Do you/would you want to work with autistic people?

Page 3 of 4 [ 51 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

anbuend
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Jul 2004
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,039

21 Oct 2006, 11:43 am

I think one of the biggest problems that can face autistic staff, is basically, the notion of "I am autistic and therefore I know what I am doing and all of my guesses as to other autistic people's behavior are correct, and I am not going to do anything bad to them."

There's a book where an autistic person volunteers as staff for a day with autistic kids. And she writes a sequence that, she meant it to be read one way, but it could be read two ways. One way was that she heroically rescued a kid from being "lost in her own world" by using a variety of ingenious tactics that only an autistic person would have thought of, and the kid ended up trying something new and fun. (That's roughly how she thought it went.) But when I looked at the actual events, it could just as easily have been, the adult became very invasive and unintentionally manipulative with the kid, the kid reacted, the kid got so overloaded that she vomited, and then eventually enjoyed the activity (or possibly enjoyed escaping the adult) anyway.

I don't, of course, know which one of those things occurred. Only the child knows that. But the adult did not acknowledge that things could have been different than she perceived them.

One I ran into with having a staff person who was autistic, was that she confused being able to predict and control my actions, with being able to understand me. And she confused her ability to easily provoke automatic responses from me, with having a relationship with me, and a good one at that.

The confusion of "predicting" and "understanding" is an important one. Unawareness of all the different ways that people can be autistic, is a bad thing in these situations, because it often ends up with the person interpreting the client's behavior as their own would be, when it might not be like that always.

The autistic staff I had also at one point deliberately made me very emotional and then claimed to have made an important connection to me, when all she did was press my buttons. Another time, I was running all over the house, and she found a way to stop me, but it became suddenly very infantilizing the way she did it, and she never thought about that, or the control aspect of what she was doing, etc.

Autistic people can often be better observers of other autistic people, than non-autistic people can, but it's really important to know your limits.

There's also, as Laura pointed out in that interview, a sense in which being staff plugs a person into a certain role of how they are supposed to behave, and that can affect clients negatively even if the staff does not have the social skills or awareness to notice that they are being put in that role. Resisting that requires understanding and active resistance, not just "I am a good person -- and an autistic person -- so I can't do any wrong" sort of thinking.


_________________
"In my world it's a place of patterns and feel. In my world it's a haven for what is real. It's my world, nobody can steal it, but people like me, we live in the shadows." -Donna Williams


Sophist
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,332
Location: Louisville, KY

21 Oct 2006, 12:03 pm

I have worked as an ABA therapist in the past (just low-level working with preschool age). ABA frustrated me to no end with its strict demands and lack of appreciation of individuality and creativity.

In my future work, I plan to mainly focus on research and teaching but I would also like to offer myself up part-time as a diagnostician for ASDs, especially adult ASDs-- as experienced diagnosticians in that realm are really lacking in the US.

So I suppose that's a "yes" to the original question.


_________________
My Science blog, Science Over a Cuppa - http://insolemexumbra.wordpress.com/

My partner's autism science blog, Cortical Chauvinism - http://corticalchauvinism.wordpress.com/


anbuend
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Jul 2004
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,039

21 Oct 2006, 12:07 pm

I can spot autistic people really easily, so in some sense I'd be good as a screener. But I doubt I have the skills to do that professionally. :P

However, I have been shown a few times to pick up on autistic people's being autistic, in settings where autism is not expected, better than the state's screening people could do when looking for it, and have been told by some parents I should be the one seeing who's autistic.


_________________
"In my world it's a place of patterns and feel. In my world it's a haven for what is real. It's my world, nobody can steal it, but people like me, we live in the shadows." -Donna Williams


Sophist
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,332
Location: Louisville, KY

21 Oct 2006, 12:14 pm

anbuend wrote:
I can spot autistic people really easily, so in some sense I'd be good as a screener. But I doubt I have the skills to do that professionally. :P

However, I have been shown a few times to pick up on autistic people's being autistic, in settings where autism is not expected, better than the state's screening people could do when looking for it, and have been told by some parents I should be the one seeing who's autistic.


I think you'd make an excellent screener and someone to consult with auties and their families.

I have an idea/dream in future to open up an ASD facility which is autie-friendly and to provide help for those who need and want it, a place to get together and be in contact with other auties, and also to try and provide diagnosis at a MUCH cheaper cost. (Who needs $600 for an hour interview? :? )

If that ever came to be, if you and I are still in touch, and if you'd want to, I think you'd be perfect to work there. Or even an online consultant. :D


_________________
My Science blog, Science Over a Cuppa - http://insolemexumbra.wordpress.com/

My partner's autism science blog, Cortical Chauvinism - http://corticalchauvinism.wordpress.com/


SteveK
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,899
Location: Chicago, IL

21 Oct 2006, 12:54 pm

HEY, did you ever see the ASPERGERS episode of House? One person figures House has aspergers. He DOES look to be a TYPICAL case! Anyway, one of the patients has SEVERE autism. NOT aspergers. House ends up being the ONE that understands the autistic boy.

At the end, they insult house for "just being a jerk". YEAH RIGHT! A "jerk" that helps out EVERYONE even though he is forced to work there and his boss(who once even put him in a COMA) is a JERK! Go figure!

If I was in his position, I would LOVE the idea of helping the child! I would LOVE the idea of being given such an important part of the persons life.(He gave house a game he INSISTED on playing ALL THE TIME) I would have MIXED feelings, as house appeared to have, with seeing him go:

1. Happy I could help, and the ordeal is OVER!
2. Sad that the child has such a hard climb.

Anyway, people with behaviour that could be autistic seem to be attracted to me! I have LITERALLY been in a room with over 100 people trying to figure out how to best fit in, and the TWO people in the room with problems just start heading my way!

I just have problems with it. I would LOVE to meet/help people. Unfortunately, most of the people seeking help are probably below my comfort level.

Steve



Sophist
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,332
Location: Louisville, KY

21 Oct 2006, 1:02 pm

The one thing which makes me think House isn't ASD though is the same thing which bugs me about Sherlock Holmes: They're both EXCELLENT at reading nonverbal language-- which needless to say is unusual.

Plus with House, in seasons past it always implied he'd had relationship problems, like he'd be hurt and because of that he doesn't reach out anymore.

I guess that's the problem with trying to diagnose a fictional character.


_________________
My Science blog, Science Over a Cuppa - http://insolemexumbra.wordpress.com/

My partner's autism science blog, Cortical Chauvinism - http://corticalchauvinism.wordpress.com/


krex
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Age: 56
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,471
Location: Village of the Damned

21 Oct 2006, 8:52 pm

[quote="Sophist"][size=15]The one thing which makes me think House isn't ASD though is the same thing which bugs me about Sherlock Holmes: They're both EXCELLENT at reading nonverbal language-- which needless to say is unusual.

Plus with House, in seasons past it always implied he'd had relationship problems, like he'd be hurt and because of that he doesn't reach out anymore.

I guess that's the problem with trying to diagnose a fictional character.[/size[/quot At his age he has had enough time to "learn the language"like any other language...it just isnt innate but a learned skill through logic and observation.There is also some peope who believe that "some" autistic are TO INTUNED to nonverbal and it is overwhelming...part of their hesittion to look at people...to much information that feels intrussive(like having xray vision where you can see through the persons clothes)Just a possibility.


_________________
Just because one plane is flying out of formation, doesn't mean the formation is on course....R.D.Lang

Visit my wool sculpture blog
http://eyesoftime.blogspot.com/


Sophist
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,332
Location: Louisville, KY

22 Oct 2006, 9:33 am

"House" is portrayed as a better people-reader than anyone I've known irl.

I'm not saying we don't learn how to improve and gain new skills.

But come on, everybody knows the writers likely didn't start out with the intention to make House an Aspie. They just made a stretch what with all that Autism's been in the media lately and it happened to fit into the episode. If they had intended it, it would've come out sooner than this and would've been an integral part of the writing of the show.

He's a cynic. A brilliant witty cynic at that. But I think that's about the most he was written to be. He isn't real.

Now, I could be tempted to suggest that one of the WRITERS on that show might be an Aspie or close to. I mean, the amount of medical research done on that show is incredible, almost like it's one of their part-time hobbies aside from writing.


_________________
My Science blog, Science Over a Cuppa - http://insolemexumbra.wordpress.com/

My partner's autism science blog, Cortical Chauvinism - http://corticalchauvinism.wordpress.com/


Sophist
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,332
Location: Louisville, KY

22 Oct 2006, 9:34 am

It would be interesting to see though if they start writing House as an Aspie. But I am certain they didn't start out with that idea and for the past two seasons, it wasn't written that way.


_________________
My Science blog, Science Over a Cuppa - http://insolemexumbra.wordpress.com/

My partner's autism science blog, Cortical Chauvinism - http://corticalchauvinism.wordpress.com/


sigholdaccountlost
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Age: 29
Gender: Female
Posts: 2,207

22 Oct 2006, 9:46 am

I've never considered it before but I'll go and think about it now.


_________________
<a href="http://www.kia-tickers.com><img src="http://www.kia-tickers.com/bday/ticker/19901105/+0/4/1/name/r55/s37/bday.png" border="0"> </a>


Deccajay
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 13 Oct 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 711

22 Oct 2006, 10:58 am

I went to a boarding school that had kid with all different dissabileties in the high school. but the younger kids were mostly autistic/PDD they had an on campus job system in witch kids from the high school could do different jobs around campuse, i chose to work with the younger kids. It was actualy by observing them, and doing so reading on my own that I started to think that I myself might be on the specrtum. i talked to my DR and was soon diagnosed. after highshcool i did do some work with some kids on the specrum and i enjoyed it. but I always hated when the teacher told me to teach them how to interact play, because i didnt know how......

right now I am trying to start a suport group in the area, but we havent had enough intrest yet, and I occasonaly help out with some social groups that my case worker has for teens.



BlairBear
Butterfly
Butterfly

User avatar

Joined: 6 Oct 2006
Gender: Female
Posts: 9

22 Oct 2006, 6:54 pm

Funny that you ask that, because last night I watched two programs on The Discovery Channel, "The Real Rain Man", and "Brain Man", and thought to myself that I would really like to work with autistics. I also talked to my bf and dad about it a lil'. So, yes I would thouroughly enjoy a job working with autistics, but I don't think I'll be taking it into serious condsideration because I know that a job like that would probably require a lot of school, and school is not for me! By the way, did any of you see those programs last night? They were so intriguing... I'm gonna have to tape them the next time they're on.



Sophist
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,332
Location: Louisville, KY

22 Oct 2006, 9:24 pm

Oddly enough, Kim Peekes, the real Rain Man and the most famous savant in the world, isn't even autistic.


_________________
My Science blog, Science Over a Cuppa - http://insolemexumbra.wordpress.com/

My partner's autism science blog, Cortical Chauvinism - http://corticalchauvinism.wordpress.com/


anbuend
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 5 Jul 2004
Age: 40
Gender: Female
Posts: 5,039

23 Oct 2006, 7:58 am

His name is Kim Peek, and he was not the only model for "Rain Man".


_________________
"In my world it's a place of patterns and feel. In my world it's a haven for what is real. It's my world, nobody can steal it, but people like me, we live in the shadows." -Donna Williams


Fiz
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 29 Jan 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,821
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

23 Oct 2006, 3:04 pm

Tom wrote:
I keep hearing that (high funtioning) autistic people themselves are the best people to work as carers or special needs teachers with autistics, as they understand them more. Do you think you would enjoy a job like that particularly? Would you consider it?


I have considered it in the past and would probably quite like it. My sister reckons I should do it as she feels I would understand them. I just can't afford to take such a reduction in pay (the last position was about £10, 500 a year, I'm on £14,000 pa at the mo and can just about survive) unless I get two jobs which I could so do, just thought of that this second :D


_________________
The only person in the world that can truly make you happy is yourself.


Sophist
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 23 Apr 2005
Age: 39
Gender: Female
Posts: 6,332
Location: Louisville, KY

25 Oct 2006, 6:50 pm

anbuend wrote:
His name is Kim Peek


Whoops, my bad. Brain fart. But yes. Should've said he was the inspiration for the Savant side of Raymond Babbit.


_________________
My Science blog, Science Over a Cuppa - http://insolemexumbra.wordpress.com/

My partner's autism science blog, Cortical Chauvinism - http://corticalchauvinism.wordpress.com/