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Autism in mind
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Autism in mind Rotating Header Image

Get the connection

I follow a number of inspiring blogs written by parents with children with autism or other difficulties who relay their experience for the benefits of others. I applaud them and thank them for their candour in sharing the good, the bad and the ugly. In any one of their posts might lay the golden nugget that is the difference that makes the difference in someone’s life.


One thing I’ve noticed is most of them have had a bad experience going to see some helping professionals for themselves or their children. They felt uneasy, uncomfortable, usually not listened to and their needs were ignored. These emotions are symptomatic of a lack of connection between the professional and the client. Both parties are out of rapport.


So, how can you connect seamlessly with someone, whatever the situation?


By building rapport you create a sense of deep connection between you and the person by reflecting back their non-verbal communication. The easiest way to achieve this is to ‘copy’ the person… and copy him or her with grace. :-)

There are 2 main ways to establish the connection:


  1. Matching

  2. Mirroring

You want to match or mirror their physiology (e.g. posture, facial expressions, breathing, significant gestures etc…), their tonality (voice tone, verbal speed, voice volume etc…) and also the type of language they use. To do it gracefully, stay natural and relax and be careful of the mimic trap as this will have quite the opposite effect.
Try it with family and friends and notice how they react so you can perfect your technique accordingly.

As with many skills, the more you practice, the more it’ll become second nature.


Floortime and Son-Rise use the power of building rapport as the foundation of their program. This allows you to form a strong bond with the child and leads to mutual trust. Moreover, by doing what they are doing it gives you an invaluable experience and understanding of their world.


Use your rapport building skills and see the difference it makes when interacting with others.


And as always, feel free to share your experiences in the comments.


With love,


Karine


Related post: Pacing the experience


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Back to school…

I owe you a big apology. In my last post, almost 4 months ago (glurp!), I promised some exciting posts were in the pipeline.
And there is exciting stuff in the pipeline.

Over the last few months, I worked through some ‘what most of us would call’ challenges but were in fact fantastic opportunities offered to me. Opportunities to grow, develop, expand, retune with my inner self and get ready to help you and your loved ones go to the next level… healing, rebalancing, prospering and living life to the full.

Are you ready to join the movement? Are you ready?
YES!
So, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy a wild ride.

To be cont’d….

With love,

Karine

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Opening up possibilities…

Sorry for the long silence, but I’m now back with some exciting posts in the pipeline.

Today I’ll give you a quick update of what has happened over the last few weeks.

April was Autism Awareness Month. A lot happened in the blogosphere and off-line to raise the knowledge and understanding of what it is like to be on the Autism Spectrum. My wish for now is to keep the momentum going so people who are faced with the reality of autism or any other behavioural challenges on a daily basis can find a helping hand and expect a comforting smile from all around them.

The last couple of weeks I attended a workshop in London, UK, with Robert Fletcher. Robert Fletcher is the creator of Thought Pattern Management (TPM). He is a lovely, genuine and humble man with an amazing list of life experiences and accomplishments. He’s been at the heart of many miracles happening for his clients that he helped recover from a variety of health issues using the power of the mind. I feel blessed I had the opportunity to train with him. His teachings will be invaluable in helping me help our friends with autism overcome the disabling aspect of autism while drawing upon the strength it brings. I want them to live their life to the full and reach their full potential.

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
Michelangelo, 1475-1564, Italian Renaissance Sculptor and Painter

With love,

Karine

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World Autism Day

Worldwide

There are 67 million people around the world affected by autism. That’s why autism is one of the few diseases with specific United Nations World Day.

Opinion

There are so many opinions on the subject of autism that it’s easy to get lost and confused. Today could be the day where we become aware of the golden gems hiding within.

Reality

Or should I have said realities? Autism is a spectrum and living with autism comes with its rainbow of challenges and joys.

Listening

There are more than one way to listen. Let’s make today the day we start listening with our hearts. How would that change our experience and our world?

Difference

I know that’s ‘cliché’ but everybody is different, autism or not.

So, let’s celebrate our difference and remember our sameness.





Acceptance

Acceptance… That’s the magic key which unlocks all possibilities and opens the door to freedom.

Universe

The force behind everything whatever way you want to call it.

Teaching

What are our friends with autism teaching us? What are we learning?

Influence

Our beliefs influence how we see ourselves but also others and have the power to propel us or limit us.

Success

Success comes in different shapes and sizes. So, what is success for you?

Mind & body

There are numerous accounts about the mind and body connection, especially of its role in the healing process. How far could we go using the power of the mind to help our friends with autism?






Decision

Every day, you are faced with a series of important decisions. Today, I’d like us to make a simple decision. Let’s decide to judge less and love more and make the world a better place!

Agree to disagree

Today is the day to raise awareness about autism and all its facets. What if all camps, from neurodiversity to pro-cure and anything in between, agree to disagree? What possibilities would that open up?

Yippee!

That’s my wish for today. I want to be able to shout ‘yippee!’ very soon because a solution to remove the disabling aspects of autism would have been found and the strengths of autism nurtured.





Have a great World Autism Day!


With love,


Karine





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Belief and pregnancy

You might wonder what belief and pregnancy have to do with each other.

Well, bear with me and you’ll find out.


I recently read this post on the Autism Mom Journey blog. Autism Mom is pregnant with her 3rd child and is due any time soon now (she might even be in labour right now). She is worried about how things will be and go once the new baby is here. Fortunately, she has very thoughtful friends who “have advised [her] to think positive thoughts for the baby, that it can feel the good energy coming from [her].” I can only say ‘yes, yes, yes’ to that.


This is actually an important point.

In his book The biology of belief, Bruce H. Lipton spent a full chapter talking about how the thoughts and beliefs of the parents are passed on to their children. Most of us know that we can transmit some of our fears of little crawlies, mice, water etc… to our children. Similarly, our positive outlooks on life are also passed on to our little cherubs while they grow up.

Now, Bruce Lipton goes one step further…

Based on various studies and researches, he goes on to explain how parents’ attitudes influence the development of the foetus. The premises are that the foetus receives not only nutrients but also hormones from the mother’s blood and reacts the same way to the hormones as the Mum.


For example, if the mum-to-be is under stress, she produces fight and flight hormones which will enter the bloodstream of the baby in the womb. The aim of the fight and flight hormones is to keep us safe. They prepare us for action when faced with a sudden danger, to either fight or run away if fighting is not an option. The hormones induce the following basic responses:

  • increase of oxygen and energy-giving glucose to the brain and muscles

  • suppression of some of the bodily processes not vital to the response (e.g. digestion).

And the response is the same for the Mum and the baby in the womb. This means the blood flow in the baby will also be redirected, thus altering the blood supply to other tissue and organs.

So, if the mum-to-be in our example is subject to repetitive stress, the foetus will also be subject to repetitive stress and this will have an impact on the development of his/her physiology.


It’s not new that stress should be avoided during pregnancy and this was an example to show you what effects it has on a developing foetus. This illustration can be extrapolated further. The mind doesn’t know the difference between something ‘real’ and something ‘perceived or built up in your mind’s eye’. Your thoughts and beliefs will also trigger responses in your body.

So, my prescription is for you to have happy and positive thoughts and empowering beliefs as they all contribute greatly to your well-being and the well-being of your developing child.


Before I conclude, I want to join Bruce Lipton in emphasising and insisting on one important point. The New Biology approach is in no way a sad return (God forbid!) to the old ways of thinking the mother was to blame for every ailment medicine couldn’t understand. Our thoughts, beliefs and states of mind are influenced by many factors and by the environment we evolve in. As Bruce Lipton states: ‘Mothers and fathers are in the conception and pregnancy business together, even though it is the mother who carries the child in her womb‘. What the people surrounding the mum do will affect her, up or down, and hence her developing baby.


If you’re interested in knowing more about conscious parenting, please read Bruce Lipton’s article here.


Let’s all keep our spirit up!


Love to all and special wishes to the amazing Autism Mom,


Karine


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Pacing the experience

In her post on FAQautism.com, Cathy Knoll presents some valuable strategies to help a girl with autism overcome a meltdown triggered by a change in classroom routine. I have no doubt these strategies would also be useful outside the classroom for any kids.


In her 3rd strategy (below), she touches on an essential principle which I’d like to present you in more details.


3. Put it in Writing. Because this student’s rage escalates when others talk to her, the teachers might consider writing a few helpful phrases on index cards to hand her when she gets angry. For example, one could say, “Move to your Calm Down Chair,” and another could say, “You are very mad because we changed the schedule.” A third could say, “When you are calm and not angry, please sit at your desk.”


The girl has a tantrum because she is angry the schedule of the class has been changed. Handing her over a card with “You are very mad because we changed the schedule” acknowledges what she experiences, what’s going on with her at this moment. There’s no judgement. Just stating the fact. Stating what’s happening right now for the person you’re interacting with. That’s what pacing the current experience is.


Simple, isn’t it? Simple but powerful.


So, what happens when you acknowledge someone’s current experience?

You show you understand what’s going on for them. You recognise what is happening to them. It’s neither good or bad, it just is. By doing so, you amplify the connection in between you. You have a mutual understanding and an implicit trust can flourish.


Pacing the experience is an easy strategy to use. However, things getting tough, embarrassment kicking in, frustration rising high or feeling at the end of your tether can blind you in recognising what’s going on in your child’s world. What to do when that happened? It’s like the plane emergency actions – put your oxygen mask on first before assisting any child travelling with you -. That’s it, you need to take care of yourself first and get back in a state that allow you to deal effectively with the situation. In future posts, I’ll share easy tips to help you do that and pace with ease.


Before I conclude this post, as always, feel free to share your own experience or ask any question in the comment section of this blog.


Until next time.


With love,


Karine


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What is it with labels?

I like this post from the Facing Autism in New Brunswick blog because Harold L. Doherty makes a candid and loving description of his son, Conor, and raises an interesting point on the use of labels…. And we’re not talking about food or clothes labels here!

How often do you hear things like ‘I’m diabetic’, ’she’s dyslexic’, ‘he’s autistic’… and the list goes on, especially when it comes to learning difficulties?
I bet your answer is likely ‘very often’ and it has become so mainstream to refer to people as being something when really they only have something.

I believe the wild use of labels such as those above has an insidious effect.
They raise a simple condition to an identity status. People don’t just suffer from the condition, the condition becomes part of who they are. You might argue that suffering from any ‘chronic’ condition makes it a part of who you are. I would rather say that while it influences your behaviour, it is obviously not all you are. Moreover, having something or being something are very different at an unconscious level.

Let’s explore this a bit further and play a little game.
First of all, sit back, relax and have some fun.
If you read this blog, it’s likely because someone close to you has autism or maybe something similar in essence.

1.  Think of that cherished person.

2.  Now, say to yourself ‘he/she is autistic’ and notice what you see, hear and feel.

3.  Get up, move about, turn around, sit down.

4.  Now, say to yourself ‘he/she has autism’ and notice what you see, hear and feel now.

5.  Notice how your experience is different from step 2. How did you perceive the condition and the person differently? Please leave a comment to let me know.

Note: If you have a condition yourself, I would encourage you to go through this little game again using ‘I’m ….’ and ‘I have….’.

Everybody will have different experiences while running this short exploration.
However, here are the main points that most people get out.

Being ’something’ gives the condition a kind of permanence, something you can’t change or improve.

When you have ’something’, you may decide not to have it any more, change it or improve it. So, thinking in terms of having gives you back some power over the condition. It moves you from fate to free will and choice.

And I want to share with you something one of my teachers told me once:

“Whatever you think you are, you’re a lot more than that”

To you Conor.

With love,

Karine

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Mass Thinking…

That’s 3 mornings in a row now. I’m getting really annoyed with being bombarded with news of even more doom and gloom the minute the alarm goes off.
However, it’s a good illustration of mass thinking at work.

Let me explain using the example of the recession.

Media do a grand job of steering the thoughts of the majority by incessantly repeating we’re in probably the worst recession ever.
That’s it. Recession is in everybody’s* mind.
People talk about it, worry about it, wonder how it’s all going to turn out and get wary. Their actions reflect their state of mind. Their focus is on the problem of the recession. Put together, this generates a surge of energy that ‘feeds’ the recession.

You all know the saying “you can do whatever you put your mind on” or another way to express it “you get what you focus on”. Although as one of my friends point out, “what you focus on expands”. In our example, that amplifies the markers of a recession and has the effect of confirming the fears.

So, what if a significant number of people focus on some more positive outcome?
A crime study was done in Washington, D.C, in June and July 1993, where a large group of participants practised, in this case, Transcendental Meditation® to reduce stress and violence in the District.
The result of this experiment is amazing. The level of violent crime in DC dropped significantly.
If you’d like to know more about this study, a short summary can be found here on ‘What the Bleep do we know!?TM or for more details, go here.

Now, imagine what we could do to benefit the autism community if we joined our forces and energy to focus on a common vision.
What would it be?
* finding the cause(s) of autism?
* demystifying autism?
* getting the right message on autism out there?
….
What do you want? What’s your dream?

As for me, if you read my introduction post, you already know what my vision is:
To use the power of the mind to heal autism by removing its disabling aspects while keeping the remarkable strengths it brings.

With love,

Karine

PS: If you’d rather not be swirled up in all the recession malarkey, have a look at this short video “The Only Thing You Need To Know About Recession”. My guess is you’ll find it interesting and eye-opening!

* most of…

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Coping with the diagnosis

You had a feeling for some time something was not quite right.

You went through all the hurdles to have your child looked at by the professionals.

And now, you have the diagnosis…. It’s autism. Although, you had your suspicions, it still comes like a blow with a club. You feel all sorts of emotions - anger, guilt, blame, despair, worry, sadness, frustration, fear, ‘why me?’, relief….

All those emotions are completely normal but they can also stop you from taking action and moving forward.


To help you get back to a more uplifting state, ready for some actions, I’d like to give you some tips to recognise, accept and release feelings and emotions that don’t serve you. These are the steps I use myself to clear my ‘gremlins’ emotions.


Feelings are unconscious signals that are translated physically as muscle contractions.

They are information about ourselves. Some feelings have a very definite purpose you shouldn’t ignore, e.g. repetitive pain in certain areas of your body might be a way to warn you something needs to be looked at.

What we’re dealing with here are emotions that limit you, that do not benefit you.


1. Recognise the emotion


Notice what happens when you have this emotion.

Where do you feel it in your body?

Does it have a shape? A weight? A colour?

Does it move?

What do you hear? What are you saying to yourself?

What do you see?


2. Accept the feeling


Acceptance is the path to freedom and by accepting the feeling, you’re going to free yourself from it.


To do so, focus on where the feeling is in your body and say “Thank you” or “Thank you for this feeling” (whichever works best for you).

Notice what happens then.

This is a way to acknowledge your unconscious mind for taking care of you.


3. Release the feeling


Repeat step 2. until the physical manifestation of your emotion has subsided and you either get a more useful emotion or it’s neutral

Take your time and stay tuned to the feeling in your body.


The more you do this, the easier and more second nature it becomes.

So, stick with it and let me know how it is for you.


One last point.

I often get this question: “If I do this exercise, does this mean the feeling will be gone forever?”

No. All your range of feelings will always be with you. However, it means you’ll know how to deal with it in a way appropriate for your own purpose.


Until next time.


With love,


Karine


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What this blog is all about

This blog is for parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents… everybody with children on the autism spectrum.


A big welcome to you all!


I’d like this blog to be a place of information and also of sharing. Sharing of all that life has to offer… the good, the bad and the ugly. A place where you feel safe and where tolerance, support, love and peace are not vain words.


Why did I start this blog?


I believe in the mind and body connection and in the amazing power of the mind, especially of its role in healing. There are numerous examples of miracles from people who recovered from cancers or other life-threatening illnesses or injuries, e.g. Louise Hay (read her story here), Brandon Bays (read about Brandon Bays here), Morris Goodman (“The Miracle Man” - watch his story here) to name a few.


So, if the mind is powerful enough to heal those people, what about finding a way to using this power to heal autism? I’m talking about incorporating this power within current interventions to supercharge them, to increase their efficiency and the rate of progress. Ultimately, I want the healing to ‘rebuild’ the lost connections, to remove the disabling aspects of autism, while keeping the remarkable strengths it brings.


I believe this is possible. I believe by involving everybody in the autism world we can make this happen.


If you’re ready for the ride, let’s go! Glad you’ve joined in.


In future posts I will cover a variety of subjects, one of them will be about you… the parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents….. about nurturing you and helping you rebalance your life.


Stay tuned!


With love,


Karine


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