DIY Autism Therapy: Overcoming 20 major problems
Is it possible for children with autism to treat themselves and reduce their syndromes of autism? At least for my case, the answer is yes. Of course, the fact that I have no behavioral problems and a strong intellect has helped a lot.
I classify most of my handicaps into 3 categories:
List of Problems Resolved
Body Stiffness: I did not know that I had a body that belonged to me, and had no idea that I could make use of my instincts to control my body. Even when I wanted to loosen up, my body was stiff like wood because I did not know how to make it "relaxed". I only felt comfortable with my body only years after accepting my identity as a human being on Planet Earth. I successfully corrected my bad body posture by attending a Feldenkrais workshop in July 2010.
Poor Health: I used to have childhood asthma, throat infections and indigestion problems. My mother believed that strict abstinence from most foods (e.g. sticky, sweet, cold, containing artificial chemicals) as well the swimming lessons twice a week cured my asthma. I stopped getting sick every few weeks after I accepted my body and made myself at home on Earth.
Chronic Fatigue: A combination of physical and psychological issues caused my chronic fatigue issue, which completely lifted in January 2010 after I made significant changes to my life.
Poor Decision Making: I did not understand that time is not just a chronological record of events that happened, but actually had personal meaning. Thus, I could not make proper estimates of how much time and effort I needed to make to achieve something. I also believed that all possibilities are equally likely to occur. This changed when I had the experience of having my story characters writing the story via their own free will, giving me the understanding of the meaning of human life on Earth.
No Tolerance for Interruptions: I could not accept interruptions by other people. Once I lost track of what I was doing, it took me a long time to resume my previous activity again. I also felt strong anxiety whenever there is something I have not finished as that task kept appearing in my mind to remind myself. Nowadays, I can handle interruptions easily. I have also emotionally accepted the fact that I cannot possibly finish everything immediately.
Extreme Clumsiness: I took a long time to tie strings, often spilled drinks and broke many umbrellas. I did not understand that I lived in a 3 dimensional world with material objects until one day in 2005 when I spontaneously began to develop my Physics Instinct. Most of the clumsiness disappeared over the next few years.
Sensory Sensitivity: I have much problem with loud noise (e.g. from traffic, the TV set), taste (e.g. strange texture or taste) and touch (e.g. people touching me). My sensory issues spontaneously normalized after I felt comfortable with my human body.
Eye Contact: During early childhood, my mother trained me to turn my face towards the head of the person talking to me. However, I had no idea how to maintain eye contact. My strategy was to seek out a high contrast object near the person's eye and stare at it. After I activated my emotional instincts, I am able to do a "soft focus" onto another person's eyes after about a year of practice.
Language Semantics: After I started speaking, I used to repeat words back to people (i.e. echolia). In Primary school, I was only able to give people long answers that are my best guesses to the "correct answer" or the context of the question. However, I made a breakthrough only as I started feeling my emotions and instincts. When I understood what it is like to be a human being living on Earth, the words filled with deep meaning.
Speech: I did not know that the purpose of speaking is to for other people to hear me. I was also unaware of how to control my diaphragm, vocal cords, jaws and tongue properly. As a result, I spoke in a soft whisper for much of my childhood, "leaking" my breath as I did not know how to close my lips. As I entered secondary school, I spontaneously learnt to close my lips but still have problems giving relevant answers. I made much improvement when I started giving speeches, as I worked to improve my presentation and marketing skills.
Self-Dissociation: Due to the lack of understanding that I exist and that I have responsibility for my actions, I was unable to learn from experience. I thought that my English composition results was a matter of luck (e.g. how familiar I am with the topic) rather than the result of the spelling or grammar mistakes I made as well as my plot and writing style. This continued until I had the experience of having my story characters writing the story via their own free will, giving me the direct understanding of the self/ego.
"Freezing" + Lack of Creativity: I operated much like a computer running a program - when I encountered an unexpected situation not accounted for in my program, I would freeze and wait for intervention. After I started reading a psychology textbook and an accelerated learning book (The Einstein Factor), I understood the concept of making my own choices. This allowed me to switch to a strategy of inventing a solution to unknown problems rather than simply freezing.
Inner Motivation: My sole mission during my childhood was to study and obtain good results, since this was what my mother told me to do. I did not know that I could make my own decisions until I read the 2 books above. After understanding the concept of "choices", I started to reflect on how I would like to lead my life. These decisions led me to motivate myself internally.
Impersonal Focus: I was unable to relate to people as people, but as objects or instruments to accomplishing a goal. People, groups and relationships are relevant or not relevant based on how they fit into my plans. I focused on objectives and goals without regard to personal enjoyment or welfare. This changed in late 2009 when I accepted the concept that the journey is as important as the destination, and that personal enjoyment is essential to living one's passion.
Emotional Disconnection: I was not fully aware that I own my emotions. During Primary school, I did not feel angry with the bullies for tormenting me because I merely considered them "unpleasant things" to avoid. After I understood the concept of "choice", I felt hurt because I also understood that people could target me personally. Despite the new awareness of hurt, I remained mostly unaware of my emotional state. In fact, my emotions seem to disappear into a "black hole" within me. However, I have had a few "crying attacks" which I would suddenly wake up in the middle of the night and cry for no apparent reason. This changed over the years 2003-2006, where I entered my "delayed teenagehood" and experienced intense emotions. As I mature fully, I can express my emotions freely through song and dance.
Depression: I felt that I have many things that I desire but are denied to me, such as companionship, respect, wealth etc. This problem is common to many people with Aspergers' Syndrome. When I started serving in the Army during 2002, I began using visualization as a substitute (e.g. if I wanted to relax on a beach, I would close my eyes and imagine myself relaxing at the most beautiful beach in the world). This issue is fully resolved with Byron Katie's work, with which I discover that there is nothing I need to be happy or satisfied.
Anxiety: I felt intense anxiety and only resolved these by changing my beliefs.
Arrogance + Rejection: I strongly rejected the thinking, culture and understanding of the people around me. I believed that I know best about everything, and I expect everyone to agree with me. This caused many people to reject me and label me as arrogant. This problem was greatly minimized by (emotional) releasing and resolved with Byron Katie's work.
Impatience: I felt very rushed to do as many things as possible. My human mind was not powerful enough to assimilate all the knowledge I needed, and my human body was unable to keep up with my mind. This problem was aggravated by my desire to achieve ambitious dreams, and was only resolved when I decided to focus only on what is possible for me to attain rather than what is ideal in late 2009.
DIY Therapy Strategy
This is usually how I now deal with issues that I encounter.
1) Motivation: I must have a reason to change myself, before the change can happen. I must feel that I am making the change for myself, not for the sake of other people.
2) Recognition: I allow myself to notice the issue and recognize it as a problem that I would like to change. I reflect on how the problem has affected my life in the past, both in a positive and negative manner. I reflect on how the problem has served me in the past, and how it is preventing me from achieving what I wish to achieve.
3) Insight: Through memories, self-monitoring, other people's works or a sudden flash of understanding, I learn about the causes and the modus operandi of the problem.
4) Solution: I find a way to either work around the problem, change it to my advantage or eliminate it. The solution has to be either permanent or sustainable: I must be able to integrate this into my life forever.
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