Tuesday, December 21, 2010

One Voice - Concentration On Strengths



Song:  One Voice

Artist:  Barry Manilow


-------------------------------------------------

Just one voice
singing in the darkness
All it takes is one voice
singing so they hear what's on your mind
and when you look around you'll find
there's more than...
One Voice...
singing in the darkness
joining with your one voice
each and every note another octave 
hands are joined and fears unlocked
there's only one voice
which started on its own
We need just one voice
the unknown
and then that one voice
would never be alone
it takes that one voice...
It needs that one voice
just one voice
singing in the darkness
all it takes is one voice...
shout it out and let it ring...
just one voice
it takes that one voice
and everyone will sing...
SING

Lyrics - Barry Manilow

------------------------------------------------------

I speak not only from experience with my son, Alex...
who is on the Autistic Spectrum (Asperger's)...
but from direct personal experience.

Although I have none of my son's great intellectual attributes...
(I am neither especially intelligent nor am I highly educated)
my neurological deficits manifested themselves in even 
more extremes.  

During my youth ...
my life was filled with Obsessive Compulsive behaviors
which forced me to have to turn in complete circles...
whenever I turned a corner...

to have to unwind an
object that I perceived had been wound 
(as a monopoly piece gets "wound"
on the board as it makes its way around to "go")

I had numerous verbal and physical tics...
which I had to change from one to another to hide them.

Tags on clothing drove me nuts...
I had to rip all of them out.

I daydreamed constantly...
which led to "forgetfulness" 
(not paying attention in the first place)

My grades in school were atrocious.
I was constantly in my own world.

What I had done starting at a young age...
that had eventually changed my life...
was I had discovered a very positive outlet.

I started some very rigorous skill/stamina/endurance training.
I have continued it...and I had later incorporated strength training.

My neurological deficits began to melt away almost immediately.
I went on to excel in the physical arena.

I had found a positive passion in life.

I went from being on a Negative Spiral
to being on a Positive Spiral...
by concentrating on my strengths.

Through those developed strengths...
I could face anything that life had thrown me.
I have never really known the depths of depression.


Children in the Autistic Spectrum often feel isolated...
many suffer from depression later in life...
as a result of perceived social ostracization.
(Not to say that all depression is Psychologically based - 
often times it is Physiological...an imbalance of their
neurochemistry)


Many spectrum children learn to feel as if they are strange...
because they think differently.

They often feel misunderstood
due to their inability to judge others minds
through their actions and facial expressions.

Let them know...
so long as their hearts are pure
and their actions reflect that pureness...
doing what is good...moral...right...
others of like minds shall eventually see
who they truly are.

Their small oddities will come to be just another 
facet of a very unique child.

Always strive to guide your child through Positive Reinforcement
toward correctness...
(Obsessive Compulsive behaviors without purpose...
illogical tantrums..etc)
by redirecting them toward a good way to express their frustration
and obsessions.

To be Obsessed with Correctness and Justice...
(A typical trait among Asperger's children...as so with Alex)
can be a good thing if guided in a positive direction.

Many parents of spectrum children attempt to "Normalize"
their children...not wanting them to stand out in society.

I say...
turn their perceived deficits into their strengths.

Many children on the spectrum have a very focused mind...
they tend to focus all of their attention on an interest.
By guiding them toward Academics...Music...
Sports...all of the positive outlets...
they can excel.

Their single mindedness can be turned into a great strength in life.

They will be accepted by the others who have progressive minds...
the ones who value goodness and other positive attributes.

They will not only NOT be alone...
they will be highly thought of as their attributes manifest themselves
as strengths.

I am not living in an ivory tower...
I realize that children will attempt to bully
others who are looked upon as different.
Some utilize sabotage and aggression in order
to force a shutdown of achievers...
to get them to even hate themselves for being different.

Alex had gone through some when he attended school.
He had not buckled to it because he realized their goal
(with a little explanation from us).

He also had the opposite reactions from many children...
most children admired his academic successes
and accepted his minor quirks.

He has learned to love to stand out among others...
not through cheap theatrics...
  by merely changing the outside
(The in-crowd clothes/hair/gestures)
which would merely drain his desire to change on the inside...
but by striving for excellence...
being truly different...
in a positive way.

Many children fear standing out in the group
because of pressure from the group
as well as self imposed pressure
to measure up to higher standards.

To want to be normal is to strive for average.

Have your child strive to be that...

One Voice...

an innovator...
a creator...
a leader...
a teacher.


To do so means...
 not following the crowd...
not being the same...
not fearing venturing forth...
to dream...
to realize his dreams
by concentrating on his strengths.

Through his strengths...
he shall be able to overcome his deficits...
and he shall be able to lead others to do the same.




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