The Integrative Approach to Autism part 12: Sense of Purpose

Feb 08 2013

This post continues the 3-Step Integrative Approach to Autism series, developed over 18 years of research, experience and collaboration. Today Part 12: BEHAVIORAL requirements for growth: Sense of Purpose

A Sense of Purpose:

Nourish the innate sense of purpose in your sensitive child. One of the most valuable perks of autism, and being sensitive at large, is an innate sense of purpose. I believe every sensitive person is born with an exceptional talent for a specific area in this inexplicable creation we call the universe. Those on the far left of the spectrum may have difficulty uncovering their purpose while being constantly overwhelmed. It is the privilege of a loving and observant parent to try and bring it out through providing exposure to the possibilities. A potential conflict to be avoided here is that most adults have ideas as to what they would like their offspring to do or to excel at. Unfortunately, more often the talent of your child may not look anything like the parent’s pre-conceived ideas. It is the responsibility of the parent to keep an open mind, explore, embrace the child’s talent, and nourish it. It is the responsibility of the parent to allow the talent to steer its own development and to flourish freely. When the talent development begins, you may notice your child (or spouse) spends many hours indulging in a chosen activity. If you think they are missing out on life, take solace in the fact that for sensitive people, there is truly a time and place for everything. A sensitive person immersed all day in the one thing they enjoy most is not missing out on life. They are just getting ready for life. Without being immersed in that purpose, they will not be able to branch out later and be more thoroughly involved in life when the time comes. Moreover, when your child is spending hours staring at the wall, not moving, take solace in the fact that she is processing and integrating data from multiple sources to form a complete picture in their mind. This may be a conscious effort in older children. It may also be a subconscious effort: the mind is so fully occupied with this processing effort the person seems completely idle. In simple terms, you may think of this phenomenon like a computer on which you have opened several programs simultaneously and started multiple processes in each. Every now and then, the computer may freeze allowing the microprocessor in it to make sense of and figure out an order of execution to all these processes. When your child (or spouse) seems like they are in a world of their own, be assured they are only taking time out in their own world to prepare for entering this world.

Rami Serhan, MD
Author, Psyche-Smart Autism; Integrative Medicine Consultant
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