In my work as a music therapist since 1974, I’ve had the privilege of working with dozens and dozens of individuals with autism and their families. I’ve known some of my friends for over thirty years, walking side by side as they have encountered difficult challenges and heartbreaks as well as joyful moments. These experiences have taught me about perseverance, patience, forgiveness, and hope. As a result of these many friendships and experiences, I’ve developed a list of “Ten Steps to Sanity” for family members, teachers, and others who care about the well-being of individuals with autism.
1. Recognize factors you cannot control.
2. Manage behavior positively and consistently.
3. Recognize and build on strengths and abilities.
4. Bust boredom!
5. Cherish friendships and nourish family ties.
6. Start early on age-appropriate behaviors and activities.
7. Relinquish some control to encourage self-sufficiency.
8. Break the barriers of isolation.
10. Pray – that’s the only way you will accomplish steps 1 through 9!!!
NOTE TO READERS AND LISTENERS: I am Cathy Knoll, a board certified music therapist and long-time friend of many folks with autism. At FAQautism.com we are committed to providing free, practical, everyday tips for making life better for people with autism. Feel free to send me an email with your thoughts or challenging situations or innovative solution. Send email to talk@FAQautism.com And don’t forget to check out our website for a wealth of ideas and a glimpse into the world of autism. http://FAQautism.com