I sat amongst a group of RDI Consultants, listening to our wonderful teacher, Dr Steven Gutstein.
We were talking about creating authentic, challenging frameworks (activities for children).
What if the consultant took the child out for a walk and came across a stream that needed to be crossed.
How would the child react? He asked.
The consultant, answered that the child would not be able to take the uncertainty and might break down.
Dr Gutstein countered with his profound words: after that- what?
The enormity of this hit me much later.
The words showed up in different contexts in my own life.
After the ‘worst imagined scenario’ playing out, then what?
I watched my adult son Mohit, struggling with body imbalance.
As a mother this could possibly be the worst kind of situation to encounter.
Mohit can’t express clearly, in words exactly what’s going on in his body.
I have to watch him carefully so determine what’s going on.
After several blood tests and a meeting with the neurologist, we tapered/ added some meds and saw a change.
After that- what?
I’m not going to let this end here, I thought. I’m going to continue to fight for Mohit’s health.
I will find the root cause of this.
I was taken back to several areas of my life where I chose to stay and fight.
After the diagnosis- what?
I saw the young Kamini breaking down. She was devastated.
She cried till she could cry no more.
She worked her head off for Mohit. She studied to become a behavior analyst and an RDI Consultant. She opened up centers for children and adults with autism.
She worked to empower parents and professionals.
After a meltdown – what?
Yes, I saw plenty of those with Mohit too.
After studying his behavior minutely, I came up with behavior plans.
Finally after years of struggle, I learned how to regulate him.
I realized I had to give him the tools to regulate himself.
I’ve shared those tips in this ebook.
You may be struggling with these questions too?
After your child’s rough day at school- what? After his laughter spells- what? After the screaming and pinching- what? After the bout of ill health- what? After he completes his 12th grade- what? After she gets married- what?
Life is long and it meanders along.
Like me, you will be faced with a choice.
Are you going to let it over power you? Or are you going to face it head on?
It’s a question, only you can answer.
From my experience, I can tell you the only way is – through.
If you face it, you’ll find a rainbow.
You will be stronger. And your child will achieve what you thought was impossible.
As I typed this article, I received a video from a family. Check it out.
It’s the exact scenario that Dr Gutstein had described.
You go for a walk and come across a stream, what will the child do?
The timing of receiving this video brought me back to ‘nothing is a co incidence’.
Here both mother and child and a cousin, got into the stream.
Not only did they get in, but they all enjoyed immensely. “By holding the highest vision for your child when they can not see it for themselves, you are lifting them up, elevating them and helping them to soar.” – Megan Koufos
As a mother or father, what will you do?
I urge you to stay with it.
If you stay, unknown vistas will open up for you.
If you don’t… you’ll never know.
“For autistic individuals to succeed in this world, they need to find their strengths and the people that will help them get to their hopes and dreams. In order to do so, ability to make and keep friends is a must. Among those friends, there must be mentors to show them the way. A supportive environment where they can learn from their mistakes is what we as a society needs to create for them.” – Bill Wong, Autistic Occupational Therapist
PS- I’ve written a 40 page ebook about regulation. Cover embedded in this article. It’s packed with illustrations and practical ‘to do’ tips.
Reach out to us at- email@example.com if you’re interested in buying it.
Kamini Lakhani is the founder and director of SAI Connections. She has been providing services in the field of autism for more than 25 years and is the authorized director of Professional Training for RDI in India and the Middle East. She is also the mother of a young adult with autism.