Thursday, April 26, 2007

Overcoming my prejudices

Lately I have been reading the book "Let Me Hear Your Voice", by Catherine Maurice. I'd heard of it many times, but avoided because I associated it with the words "Lovaas" and "recovery", both of which I have mixed feelings about.

I was immediately drawn in by her writing, and by the fact that she's not any sort of zealot (so far, but I haven't finished it yet), just a very hard-working and loving mom. Even though she gives so much credit to her ABA therapists, I think equal credit goes to her, and all her "incidental teaching". She sang songs and played and talked with her kids for hours every day.

I was particularly moved by the section of the book in which she realizes that her youngest child is also autistic. The huge effort she put into convincing herself that it wasn't true reminded me of myself almost a year ago. I remember staring at each twin thinking, "He just smiled at me, he can't be autistic"..."He is climbing up into my lap, so he can't be autistic" and so on.

It is a little hard to read this book and not think "If I hired enough people, and spent every second getting my boys to interact, could they also progress so fast?" G. is pretty easy to engage, and even seeks me out, but B. spends quite a bit of time doing his own thing. It's hard work to get him interested in things, and it might help if I hired a fresh face to work with him. While I think he should have times to relax and be himself, I also feel like I could use some help from somebody with experience interacting with kids like him.

As far as the concept of "recovery" goes, neither my husband nor I consider ourselves completely "normal", so we've never expected to have kids who were so. To fit into our family, it really benefits one to be, at the least, eccentric. But I do find Maurice's book encouraging, because her kids started out from a point a lot like mine. I feel re-energized, not necessarily to go out and set up an ABA program, but to believe that the songs we're singing and the goofy games we play are on the right track.

Movie Note: Finally saw Little Miss Sunshine, and loved it. I never cry in movies, and I cried all through this one, although officially it's a comedy, so that's a little odd.


KAL said...

Well now I'm going to have to move that book to the top of the mountain that is my bedside table. It's so interesting reading about the differences between your two (as with mine). When are you going to post photos? I cried through Little Miss Sunshine too. Talk about a spectrum family!

mcewen said...

Hmm - like a book review! It sounds as if we had similar mis-givings, maybe I'll give it a go afterall.
As for Little Miss Sunshine.....a new classic.