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  •  Not sure I agree with you (7+ / 0-)

    As an Aspie parent of two aspies, I am not sure I agree with you that counseling is necessary immediately. The degree to which people with high functioning autism (as Asperger's is now considered) is debatable,  largely because they can find it stressful to talk about their emotions. People without an autism disorder often assume that what neurotypical people benefit from is equally important for all, but that is not always the case with autistic children.

    As a minor example, I used to feel very sad when my kids went to birthday parties or school functions and hung out alone, rather than playing with the other kids. I imagined they were lonely and felt left out because that is what kids are supposed to feel in that situation. I came to learn they did not feel that way and I was the only one bothered by it; they were more stressed being in the loud, active social crowd of kids.

    I have also read that even for typical kids, trauma counseling can sometimes do more harm than good because it helps cement and reinforce a bad memory that might otherwise be more likely to diminish in the child's mind more quickly.

    I really think it depends on the individual child, and the parents will be in the best position to know that. I do know that things you might expect to be very upsetting can often be much less so for Aspies. (I say that from personal experience, having had what most would consider a very traumatic childhood that somehow seems to bother other people much more than it does me.)

    This boy may benefit from getting back into his comforting routines as soon as possible and being around people he knows and is already comfortable with. Introducing a stranger who wants him to talk about very emotionally provoking experiences could actually be traumatic. Perhaps someone who specializes in working with autistic kids and knows how to approach them more logically than emotionally would be best. Kids really are resilient, and in my personal experience (which may not reflect others' experiences) some Aspies are particularly resilient and do not seem to carry much emotional baggage. We just move on very quickly.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:17:27 PM PST

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    •  Correction of typo I made (4+ / 0-)

      I meant to say that,  based on studies, the degree to which high functioning autistics benefit from psychotherapy or talk therapy is debated. I was mandated to attend counseling as a foster child.  I found therapy with one counselor helpful in providing me with a cognitive model for approaching life's disappointments, but I had one therapist who demanded I reveal emotions to her that she was just sure were stuffed deep down inside me but which I simply did not feel or did not feel like discussing, and I felt bullied and badgered and hated every minute of it but the only way to get the sessions to end eventually was to say what she wanted to hear.

      It just takes a very smart approach I think, and it should not be assumed everyone would automatically be traumatized by something typical people consider traumatizing.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 09:25:25 PM PST

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      •  Egads... (0+ / 0-)

        that sounds horrible. I didn't have a pleasant experience in child therapy either (I was also one who didn't want to talk about my emotions, which seemed to really piss her off) but nothing compared to that.

        So sorry you had such an unpleasant experience. I hope she is no longer practicing...

        You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

        by SwedishJewfish on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 10:44:40 PM PST

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    •  Thanks for providing me with some insight (1+ / 0-)
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      not a cent

      I honestly wasn't sure how his being on the spectrum would affect his experience-whether it would be harder for him, or easier. To be clear, I didn't mean he should be immediately thrust into counseling sessions, although I see how my post seemed to suggest that. I just meant that he needs to have a treatment team ready who will help determine the best course of action. I think the first thing he needs is to know he is safe, and that will come from his family. They will play the most important role in his recovery. I agree that he should return to his normal routine as quickly as possible. A qualified trauma therapist would know that a child on the spectrum has different needs than a neuro-typical child and I'm sure they would take that into consideration when treating him. I'm in total agreement that someone who specializes in treating children with autism would be ideal.

      I have also read that even for typical kids, trauma counseling can sometimes do more harm than good because it helps cement and reinforce a bad memory that might otherwise be more likely to diminish in the child's mind more quickly.
      There is truth to this, although this is something you saw more when the field of trauma psychology was in it's infancy. And unfortunately, a lot of psychologists did end up doing things that were counter-therapeutic, and much of that did involve making a patient talk about their trauma before they were ready, and more often than was necessary or therapeutic. The standard treatment model now is quite different-it is focused on making the child feel safe again first and foremost, and then allowing them to express their feelings about what happened on their own terms. Some children will talk, but most express through play, or drawing pictures, pr other non-verbal ways. It is definitely contingent on the individual child, the needs of the family, and a qualified therapist would hopefully be able to figure out the best approach.

      But thanks again, I'm much more optimistic after reading your post. O/T but I would love to know more about how you experienced trauma as an Aspie, if that is something you would feel comfortable doing. I run a non-profit for victims of child sexual abuse, and my co-founder and I are trying to find ways of providing resources for children with unique needs, such as children on the spectrum. Just send me a PM if you are up for it and I'll explain in more detail what I mean.  

      You must work-we must all work-to make a world that is worthy of its children -Pablo Casals Please support TREE Climbers for victims of child sexual abuse and exploitation.

      by SwedishJewfish on Mon Feb 04, 2013 at 10:28:12 PM PST

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