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    Rituals of Religion to Break Autism's Meltdowns

    I found this by accident looking around technorati. Even though its focus is Islam and Autism, I think it may have wider application.



    Rituals of Religion to Break Autismís Mr. Hyde Meltdowns

    Your thoughts?
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    Re: Rituals of Religion to Break Autism's Meltdowns

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmsman_of_Inepu View Post
    I found this by accident looking around technorati. Even though its focus is Islam and Autism, I think it may have wider application.

    Rituals of Religion to Break Autismís Mr. Hyde Meltdowns

    Your thoughts?
    It was a lightbulb for me, certainly.

    One thing that I've shied away from is daily ritual, because for me repeated actions quickly become rote. However, one thing about being ADD is that I do best with a structure and a routine- having set times to do things means I do less mental leapfrogging. The idea that I could do daily ritual be functional for me even if it becomes rote is...enlightening and surprising and 'why the hell didn't I think of that?'
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    Re: Rituals of Religion to Break Autism's Meltdowns

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmsman_of_Inepu View Post
    I found this by accident looking around technorati. Even though its focus is Islam and Autism, I think it may have wider application.

    Rituals of Religion to Break Autismís Mr. Hyde Meltdowns

    Your thoughts?
    Uhh, well a couple things actually.

    1. My son is 21 in August, he has Down Syndrome with severe PDD type Autism. He is non verbal, so teaching him to pray is not going to happen.

    2. I think the basic idea is correct, here. Tradition and routine. My son is one bear of a man child when we break the routine. As long as we don't deviate, we don't have meltdowns. Our meltdowns are slightly different because since he's non verbal, they are physical and he's violent.

    I could see where this could possibly save some people from potentially nightmarish situations, yes. Definitely put that stuff in the routine if it works. I could see this being absolutely brilliant for religious application as well as some of the autistic disorders. Also ADHD possibly.

    Heck, it might do me some good just being a plain old lazy arse. lol

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    Re: Rituals of Religion to Break Autism's Meltdowns

    Quote Originally Posted by Vermillion View Post
    My son is 21 in August, he has Down Syndrome with severe PDD type Autism. He is non verbal, so teaching him to pray is not going to happen.
    Does he sign at all? In my ASL class, one of my classmates works with a deaf boy with DS, and another classmate works with hearing autistic children, and both have had some success with teaching the children to sign. Obviously it doesn't fix everything, but both have mentioned that it's eased some stresses.
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    Re: Rituals of Religion to Break Autism's Meltdowns

    Quote Originally Posted by Juni View Post
    Does he sign at all? In my ASL class, one of my classmates works with a deaf boy with DS, and another classmate works with hearing autistic children, and both have had some success with teaching the children to sign. Obviously it doesn't fix everything, but both have mentioned that it's eased some stresses.
    Unfortunately, no he doesn't. We did try that for a few years but it really just never caught on with him. He has his signals for us to know what he wants, but it's very limited.

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    Re: Rituals of Religion to Break Autism's Meltdowns

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmsman_of_Inepu View Post
    I found this by accident looking around technorati. Even though its focus is Islam and Autism, I think it may have wider application.

    Rituals of Religion to Break Autismís Mr. Hyde Meltdowns

    Your thoughts?
    I have a 7 yr old daughter with Autism and a 5 yr old son with Autism. Meltdowns are a common occurence at our place. When things are bad I pray to my patrons. But I have never thought about my children utilising prayer or ritual in a structured sense. Mainly because they are so young. I have though, told my daughter to speak to one of my patrons who watches over her when she is feeling scared. She really likes doing this. I guess I could do the same thing when she is on the verge of a meltdown or other.

    I can see the benefits, but the application would be different from child to child. My daughter, although on the severe end of the spectrum, is high functioning, as is my son who is on the lower end. For them prayer would be easier than for someone less verbal or non verbal. However, that said, many Autistic children and adults are very visual. So the action of physical prayer, rather than the spoken word may be easier for someone non verbal.

    A quiet corner or room to go to when you are on verge of a meltdown is often key and this could be extended into prayer and or ritual. If you have room for a space, unfortunately I don't and I desperately wish we did. It really can make all the difference. So making this area, or even their bedroom a quiet place where they can go and pray or ritualise, might work.

    Combining elements of ritual with tools we already utilise for calming sound like the right way to go .Lighting candles, maybe depending on the safety factor, (I could never leave my two alone with a candle). Putting pictures up of a deity or a calm natural setting is perfect for the visual aspect. Colour too. Soft fabrics, weighted pillows or blankets if they use these can be utilised at the same time. Music or spoken word. Burning eo's. Social stories can be geared toward a more prayerful application of calming, especially for non verbal people. Incense (if not sensitive to smell) invoking the essence of calm or a particular deity etc. A parent can pray or perform ritual with them, which is what I would be doing in my case.

    I'm actually warming to the concept. While I don't think it is for everyone. I think it may be perfect for my daughter, but my son is very, very aggressive so I will have to be careful. I may go and play around with some ideas.

    Vermillion, does your son use an Ipad? They can really help with communication and have a lot of apps for Autism. Very pricey I know, but there are programs and foundations who provide them at a discount or free of charge to people with Autism. I've seen a few here and over seas, although I know they are more common for children.

    Thanks for sharing this Helmsman, it's food for thought!
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    Re: Rituals of Religion to Break Autism's Meltdowns

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmsman_of_Inepu View Post
    I found this by accident looking around technorati. Even though its focus is Islam and Autism, I think it may have wider application.

    Rituals of Religion to Break Autismís Mr. Hyde Meltdowns

    Your thoughts?
    I'm wondering how I can apply it to myself. I'm on the Autism spectrum, have severe PTSD, and I have meltdowns when routine is interrupted to a large degree. I used to have black-outs, too, where I'd fly into a rage...Jekyll/Hyde moments; scared the hells out of mom.

    Trouble is, I'm crap at praying. When I was a kid my mom taught me Om mani padme om with her mala to help calm and centre me, and it worked. Does work. But at the same time, I want to find something similar and yet specific to my current faith.

    I suppose I can do the Oms until I can figure out some other sort of prayer I can repeat while fingering beads. *thoughtful face*
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    Re: Rituals of Religion to Break Autism's Meltdowns

    Quote Originally Posted by Juni View Post
    It was a lightbulb for me, certainly..... The idea that I could do daily ritual be functional for me even if it becomes rote is...enlightening and surprising and 'why the hell didn't I think of that?'
    That's one of the things that struck me. The word "empty" often gets paired with "ritual," and ritual is certainly frowned upon in popular Christian circles, where tightly-scripted infomercial services seem to be the order of the day.

    There's also a modern sense that ritual is comforting, that it's a bad thing, a crutch. The same sort of mindset that sniffs at 'escapist' literature. Of course, that's a criticism of religion in general, too.

    "Functional because it's rote" could probably sum up Kemetic temple practice.
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    Re: Rituals of Religion to Break Autism's Meltdowns

    Quote Originally Posted by Arcadia View Post
    Vermillion, does your son use an Ipad? They can really help with communication and have a lot of apps for Autism. Very pricey I know, but there are programs and foundations who provide them at a discount or free of charge to people with Autism. I've seen a few here and over seas, although I know they are more common for children.

    Thanks for sharing this Helmsman, it's food for thought!
    We have had little success with the communitication AI tools. The crux of the matter really is the amount of mental retardation that comes with moderate Down Syndrome, plus the Autism taking it's toll. There is another boy in my son's education class that has the very same diagnosis as mine does. He is the exact same as my son in every way. Non verbal, no luck with the AI tools or with sign, totally dependent.

    Both of them do use iMACs at school and those Leap Frogs, but they both do it more for the sound they make and less for what we'd like them to use them for.

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    Re: Rituals of Religion to Break Autism's Meltdowns

    Quote Originally Posted by Helmsman_of_Inepu View Post
    "Functional because it's rote" could probably sum up Kemetic temple practice.
    :D Very true!
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