Normally I don’t address controversial subjects. Lately though, I’ve been approached by several autistic individuals who think that therapies for children on the spectrum is wrong and cruel. They contend that we shouldn’t try to change our children but rather embrace them as they are and that we should work towards society accepting them as they are.
Here’s the thing though, I’m trying to help Emelie and she has ALWAYS had the option of quitting after a few sessions. If she is able to learn to interact with her peers and other individuals, why wouldn’t I giver her those opportunities? I feel I’d be enabling her to use her diagnosis as an excuse to not work harder or push herself and her limitations if I didn’t at least provide her these opportunities. So we try from time to time when she is struggling different therapies.
When I asked her if she regrets those therapies she’s had or interventions or would she do it again, don’t assume you know her answer. Em’s Answer:
I would do it again. I loved my therapies. Sometimes they weren’t easy. BUT they helped me figure out who I am and what I need. They didn’t change who I am. Just helped me figure out where I struggle and what I need to get through stuff.
Is it for everyone? Not necessarily. Each person is different and each therapy is different. And I’ve been accused of pushing her to “fit into a mold”. I want Em to stand out. So she advocate on behalf of those looking to find their voice. That’s what she wants. She wants to speak for those that are struggling to speak for themselves. So yes, I push her out of her comfort zone so she can grow. AND I’m always here to catch her if she needs me too.
Therapies aren’t wrong. Sometimes how we look at them are. On both sides. There is no right or wrong answer as it depends on each individual. We aren’t changing Em. We are giving her tools. There is a difference.