Since I am knee deep in RPM I am finding the importance of referencing Soma’s books and really taking time to understand everything more now that I have a grasp on the basics (we sort of, lol). Soma’s green book is a fantastic from the very first page; it brought up so many things that I am thinking through and learning to be better at and supporting my son in his life.
- Priorities: What are my lifetime goals for Filbert? To tie his shoes? To answer a family member’s question? To get an education? To spell or handwrite to have meaningful relationships? — we often focus on how others are going to perceive our children and skills that would mold them into looking “normal”. The question is, how beneficial is it if he can answer “yes” or “no” to a relative if he cannot share is thoughts or opinion on the topic? How beneficial is it for him to tie his shoes if he cannot participate in the outing we are taking due to his anxiety from my lack of teaching him about the world prior to going to a new location?
What do I want for Filbert? I want him to be the best version of himself. I want to make his life better. I want him to have an education and share his thoughts and opinions with those around him. For him to know his value in Christ. For him to develop self-esteem knowing he is great at math and writing poetry. I want for him to have every opportunity to learn about God and tangibly respond through spelling. I want all those things more than him tying his shoes or looking “normal” in the grocery store. I love him today for exactly who he is while at the same time providing him every opportunity to grow his brain and life through education and setting goals with him for learning through muscle memory all the other things in life his body finds more challenging to accomplish.
2. Empowerment! I want Filbert to feel empowered. Through academic education he will be able to develop reasoning skills to use his learning, spelling skills to spell his opinions, all leading to having the tools for becoming a keen communicator.
3. Education creates new wirings in the brain leading to more flexibility (we often do not fear what we understand), combinatorial skills, and classification skills. Teaching him about every academic field will create for him a world that is more complete so he doesn’t find his surroundings sensory-terrifying. Knowledge changes how we interact and understand our environment.
4. “Every person has the ability to understand IF taught in the RIGHT way” – Soma
5. “Wishing isn’t enough. We must act. We must create the little steps toward achieving any goal that the person with autism wants to achieve. The mind is too precious of a thing to waste.” — Soma
A diagnosis does change that my son deserves an education. He is a beautiful person that God created and he deserves all the love, learning and care in the world as does every child.