiences and perceptions it seems to me that way too often she seems to assume that every person with autism is just like her. And giving her the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it's the autism the causes that. I suspect it is.

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I don't know if it is very specific because I don't remember the details, but the Barry Prizant book is very respectful that way and a great book.

 

I also just read the Play Project book by Solomon and I found it respectful but I don't remember it really mentioning stimming?

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Also SonRise has this kind of approach and I have read two of their books I think. And I loved a book called Now I See the Moon by Elaine Hall.

 

Now I See the Moon is a great, great parent memoir and she came up with her own kind of alternative therapy (iirc) and it was just a cool book.

 

I think you would like it.

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I don't really have any good book suggestions. I'd love something similar to hers but from a different POV. I think the saying that "if you've met one autistic person then you've met one autistic person" is very true. And while I do appreciate reading about Grandin's experiences and perceptions it seems to me that way too often she seems to assume that every person with autism is just like her. And giving her the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it's the autism the causes that. I suspect it is.

Funny -- the bolded is exactly what my boys' psych told me after our second kiddo was dx'd and she was trying to explain to me why I needed to employ completely different OTs for the two of them, lol.

 

I agree with you. I suspect her lack of ability to deviate from her own experiences is due to her autism. I will say that she does add advice for situations that do not apply to her, but it tends to contradict her other advice (which is based on personal experiences).

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I saw Temple Grandin speak last year and I think she is really open and maybe has gotten more open with her more recent things. She says in The Autistic Brain she hadn't realized before different processing styles -- she had thought everyone thought in pictures like her.

 

And I do think in her earlier stuff it is more "this is what my mom did, this is my personal experience," but I don't find her more recent stuff to be that way.

 

Edit: the word I was looking for is nuance. She has gotten more nuanced over time imo.

 

I also think -- when her earlier books came out there really was not much out there from an autistic perspective and I think she didn't have the opportunity then to meet other people and compare.

 

I think now she has and she has more nuance now.

 

She still has strong opinions on some things but I think she is more clear about saying she has these opinions based on things she has observed since she has been touring and speaking and talking to many many people.

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I don't do a lot of reading and theorizing about autism so I don't know these books but completely stopping me from stimming would have made my life a living hell and would have had to become the main theme of everything to even make a slight dent in my tendency to do it. I mean, my parents tried to discourage it but they understood intuitively, with me undiagnosed and before there was widespread understanding, that it was basically a losing battle. Maybe other people have weaker associations with their stims but I think this very specific, harmless behavior is hard wired in me somehow. I have learned to redirect it in social situations but there's never going to be a time when I just stop doing it for good. Maybe that wouldn't be the case if it had been aggressively policed all day every day growing up? But at what cost in misery?

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I don't do a lot of reading and theorizing about autism so I don't know these books but completely stopping me from stimming would have made my life a living hell and would have had to become the main theme of everything to even make a slight dent in my tendency to do it. I mean, my parents tried to discourage it but they understood intuitively, with me undiagnosed and before there was widespread understanding, that it was basically a losing battle. Maybe other people have weaker associations with their stims but I think this very specific, harmless behavior is hard wired in me somehow. I have learned to redirect it in social situations but there's never going to be a time when I just stop doing it for good. Maybe that wouldn't be the case if it had been aggressively policed all day every day growing up? But at what cost in misery?

Agreed. At this moment in time, Marco's stims are not harmful and seem to help him -- I'm not going to make him stop simply because... social dictates. I don't even try to discourage. If someone finds it socially unacceptable to watch him stim, they can feel free to move their gaze away from him. 

 

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Aimee, are you reading the entire book or just jumping around topics? I am not asking this to judge, just trying to figure out some of the things you have said in your post.
 

 

I've been reading one of her books (The Way I See It) and, although I really respect the work she's done, I find myself pretty aghast at some of her suggestions. Obviously, since she's a proponent of ABA (and received it in it's "original form"), I'm going to disagree with much of what she says, but can we talk about specifics?



First off, Temple Grandin never received ABA, much less in its original form. Lovaas, who tested Skinner's approach with children (Skinner had only ever tested on animals) did so in the mid to late eighties. His article on his findings was released back in 1987. Temple Grandin was born in 1947. She was 40 at the time that Lovaas' research was released ;)

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/23/health/23lovaas.html

Temple Grandin in the past has called what she got something similar to ABA because of the time that the people helping her spent with her engaging her. What Temple Grandin received was one-on-one games and activities to keep her engaged. That is what she advocates for, to keep the child engaged. She only received ST as a therapy from a professional. The in-home treatment (if you could call it that) was from a nanny that had developed an approach she had seen somewhere. All her books talk about one-on-one games involving the nanny, herself, and her siblings. Her mom actually mentions that the nanny was more hard on her siblings than she ever was on Temple Grandin (re: A Thorn in My Pocket by Eustacia Cutler - Temple Grandin's mom) 

 
I'm reading her chapter on stimming. She does not believe that even very young ASD children should be allowed to self-soothe with stimming any time it is needed -- she suggests only giving them, for example, an hour or two daily when they are "allowed" to stim, even if the stims are not harmful in any way... largely because it isn't considered "socially acceptable." I guess my main problem with this is that I'm more concerned about harmful behavior, and less concerned about flapping or my son talking to himself. 
 
I have the printed version of The Way I See It, which means that I cannot just copy paste quotes, I would have to type them out and I have no time for that. Her point is about engaging the child. Obviously, everyone has their own beliefs when it comes to stimming. My kids did not do much of that, possibly because I engaged them in the world from very young, prior to knowing anything about autism. I don't know nor can I say definitively but I always got involved in what they were doing and engaged with them in a similar fashion as Temple Grandin. I have always tried to see what fascinates them, through their eyes, in order to connect with them. And that is what Temple Grandin means, to me at least. I don't follow what the advocate groups have to say, only partially. Note, most of the people that advocate for just allowing a child to stim are high functioning. They do not have a child that is disconnected from the world and unresponsive to what is going on around them  ;)  So it really all depends on where you choose to stand on certain issues, for your own child. 
 
Then I read her suggestion that when a child has a meltdown... and even if there is a clear cause, such as sensory overstimulation (very loud noises or very bright lights, for example)... her mother would punish her after a meltdown by taking away a privilege. It never occurred to me to punish a meltdown. I'm differentiating "meltdown" from "tantrum," because I understand the difference between the two. When Marco tantrums because he didn't get his way or didn't get something he wanted, I view it as entirely different than when he "melts" due to sensory issues, being hungry and not having the verbal skills to convey it properly, etc. Again, I can appreciate her views on this, especially considering she is an adult who has lived it, but I've read many more articles written by autistic adults who really, really resent therapists and parents doing all of the above.

 

Her mother punished her for bad behavior, not for sensory meltdowns. Actually, she advocates for not punishing a child for sensory causes or other such natural causes that the child has no control over.  You might find this useful:

 

https://aspergers101.com/dr-temple-grandin-discipline-key/

 
I'll continue to read her works because I find her fascinating, but if I'm looking for books to read on it, does anyone have suggestions for some that may fall a bit more in line with not punishing or disallowing stims and meltdowns caused by external "real" factors? 

 

Again, she is not advocating for punishing the child for things that are beyond his/ her control, but I did see some good suggestions recommended already, like Prizant's Uniquely Human. You could also look at some of Stanley Greenspan's books.  
 
This isn't meant to be a debate, because I am a Grandin fan (with regards to her personal experiences) although all conversation on it is welcome, of course. I've received several suggestions from posters and have already purchased some of those books -- and I'm doing some self-education this summer. I'm also looking for suggestions regarding "how to" teach dyslexic teenagers with executive function problems, although that's somewhat off topic  

You might want to start a new thread for the dyslexic teen with EF issues. There are people with kids with dyslexia on this board whose kids are not autistic that will most likely not open this thread ;) 

 

 

 

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Aimee, are you reading the entire book or just jumping around topics? I am not asking this to judge, just trying to figure out some of the things you have said in your post.

 

 

 

Not jumping around. The only topics I've skipped have been her chapters regarding teens and autism, because I'm not even close to "there" yet. 

 

Page 156, "Total Meltdown Due to Sensory Needs." I'm not much past that yet (a couple chapters past that), so maybe she goes on to clarify. In this, though, she said that her mother gave her the consequence of no television that night after a "sensory meltdown," and after she had calmed. I was confused when a couple chapters later she said differently. 

 

ETA: You're right -- she describes it as being a lot like ABA, but not specifically ABA. She does seem to prefer ABA for today's autistic child and seems to pull from it a lot. She more references growing up in the 50's and 60's in a rather strict social structure, lol -- which sounds an awful lot like what one of my grandparents would say :p

 

I love her academic and practical learning approaches and plan to implement most of them. The way she describes "detail to general" learning is amazing and she gives great examples. I also like the way she explains children with limited body awareness and meltdowns. 

 

If Marco's stims were disconnecting him entirely from others, I would have to rethink my strategies, of course. Right now (and at this point), they seem to be a more positive way for him to calm himself. If he disconnects for a bit, when he's overstimulated, it's better--and safer--than a meltdown, for example. Admittedly, though, if the stims became harmful in any way, we would try to reduce them. 

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Not jumping around. The only topics I've skipped have been her chapters regarding teens and autism, because I'm not even close to "there" yet. 

 

Page 156, "Total Meltdown Due to Sensory Needs." I'm not much past that yet (a couple chapters past that), so maybe she goes on to clarify. In this, though, she said that her mother gave her the consequence of no television that night after a "sensory meltdown," and after she had calmed. I was confused when a couple chapters later she said differently. 

 

ETA: You're right -- she describes it as being a lot like ABA, but not specifically ABA. She does seem to prefer ABA for today's autistic child and seems to pull from it a lot. She more references growing up in the 50's and 60's in a rather strict social structure, lol -- which sounds an awful lot like what one of my grandparents would say :p

 

Thank you for the page quote, I'll look it up when I have some more time and come back to it. 

 

Yes, she did liken what she had to ABA. She doesn't anymore ;) We all grow and expand our way of thinking, throughout our life :) . I believe she has that right as well! You can even observe such changes on various topics on here from year to year. Note, I was the one to first mention ABA on this board. It was prior to more in-depth research. I used an ABA book with my now 8 yr old but I adapted it to what I wanted. After further research on the history of behaviorism I have formed more, let's say, specific opinions about ABA. These opinions are based on the theories rather than what advocates have to say ;)

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I love her academic and practical learning approaches and plan to implement most of them. The way she describes "detail to general" learning is amazing and she gives great examples. I also like the way she explains children with limited body awareness and meltdowns. 

 

Yes, I found it interesting how she has grouped the different ways of thinking/ learning. Please also note that she does say that people can fall into several of the categories she describes ;)

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Thank you for the page quote, I'll look it up when I have some more time and come back to it. 

 

Yes, she did liken what she had to ABA. She doesn't anymore ;) We all grow and expand our way of thinking, throughout our life :) . I believe she has that right as well! You can even observe such changes on various topics on here from year to year. Note, I was the one to first mention ABA on this board. It was prior to more in-depth research. I used an ABA book with my now 8 yr old but I adapted it to what I wanted. After further research on the history of behaviorism I have formed more, let's say, specific opinions about ABA. These opinions are based on the theories rather than what advocates have to say ;)

Is this book a compilation of previously written books? I know it was published in 2015 according to my copy, but it would account for some of the contradicting methods and suggestions made chapter-to-chapter. 

 

ETA: I re-read the foreward. This IS a compilation, lol -- of her work spanning about 15 years. I thought I had seen something about that, but wasn't sure. I'm going to look for something of hers that is recent and not a compilation. 

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She more references growing up in the 50's and 60's in a rather strict social structure, lol -- which sounds an awful lot like what one of my grandparents would say :p

 

Not to throw an idea out there and then back away, but I'm sort of going to do this because I won't be able to respond much due to my schedule. 

 

Anyway, I bet an entire discussion could be had about therapy in the context of one's culture. We all draw lines on many things in life that are not harmful but are socially stigmatizing even with NT kids (say, picking your nose in public). I can envision someone in a different culture choosing to draw those lines in different places even when trying to give utmost respect to their child with a disability. Culture also changes over time. Reading etiquette rules from a different century is often amusing for this reason. 

 

I would not be surprised if some of the things that Temple Grandin appreciates about her upbringing are things that ended up being super helpful to her in her milieu (her work, her growing up years, etc.), and that is why she finds them helpful. If she grew up now, she might find a different set of things helpful. In other words, in how her life played out, some of those things instilled skills or tools she specifically needed that might be of lesser importance to another individual. 

 

There are definitely things I do and don't do with my kids that have nothing to do with disability but have a lot more to do with, "I think this will be more useful to them later." I don't have them do the kind of fine motor work that would enable them to be a surgeon, for instance. It's clear they will never be surgeons from their current motor skills for starters, lol! Someone else might encourage detailed work even if their child got sucked into projects that consumed a lot of time and made things inconvenient because they see some sort of potential in it. That child might go on to be a surgeon or dentist or something of that nature. 

 

Anyway, just musing. I do think there are some hard and fast "Do no harm" things, but sometimes we don't know what they are until we've done the harm. It's a worthy discussion.

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Is this book a compilation of previously written books? I know it was published in 2015 according to my copy, but it would account for some of the contradicting methods and suggestions made chapter-to-chapter. 

 

ETA: I re-read the foreward. This IS a compilation, lol -- of her work spanning about 15 years. I thought I had seen something about that, but wasn't sure. I'm going to look for something of hers that is recent and not a compilation. 

Yes, this is a compilation ;) Not just that, but I have the second edition published in 2011 and the pages don't match up to yours :lol: My page 156 has a quote from the chapter. If you can give me the chapter's topic that would be helpful. I'll try to locate it myself in the meantime. I will also clarify that I don't follow anything that does not make sense to me for my kids ;) 

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Modern ABA does not try to eliminate stimming but rather to substitute more socially acceptable forms of stimming that don't interfere with the individual's ability to participate in a mainstream activity. For example, my daughter's handflapping when she gets excited has been "shaped" into squeezing a happy face emoji stress ball. It still serves the same purpose but doesn't attract the same kind of negative attention from peers and outsiders.

 

Now if the stimming behavior is something that is not acceptable in public at all like s*xual self-gratification (not uncommon for adolescents with ASD or ID), then the child would be taught that it can be done in a specific private setting during certain times of the day. There was a module on s*xual development in the class I took on deafblindness intervention and scheduling a specific time is the recommended way of handling that type of stimming.

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Yes, this is a compilation ;) Not just that, but I have the second edition published in 2011 and the pages don't match up to yours :lol: My page 156 has a quote from the chapter. If you can give me the chapter's topic that would be helpful. I'll try to locate it myself in the meantime. I will also clarify that I don't follow anything that does not make sense to me for my kids ;)

The chapter topics are really confusing. The chapter with the paragraph I mentioned, that had to do with her personal experience, is Chapter 4: Non Verbal Autism. 

Kind of like the chapter on Behavior Issues... which contains her article about Autism and Religion :D 

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You might find this more recent publication more useful in regards to sensory:
 

Temple Talks about Autism and Sensory Issues: The World's Leading Expert on Autism Shares Her Advice and Experiences

https://www.amazon.com/Temple-Talks-Autism-Sensory-Issues-ebook/dp/B00UYHTVEU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1496800166&sr=8-3&keywords=sensory+temple+grandin

 

Although, when it comes to sensory integration, you might have to look at various resources from different authors. Word of advice, try not to purchase books that may not be as useful to you. Try to get books from the library first, before you commit financially. Says the woman who has several books that just sit on her shelves and Kindle  ;)

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My son has had escape stimming and this I would interrupt (or join -- ironically joining counts as interrupting because joining can be a way to interrupt) the stim to engage at times -- with the other options being to go "okay I guess I will just leave you alone" except that would mean really never engaging, and I don't think that is okay.

 

He hasn't done that in years now.

 

He still has stims that are really obvious serving as regulation. Like -- it is just obvious.

 

For him -- these have been deemed "non-disruptive" so there has been no need to target them for change. So basically -- yes he is stimming, no it isn't legitimately bothering anyone.

 

So far people have felt like for social acceptability -- they don't target this if they don't think the child understands it. They might if it was observed to be a major barrier of some kind. I don't know, though, since it hasn't come up for us.

 

For example he hums but even in mainstream setting at school they say he isn't disrupting other students.

 

Edit: in an ABA book I followed they recommended providing an engaging and enriching environment to prevent and replace that bored stimming. My son has replaced it with playing of some kind. He plays with toys or can play with the dog or jump on the trampoline. It is not this bored stuff. And he doesn't avoid engaging with me so he doesn't do that "I will shake my head until you leave me alone" thing anymore.

 

We have left some non-disruptive regulating stims that are no problem (and in fact are regulating -- so they are the opposite of a problem, they are a positive -- we think that humming helps him to concentrate).

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The chapter topics are really confusing. The chapter with the paragraph I mentioned, that had to do with her personal experience, is Chapter 4: Non Verbal Autism. 

Kind of like the chapter on Behavior Issues... which contains her article about Autism and Religion :D

 

OK, you are not supposed to be distracting me from my own reading :lol: now you are going to make me look up the article about Autism and religion :lol: I do remember she does not believe in God and I figure, that is her prerogative. I follow what my mind and heart tells me  :D

 

Note, also, that a lot of what is in her book is just going to give you a general idea of how to approach things. I have used her ideas and adapted them to how I approach things. Books like the Visual Strategies for Improving Communication by Linda Hodgdon would be of more practical use. 

 

OK, I'll read chapter 4 when I have a bit more time and come back to this.

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OK, you are not supposed to be distracting me from my own reading :lol: now you are going to make me look up the article about Autism and religion :lol: I do remember she does not believe in God and I figure, that is her prerogative. I follow what my mind and heart tells me  :D

 

Note, also, that a lot of what is in her book is just going to give you a general idea of how to approach things. I have used her ideas and adapted them to how I approach things. Books like the Visual Strategies for Improving Communication by Linda Hodgdon would be of more practical use. 

 

OK, I'll read chapter 4 when I have a bit more time and come back to this.

Actually, she was fairly complimentary in her article about autism and religion. Although it was in a way that made me laugh. Kind of like, if nothing else, having to sit through church taught her discipline and that sometimes we have to do things that make others happy, which she considers important things to learn. She even suggested getting kids in religious households WWJD bracelets or necklaces so that they had a concrete visual for learning goodness.

 

I did get that book! (Visual Strategies!) Reading it now. Multitasking :P

 

I don't use the library. I have a serious problem returning books until I've incurred such a fee that I should have just bought the books I borrowed (many times over).

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He is engaged now, thanks for thinking of me though :) He likes to be a part of things, we don't have to make an effort for that anymore.

Oh, I realize that  :) DIRFloortime is not just about engaging. Floortime is only a part of it and the DIR approach can be used with older kids in many different ways. But I totally get following what we feel comfortable with for our own child  :)

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Actually, she was fairly complimentary in her article about autism and religion. Although it was in a way that made me laugh. Kind of like, if nothing else, having to sit through church taught her discipline and that sometimes we have to do things that make others happy, which she considers important things to learn. She even suggested getting kids in religious households WWJD bracelets or necklaces so that they had a concrete visual for learning goodness.

 

I did get that book! (Visual Strategies!) Reading it now. Multitasking :p

 

I don't use the library. I have a serious problem returning books until I've incurred such a fee that I should have just bought the books I borrowed (many times over).

 

Yes, she is respectful of religion. I was commenting more on her own faith in God ;) Actually, I find her very open minded on many topics. Even with her animal activism, I find her more balanced than most. I tend to view things a bit differently than some.

 

 

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OK, I got really close to just buying the Kindle version of The Way I See It just to be able to quote. The price they want for that one though, I'll just stick with my 2011 edition since I already have it  :p

 

I skimmed to find the point you mentioned and did not find that exact point. If you could quote it would be useful. I am typing out some quotes here from Chapter Five - Behavior Issues:

 

 

BEHAVIOR IS ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY DISCUSSED TOPICS OF ALL times by parents and professionals within the autism community. Parents want to know how to deal with their child's behaviors at home and in the community. Educators in the classroom find it difficult to manage the behavior outbursts that can accompany autism, and often resort to punitive tactics, which have little or no effect on an autistic child who is having a tantrum due to sensory overload and social misunderstandings. Understanding the source of "bad" behavior and teaching "good" behaviors is a challenge for neurotypical adults who have a different way of thinking and sensing the world than do children with ASD. It requires adults to rethink the way they interact with people with ASD, and most are ill-equipped to do so. Abstract concepts about morality and behavior do not work. The child has to learn by specific examples. When I said something rude about the appearance of a lady at the store, mother instantly corrected me and explained that commenting on how fat the person is was rude. I had to learn the concept of "rude behavior" by being corrected every time I did a rude behavior. Behavior has to be taught one specific example at a time. 

 

You will notice she is basically saying to rule out sensory overload. She is not saying that a child should be corrected if the behaviors was caused by sensory overload. Anything you read from her and any quotes, articles, videos, you see floating around the web and You Tube can attest to that. That is what I follow. Notice how she points out it is "to be taught one specific example at a time" ?

 

 

Call me old-fashioned, but adults in the world of my youth, the '50s and "60s, believed in a stricter social behavior code than do adults in today's world. For the child with ASD, that was a good thing. Social skills were taught as a matter of course. Behavior rules were straightforward and strictly enforced, another positive strategy well aligned with the autism way of thinking....

... to be a functional member of society, these things were required, not optional, as they seem to be today. 

 

Personally, I completely agree with this! And, no, it is not culturally based or has anything to do with my upbringing. I was actually more strict about things like that than my parents and my parents have even commented on that in regards to how I raise my boys. Way of thinking on matters like this is more personal that cultural or determined by what time you lived in. This is why I agree with Albert Bandura and the reason why his theories blend so well with what I have learned so far and my way of thinking. Here's a quote:

 

 

When Bandura arrived on campus, Sears was exploring the familial antecedents of social behavior and identificatory learning, also focusing on nonaggressive reactions to frustration. Influenced by Sears' work, Bandura began field studies of social learning and aggression in collaboration with Richard Walters, his first doctoral student. They were fascinated with the unconventional challenge of explaining antisocial aggression in boys who came from intact homes in advantaged residential areas rather than simply demonstrating that multiple adverse conditions tend to spawn behavioral problems. This research, which underscored the paramount role of modeling in human behavior, led to a program of laboratory research into the determinants and mechanisms of observational learning.

Bandura and Walters found that hyper-aggressive adolescents often had parents who modeled hostile attitudes. Although the parents would not tolerate aggression in the home, they demanded that their sons be tough and settle disputes with peers physically if necessary, and they sided with their sons against the school. They displayed aggression toward the school system and toward other youngsters whom they believed were giving their sons a difficult time. The youngsters modeled the aggressive hostile attitudes of their parents. For these aggressive adolescents, the vicarious influence of seeing a model meting out punishment outweighed the suppressive effect of receiving punishment directly for aggressive acts. These findings conflicted with the Freudian-Hullian assumption that direct parental punishment would internally inhibit children's expression of aggressive drives, and they led to Bandura's first book, Adolescent Aggression (1959) and to a subsequent book several years later, Aggression: A Social Learning Analysis (1973).

Having gained a better sense of how people learn by observation, Bandura extended this work to abstract modeling of rule-governed behavior and to disinhibition through vicarious experience. Results from this work led Bandura to conduct a program of research with Dorrie and Sheila Ross on social modeling involving the now famous inflated plastic Bobo doll. At that time, it was widely believed in accordance with the Freudian theory of catharsis that modeled violence would drain observers' aggressive drives and reduce such behavior. The children in these studies were exposed to social models who demonstrated either novel violent or nonviolent behaviors toward these rebounding dolls. Children who viewed violent models subsequently displayed the novel forms of aggression toward the Bobo doll whereas control children rarely, if ever, did so. These results revealed the occurrence of observational learning in the absence of reinforcement to the observers. Bandura and his colleagues also demonstrated that children could learn new patterns of behavior vicariously without actually performing them or receiving rewards. This line of theorizing was discordant with the views in vogue at the time that learning is a consequence of direct reinforcement. The results conflicted with Miller and Dollard's conditioning account of modeling and imitation, and led Bandura to distinguish between the cognitive effects of modeling on acquisition and the motivational effects of rewards on imitative performance. This research was summarized in a second book published in 1963 entitled Social Learning and Personality Development and led Bandura and Walters to conclude that modeling was a powerful process that could account for diverse forms of learning. They sought to free explanations of social learning from theoretical dependence on Freudian assumptions about the role of identification and catharsis and from Hullian and Skinnerian assumptions about the need for direct reinforcement.

 

Found here:

http://stanford.edu/dept/psychology/bandura/bandura-bio-pajares/Albert%20_Bandura%20_Biographical_Sketch.html

 

Now look how well it ties into Temple Grandin's closing statement on that section that I shared the above quotes from:

 

 

The behavior, good or bad, of a child with ASD, largely depends on you and your behavior. If you want to change the behavior of the child, first look at your own. You might be surprised by what you see.

 

In any case, all that is on bad behavior. She does not classify sensory overload and stimming under bad behavior. At least not in anything I have ever read from her. 

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Note, it was my maternal grandmother that was more strict on manners. And any teacher I have ever admired in school always expected the most from us and taught us to respect ourselves and others. 

 

ETA: And to think for ourselves  ;)

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And while I do appreciate reading about Grandin's experiences and perceptions it seems to me that way too often she seems to assume that every person with autism is just like her. And giving her the benefit of the doubt, perhaps it's the autism the causes that. I suspect it is.

I think that if you do spend time reading her words from various sources you will probably realize that this is not the case but rather the opinion of some advocates who have their own objections for their own personal reasons. In an case, this is what she has to say about different types of thinking in autism. This, she clarifies, is from her own personal observations. I will add here that this is after many years of advocating for autistic individuals and numerous public engagements where she has interacted with many other autistic individuals. She has also coauthored books with other autistic individuals and has personally met with many including nonverbal autistic people. She also clarifies that many individuals fall in more than one of these categories.

 

http://www.templegrandin.com/article.html

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I think that if you do spend time reading her words from various sources you will probably realize that this is not the case but rather the opinion of some advocates who have their own objections for their own personal reasons. In an case, this is what she has to say about different types of thinking in autism. This, she clarifies, is from her own personal observations. I will add here that this is after many years of advocating for autistic individuals and numerous public engagements where she has interacted with many other autistic individuals. She has also coauthored books with other autistic individuals and has personally met with many including nonverbal autistic people. She also clarifies that many individuals fall in more than one of these categories.

 

http://www.templegrandin.com/article.html

 

No, it's my own opinion from having read and watched a LOT of her stuff. I don't think I've ever read anything (other than this thread) objecting to what she says. And for me it's just an underlying, niggling feeling that what she believes is different than what she pays lip service to, which often seems more academic than personal to me (understandably, since her expertise is really built on relaying her own personal experience as an autistic person and she's only had the experience of her own type of autism).

 

I know you're a fan of hers, and that's fine. I admire your knowledge about her. She just doesn't click with me because so much of what she says isn't what I "see" in DS. And that's okay.

 

(Caveat--Rambling thoughts w/o the benefit of caffeine.)

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The quote I'm referring to:

 

3. Total Meltdown Due to Sensory Overload. When this happens, the child is often having a tantrum while exhibiting repetitive behaviors like kicking or flapping. The best approach is to put the child in a quiet place and let him calm down. Teaching is impossible during a meltdown. When I was finished having a tantrum, Mother quietly told me the consequence was no TV tonight and that was it.

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The "no TV" could be a desire not to further amp up a child who is overwhelmed by sensory input. I don't allow screen time when my DD is overstimulated because it just makes things worse. We do a "time in", where she has to sit quietly on my lap in a bear hug. When she was younger, I used to do the Wilbarger dry brushing but she is better at calming herself down now.

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The "no TV" could be a desire not to further amp up a child who is overwhelmed by sensory input. I don't allow screen time when my DD is overstimulated because it just makes things worse. We do a "time in", where she has to sit quietly on my lap in a bear hug. When she was younger, I used to do the Wilbarger dry brushing but she is better at calming herself down now.

She stated in other parts of the book that no TV was the consequence for tantrums, at home and at school. If she had a tantrum at school, she knew that when she got home, her teacher called her mother and that would mean no TV for the night at home.

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I finished the book, although I will note that I skipped portions that didn't pertain to me at this point (teens and adults with autism, for example). 

 

I absolutely loved her interview with another psychologist at the end. I love her take on "finding a cure" for autism -- she stated in several places that she would not cure autism, even if she could, because she feels like a world with no autism traits would lead to a world full of "yak yak social creatures" who were "pretty unintelligent," and we would lose future Einsteins, etc (naming well-known individuals thought to have had autism/aspergers). I know she likely wasn't trying to be funny, but her wording tickled me. 

 

I also love the four categories of social rules she created for herself :) 

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This would have been a good point but Aimee is correct. Temple Grandin does mention TV taken away as a consequence for bad behavior in numerous places.

 

I have never seen it used in the case of sensory overload before, though. This piqued my curiosity so I went topic by topic in the ToC on Amazon and noticed that while my book does have the following topics in chapter 4 in this order:

 

Understanding Nonverbal Autism:

- You Asked Me!

- Tito Lives in a World of Sensory Scrambling

- Understanding the Mind of a Nonverbal Person with Autism

- Solving Behavior Problems in Nonverbal Individuals with Autism

- Whole-Task Teaching for Individuals with Severe Autism

 

It does not include the section titled:

 

- Why do Kids with Autism Stim

 

This is the topic that includes page 156. This appears to have been added in the new edition. I put the new edition on hold from my library system to look into it further.

 

The "no TV" could be a desire not to further amp up a child who is overwhelmed by sensory input. I don't allow screen time when my DD is overstimulated because it just makes things worse. We do a "time in", where she has to sit quietly on my lap in a bear hug. When she was younger, I used to do the Wilbarger dry brushing but she is better at calming herself down now.

 

 

She stated in other parts of the book that no TV was the consequence for tantrums, at home and at school. If she had a tantrum at school, she knew that when she got home, her teacher called her mother and that would mean no TV for the night at home.

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Apparently TG came to our area a few years ago and visited one of the local autism schools. An OT we were using at the time had met her and was really surprised by her. I think there's this sort of assumption of what she'll be and then the reality. So to me, having heard this person's description of what she's like in real life, the abruptness matter of fact approach of the quotes here really make sense. She apparently had some not too nice opinions for people who aren't stern enough. 

The quote I'm referring to:

 

3. Total Meltdown Due to Sensory Overload. When this happens, the child is often having a tantrum while exhibiting repetitive behaviors like kicking or flapping. The best approach is to put the child in a quiet place and let him calm down. Teaching is impossible during a meltdown. When I was finished having a tantrum, Mother quietly told me the consequence was no TV tonight and that was it.

 

Ok, how old is your ds? My ds is 8 and he's a handful. I might have thought that quote was horrible when my ds was 3, but I can tell you *right now* it makes a lot of sense to me. I'm going OH YES, THAT'S RIGHT, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT? 

 

Your perspective could change with time.

 

Yes, it never ceases to amaze me that people are shocked that someone with autism isn't taking other's perspectives or thinking that someone else might feel differently. That's THE POINT.

 

On the stimming, Lecka parsed some of those situations. I think just don't take it so personally. Sometimes the amount of intervention you do depends on the stage you're at, kwim? There are some types that are just self-regulating, fine, happy. There are certain situations where doing it is going down, deep, deep, and my ds is going to be VERY HARD to get out. We're not going to let that happen. I'm not going to let my ds go down into the abyss, kwim? That kind of stimming, where he's going down into the abyss, I'm going to let it go 5 minutes and then I'm going to join and try to get him out. Because my ds used to live in closets and under tables and that's now how I want him to live. And maybe that's pushy to someone, but he wasn't mature enough to make a reasonable choice on that. So *I* chose to have interventions that helped him connect with us.

 

Honestly, back to that quote a bit, I think she could have mis-spoken or maybe jumbled her memories. I wouldn't assume everything is correct. It could be, or it might not be. She's human, and the more significant the autism the more probable there are language issues complicating her communication. You might take from it the idea that there *might* come a point where you realize you want to have consequences. It could be this tool in your toolbox, an option. It's not like you have to use ALL the tools at once. Nobody is saying that. There might be a time where you decide consequences ARE appropriate. But think about how sneaky that mom was. She both communicated hey, that's not cool, that's not how we want to be rolling AND she got her dc away from something that might have fed it and made it worse, something the dc would have otherwise been drawn to. Sometimes moms make really hard choices like that. Sometimes what my ds wants isn't what's good for him or what's BEST for him.

 

Thanks for sharing what you're learning. I've never read her books. I might have skimmed one. I have utterly no interest in reading anything she's written, and I'm not sure why. I think it's just her take and pretty extreme. I don't feel like I have to agree with her on anything, just because someone in my family and her family share the same labels. People are different and situations different.

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I have two with autism diagnoses -- DS8 and DS5; DS8 on the more moderate and mild end, but with other medical issues, and DS5 on the more moderate and severe end. I also have a teenager who isn't autistic. 

 

I've taken television away on occasion -- but not for meltdowns that I knew were caused by overstimulation or anything else beyond my personal understanding. I'll take electronic privileges away when one boy yanks a toy from another after a warning not to; I'll take privileges for a tantrum over hitting Brother because Brother didn't give him his toy. 

 

If either of my boys ever went so deep under with their stims that we couldn't pull them back out and it became harmful to them, of course I would intervene. Right now, though, I'm talking more about the views she expressed in some of her articles regarding stims that simply weren't "socially appropriate" and were therefore forbidden outside her prescribed hour or two daily. 

 

My views could absolutely change and have changed over the years regarding many things.

 

I actually really enjoyed, as I finished her book, her abrupt approach. I kept DH up until quite late last night forcing him to listen to me read them aloud, lol. I didn't have to agree with what she was saying all the time to appreciate her very blunt approach :)

Apparently TG came to our area a few years ago and visited one of the local autism schools. An OT we were using at the time had met her and was really surprised by her. I think there's this sort of assumption of what she'll be and then the reality. So to me, having heard this person's description of what she's like in real life, the abruptness matter of fact approach of the quotes here really make sense. She apparently had some not too nice opinions for people who aren't stern enough. 

 

Ok, how old is your ds? My ds is 8 and he's a handful. I might have thought that quote was horrible when my ds was 3, but I can tell you *right now* it makes a lot of sense to me. I'm going OH YES, THAT'S RIGHT, WHY DIDN'T I THINK OF THAT? 

 

Your perspective could change with time.

 

Yes, it never ceases to amaze me that people are shocked that someone with autism isn't taking other's perspectives or thinking that someone else might feel differently. That's THE POINT.

 

On the stimming, Lecka parsed some of those situations. I think just don't take it so personally. Sometimes the amount of intervention you do depends on the stage you're at, kwim? There are some types that are just self-regulating, fine, happy. There are certain situations where doing it is going down, deep, deep, and my ds is going to be VERY HARD to get out. We're not going to let that happen. I'm not going to let my ds go down into the abyss, kwim? That kind of stimming, where he's going down into the abyss, I'm going to let it go 5 minutes and then I'm going to join and try to get him out. Because my ds used to live in closets and under tables and that's now how I want him to live. And maybe that's pushy to someone, but he wasn't mature enough to make a reasonable choice on that. So *I* chose to have interventions that helped him connect with us.

 

Honestly, back to that quote a bit, I think she could have mis-spoken or maybe jumbled her memories. I wouldn't assume everything is correct. It could be, or it might not be. She's human, and the more significant the autism the more probable there are language issues complicating her communication. You might take from it the idea that there *might* come a point where you realize you want to have consequences. It could be this tool in your toolbox, an option. It's not like you have to use ALL the tools at once. Nobody is saying that. There might be a time where you decide consequences ARE appropriate. But think about how sneaky that mom was. She both communicated hey, that's not cool, that's not how we want to be rolling AND she got her dc away from something that might have fed it and made it worse, something the dc would have otherwise been drawn to. Sometimes moms make really hard choices like that. Sometimes what my ds wants isn't what's good for him or what's BEST for him.

 

Thanks for sharing what you're learning. I've never read her books. I might have skimmed one. I have utterly no interest in reading anything she's written, and I'm not sure why. I think it's just her take and pretty extreme. I don't feel like I have to agree with her on anything, just because someone in my family and her family share the same labels. People are different and situations different.

 

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No, it's my own opinion from having read and watched a LOT of her stuff. I don't think I've ever read anything (other than this thread) objecting to what she says. And for me it's just an underlying, niggling feeling that what she believes is different than what she pays lip service to, which often seems more academic than personal to me (understandably, since her expertise is really built on relaying her own personal experience as an autistic person and she's only had the experience of her own type of autism).

 

I know you're a fan of hers, and that's fine. I admire your knowledge about her. She just doesn't click with me because so much of what she says isn't what I "see" in DS. And that's okay.

 

(Caveat--Rambling thoughts w/o the benefit of caffeine.)

Pawz4me, you certainly have the right to your own opinion. I am not looking to change it. One thing I will say though, she has never left me with that opinion. She is one of the few people that could have made tons of money with her mother coming up with a therapy (like some other parents of kids with autism) but she has not. She warns about fad therapies and miracle cures. Her life and accomplishments serve as proof for the rest and she is out there, raw, knowing that those that will criticize her will find every opportunity to use that against her. I respect that about her! 

 

I don't call myself a fan. When I think of the word fan I think of crazed young people screaming and crying over seeing actors and singers. I admire and respect her for her contribution to the autism world. She put autism on the map. Her experience and story in a time when people were told to just put their kids in an institution is pivotal. Her story gave people hope. Back when I first started researching autism her books were pretty much all that was available.

 

One thing we need to remember is that Temple Grandin would have been diagnosed as classically autistic according to the DSM-IV. She was nonverbal and was lost in her world for a while. What her mom, the ST, and the nanny accomplished was pretty much unheard of in those days. If there were others' stories, we would have heard about them by now. Temple Grandin speaks primarily for the kids that are moderate to severe. So you not relating to her story in regards to your son makes complete sense! Neither of my two were nonverbal nor lost into their world, not even my 8 yr old who is not as high on the scale as his brother. Your child was diagnosed at 17, which means that what Temple Grandin was experiencing at the young age that her mother got the diagnosis, would not have anything in common. Even my 8 yr old knew his letters and numbers before his 2nd birthday. By three his was already reading CVC words and using the computer and tablet for educational purposes. He was already reading at an advanced stage by age 4. Most of his behavior in public appeared to be linked to sensory meltdowns. His communication was behind but he was still bringing up books, pointing to images of animals, and sharing small phrases at age 2 1/2-3. So, yes, my kids experience with autism does not match hers but I can relate to her and get what she is saying in many ways as a person that at least has autistic traits (even though I do not have an official diagnosis).

 

The categories I linked that she came up with, I fit in the first two and know exactly where my two boys fall. I can totally relate to running mechanical things in her head. I can do that as well, although I don't have her savant ability of taking images of text and then reading it in her mind. She knows that autistic people are different and she tries to give those that can't speak, a voice. To me she is a role model. I respect her honesty and straightforward nature. She taught me a lot about my boys and myself. But I can see past her own personal experience with autism to the value of what she has to share. That's just me :)    

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I have two with autism diagnoses -- DS8 and DS5; DS8 on the more moderate and mild end, but with other medical issues, and DS5 on the more moderate and severe end. I also have a teenager who isn't autistic. 

 

I've taken television away on occasion -- but not for meltdowns that I knew were caused by overstimulation or anything else beyond my personal understanding. I'll take electronic privileges away when one boy yanks a toy from another after a warning not to; I'll take privileges for a tantrum over hitting Brother because Brother didn't give him his toy. 

 

If either of my boys ever went so deep under with their stims that we couldn't pull them back out and it became harmful to them, of course I would intervene. Right now, though, I'm talking more about the views she expressed in some of her articles regarding stims that simply weren't "socially appropriate" and were therefore forbidden outside her prescribed hour or two daily. 

 

My views could absolutely change and have changed over the years regarding many things.

 

I actually really enjoyed, as I finished her book, her abrupt approach. I kept DH up until quite late last night forcing him to listen to me read them aloud, lol. I didn't have to agree with what she was saying all the time to appreciate her very blunt approach :)

 

AimeeM, do what you feel is right for your children and what makes sense to you. That is what I do :) I don't honestly care what people say or think. How people approach things with their kids is their right as it is mine to approach things the way I feel is right for my kids. I use resources from people I respect and I pull ideas that I feel suit my kids. 

 

I have read tons to my husband from Dr. Grandin's books :)

 

OK, now for some SPD history because I like researching things and trust facts  ;)

 

You will see here that Ayres researched and developed her theories in the 60s and finally developed her approach in 1972. I will mention again that Temple Grandin was born in 1947 when the advice given to parents was to institutionalize and that is what her mother was told to do. Note also that, while Temple Grandin's dad wanted to institutionalize her her mother said no and proceeded on a mission to find a way to help her child during a time when there were no known therapies. All her mom had was trial and error, yet look what she was able to accomplish with her daughter. I think some people tend to forget that! 

 

https://www.siglobalnetwork.org/ayres-sensory-integration

 

OK, back to the facts, look at the diagnostic criteria for autism from the previous DSM:

http://www.autism-society.org/dsm-iv-diagnostic-classifications/

 

Now compare to the new DSM:

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/hcp-dsm.html

 

What do you notice in the DSM-V that was not there in the DSM-IV?

 

Yeees, the link between autism and sensory processing disorder (at least for some individuals). 

 

 

Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g. apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).

It was not added until the new DSM in 2013. I think we can sometimes take for granted all the information that is available to us about autism these days  ;) Our kids are fortunate to be born in a time when there is so much research going on and so much more is known about autism! They are fortunate to have options in therapies! The only option in Temple Grandin's day was to be institutionalized. Her mother had something else to say about that  :D  

 

So to me, the only plausible conclusion is that her mother had no idea what sensory overload was in those days and it was just handled as "bad" behavior. Since Temple Grandin is conveying the story in a time when people know what sensory integration is, she is sharing how her mother approached it back then without this knowledge. I am sure you did not find anything from her saying that she recommends punishment for sensory overload in her recommendations though! 

 

ETA: Edited to add Ayres link.

 

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Aimee, I found some references for you. This is what she has to say about ABA (this was a couple of years ago):

 

"Grandin: ABA is a good program to get language started in very young children under age five. Other intensive therapies that involve one-to-one teaching are also effective. The best ABA programs have a flexible approach."

 

Found here:

https://m.slashdot.org/story/297303

 

I think this shift happened because other therapies came out that are also one-on-one and engage the child so now she can say the same thing for those therapies as well. Her point has always been engaging the child one-on-one at a young age.

 

Here are some things from her site:

http://www.templegrandin.com/templegrandinnews.html

Some things I agree with others I don't. It was the only place I encountered the term ABA in her site now. Not sure if there are others. This is what she has to say about ABA for older bright kids:

 

"Dr. Grandin: I've read those things, the whole conflict about ABA -- applied behavior analysis. Those techniques are mainly for very little children, for 2 to 5 year olds, to get language started. They're not for high-functioning 8 and 9 year olds. And most people in those protests are the more mild Asperger's types. We need to be working on developing the talents those people have so they can have jobs and support themselves. I really believe there's a certain portion of high-functioning Asperger's patients who need to be going to the university and getting in with their intellectual peers, and just skipping the whole teenage mess because that's not a life skill you need anyway. And it was the worst part of my life, absolutely the worst. Interacting with teenagers is not part of my career!"

 

Found here:

http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/498153

 

Also, I should have added previously that she was highly criticized by some advocates due to her favorable comments about ABA. So, either way, someone always seems to take some kind of offense! It's hard having to deal with that!

 

Personally, I seek acceptance for autism. I do teach my kids what is socially acceptable, each at the level he is ready for, and the fact that if they want to live in this society they have to know that certain things are frowned upon, but I also teach then to have their own voice for things that are their right.

 

As for sensory overload, for the longest time a hug was my 8 yr old's equivalent to Temple Grandin's squeeze machine. His sensory sensitivities have greatly improved (seeking and avoiding) but we still have work in that area and no, we do not punish for that. At home we offer sensory activities and that has worked extremely well in our son's case. My 13 yr old is less affected by sensory issues. 8 yr old is more like me. Sensory is something that my mom understood as well. It comes from her side of the family, so she was understanding, cut labels off of clothes, etc.

 

In any case, I also thought you might find this useful:

https://www.siglobalnetwork.org/5-parents-resources-page-5

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