Autism spectrum brains ‘get energy’ from these things


It’s just a difference in style of thinking. For instance, all people have differences in the way they think. And we all have our strengths and we have our differences. So in talking with people about the autism spectrum being a particular type of brain style or style of thinking, we can shift our conversation away from the label of autism spectrum to come to that little extra word “disability.” We shift away from that conversation, and we begin to talk about what are the strengths and the differences that this child, adolescent, or adult brings to the table. For example, one of the strengths for the autism brain style oftentimes is that people are very good and they get energy from –right?–they get energy from activities where they can create and maintain some predictable routines. And when I talk about creating and maintaining predictable routines, those are things like a child I was working with the other day who is very into new games, Super Mario Odyssey. So what he’s doing with his brain style is he’s engaging in activities with this video game that allow him to use the strengths of his brain, which are visual, three-dimensional thinking, strategic problem solving and low-load incoming social and language demand. So that gives an energy. With a lot of brain styles that are not autism spectrum brain styles, people get a lot of energy from social communication. They get a lot of energy from shared things. But the autism spectrum brain, a strength oftentimes, is doing more activities that are going to organize and regulate the brain while the child is engaged in things that don’t require a lot of processing and managing incoming demands, and they can really begin to create systems on their own.

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