We just had our cross-cultural seminar yesterday. One interesting story was about how typically a well-equipped Chinese-Singaporean maintenance guy would walk into a Westerner’s homes with a surprise. Like, “Oh no, foreigner alert, I can’t speak English.” But he has to muster his courage because its work. He is really good at his job but this circumstance, for him, is very different. The westerner goes, “Why are you late? I’ve been waiting for 30 mins…” Now the maintenance guy really feels bad because he is already scared, now this guy is mad all he understands is, “blah, blah, blah…”
So the westerner stops for a while and watches the poor, frightened guy work. The maintenance guy feels like, “Why does he watch over me like a hawk?” As his hands shake doing the job.
Then westerner goes, “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” Of course he does, it’s just that he’s already afraid, and he’s being scolded plus now, he’s being questioned about his capabilities.
This is not a story about race or culture. This is a story about each one of us. I’m sure all of you can relate to the maintenance guy. At some point in time you may have encountered a similar situation. I know I have. I know if I was afraid, being scolded at and my abilities were being questioned, I would not be able to perform my best.
This is a story about autistic kids. They already have a communication barrier and even before being able to shine, they are already being told (through body language) that they will not be able to do much. They are always scolded for reasons they do not understand.
Take away the communication barrier (by communicating with them through autistic language: joining them). Take away the scolding. Take away your doubts and cheer them on. What will remain is the best environment for your child to become an achiever. They will do what we all do in the same kind if environment, try and try harder.
Dealing with autistic kids is just like dealing with a different culture. Understanding them is the best approach.
Loving our Son-Rise journey towards autism recovery.