Special Note To Parents
I will warn parents – the materials you are about to read get to be very overwhelming - when you finally see and truly understand just how completely impacted the autistic child could be by the inability to properly perform ONE task in his brain - the proper processing of "partiality"... to automatically put "the parts" together to form "the whole". Yet, parents could find comfort in knowing that understanding the problem was the first step to overcoming the problem… and there was much that could be done to help these children. Being able to focus on specific issues would allow parents and therapists to be much more effective in the recovery of these children than have been past approaches that were too often “hit and miss” because nothing seemed to link any of the issues together in terms of what we saw in the autistic child – until now!
I believed that it was paramount parents understood the critical yet so misunderstood role of order, partiality, labeling, color and motion in the autistic child. Pretty well all behavioral issues, social issues, emotional issues and many sensory issues I saw in my child could be explained by this issue with the "partial" and the very critical need for labels in everything (labels and fractions were a parent's greatest tools because they helped the child understand the concept that "parts" once given a label, could stand as entities in and of themselves).
This truly explained also why those things that involved the most “parts”, things like conversation and social interaction were the biggest problem areas for these children and yet, why autistic children often easily surpassed "normal" children in areas dealing with specifics and the "ordered".
Certainly, some parents would say, for example, that math was an issue or stumbling block for their child... or learning language... but, I was of the strong belief that the issue may not be the "math" or the "physical ability" to communicate itself but rather that the issue was more in teaching these things in the "proper building blocks approach". If not taught in a specific order, then, I believed, the child could not "break the code" and grasp the concept. The teaching of all concepts had to be done in a very specific manner for the child to move on and progress and grasp the next concept for each subject.
My theory also explained why we saw so much “variation” among autistic children… why some were strong in certain areas yet weak in others. Parents had adopted the all too familiar phrase “every child is different”. That was true, but this was true of all children… not simply of autistic children. Therefore, as parents of the autistic, we needed to focus on those areas of similarity among the autistic, for therein was the answer to the puzzle.
I believed some parents "stumbled" upon the right way to teach something and so their child progressed in that area but if they failed to "stumble" upon the proper order in another area, then that child had difficulty moving on. The key was in knowing how to teach something based on the need for order and the difficulty with "the partial" or anything "not labeled". The world of the autistic child necessitated that everything come with a label... and the proper, often exact, label (at least in the beginning)... to allow these children to separate the parts as necessary to then be able to see how they fit together to form the whole!
What I was advocating here was not a cure for these children. The information provided would give your child coping mechanisms and would most likely bring sanity back to your life in that you would so much more completely understand your child. To provide a cure, the brain itself would have to be "fixed" or "rewired" somehow. I did not believe anyone knew how to do that although there was considerable debate as to whether or not the brain itself could actually regenerate neurons in damaged areas. Many scientists did seem to believe this was possible.
In closing this special note to parents, I wanted to emphasize a special warning to parents. The brain is a complicated, intertwined organ. Yet, we had many "research labs" and of course, the pharmaceuticals, who were quick to tell us they understood so much about the brain. The pharmaceuticals, especially, were quick to show us their "brain studies" providing "evidence" that specific drugs were apparently "of value" for specific brain function ailments. I urged all parents to learn to question these studies. In my opinion, they were often very deceptive in what they were putting forth. For example, there had been studies that showed specific drugs "helped with aggression" in autistic children. Yet, what the studies failed to tell you was that the drug in question was a tranquilizer and thus, yes, I would expect aggression to decrease in the autistic when given this drug... but, I would have expected that to be true in ANYONE... not just the autistic child. It was critical parents learned to question these studies and read between the lines... and learned to look for "what you were not being told", because, herein, all too often, was the truth about such studies. :o) To any parent who would be quick to believe the many "half truths" that came out of these organizations and studies, I encouraged you to read very carefully my section on: All Those Brain Studies – The Need To Question Everything! The information within those pages would help all parents see things in a whole new light when it came to "what we knew of the autistic brain" and "how to help it"... or what we knew of the "normal brain" for that matter! Indeed, if my theory was correct, many of these so called "brain studies" were now "out the window", as explained in my section on All Those Brain Studies.
We will now take a closer look at just exactly how so much was explained by my theory of the autistic child and his inability to process “the whole” without first understanding “the parts”. The journey you are about to take through the rest of these materials, I hope will be just as exciting for you as it was for me. To finally understand your child, no matter how difficult “the message”, was truly priceless and I hoped these materials helped in a quicker recovery for many children.