I’m a behavioral therapist. I work with kids that have “disabilities” such as autism. All sarcasm aside, these kids and families actually have superpowers. They run THROUGH fire.
As a behavioral therapist I help these children accomplish goals such as understanding what it means when I say “stand up”, to not be afraid of a book that plays music, or helping them focus on something when they have trouble looking at anything for longer than 3 seconds. Some of my amazing kids engage in behaviors such as running away, hitting themselves or others, or eating things they shouldn’t be eating. And believe it or not, these are the best people I’ve ever met in my life. These kids and these families have taught ME to run through the fire!
Typically, when a kid begins to tantrum, most people can-not stand the crying and yelling so they begin to bribe… naturally. “Want candy?” “Want a movie?” “Want this toy?” in which the tantrum ends and all honesty, the child wins. Who as a grown up gets to tantrum and receive what they want in life? I know for sure that I don’t. So, why teach it?
These families have to run through fire every-single-day until the problems are resolved. If a child has a problem behavior such as running away because he/she wants to play chase, is scared of something, is super excited, or is angry at something, and the parent instead chooses to lock them up each time they run away… it will only teach the child that they get punished for trying to communicate with us.
Yes, safety comes first. But, as RBT’s and families of these children, we have to think of the long-term effect. We stop what we are doing and figure out why this child chose to run away, and then teach them to communicate. Sounds easy right? (Keep in mind that teaching these kids is a repetitive and consistent thing until they full understand something that is a “simple instruction” to the Nero-typical) Imagine this kid running away while you’re trying to complete a term paper, or this child engaging in a loud and long tantrum because you didn’t allow them to run into the street meanwhile you are trying to figure out why he/she ran away this time, or all this happening while you’re at the parking lot of a grocery store. THIS is when you see these kids and families running through fire each and every time until the problem is resolved and they are both living safer lives. You won’t catch my families bribing these kids and walking around the fire… you’ll catch them observing the child and teaching them to communicate one way or another (some of these kids are non-verbal or echoic causing them to have harder times to communicate.) These families are thinking long-term solutions all the while being judged, stressing, worrying, and wondering if things will ever be okay. (Which things are okay because you all live a beautiful and powerful life AND things will keep getting better)
As grown-ups we learned that tantrums do not get us what we want. So, we’ve learned to run around the fire in other ways. I for one am guilty of the TV binge watching form of running away along with the kneeling by the bed and praying day after day. Don’t get me wrong, prayer is POWERFUL, (that’s how I went from binge watching television to having courage, wisdom, and all else needed to face my life’s problems.) But we have to learn to walk through the fire all the while knowing God will not allow us to get burned.
I’ll be honest, if you binge watch T.V, only pray but never make moves, smoke, drink, seek attention from boys/girls, or get lost in any other way continually (because I still binge watch television for mental breaks a night or two out of the month) then a few years down the road, you’re life will be exactly the same. Life is about walking THROUGH the valley of shadow and death like a CHAMP.
Observe yourself. What are you continually avoiding? Why are you always trying to escape real life? Look at your social media. What is it that you’re continually trying to show the world that your life is like? Find ways to make that real life. One step at a time. This way, you KNOW your life will progress in a positive way. One year from now your life will either be different… or the same. It all depends on whether you run through the fires.
God, I desperately pray that you water down the fires that my friends and families are going through so that they can begin the process of living the lives you’ve created for them. Give them the strength, the courage, and the wisdom to face the trials and even more of it after the trials are won. Help them to move forward without needing to escape or runaway. I want each and every one of them to be happier and live a life they are proud of. I can only imagine how much more you want it for them.
Thank you for this message, my friend!
#Autism #Courage #Wisdom #Strength #Happiness #Love #Prayer #Life #AutismAwareness #Passion #Scripture #Faith