So I spent 10 hours yesterday attending a class that I originally signed up for because I needed the Continuing Education hours to renew my Massage license and because my daughter works with Autistic children everyday. What I came home with is a new understanding of the word Autism and the feeling that what I felt was important in life was nothing compared to what the instructor of the class KNEW was important in her life. I am a little humbled and feeling exceptionally blessed to have the two children that I have knowing that the issues and concerns dealt with when raising them were nothing compared to this mother's struggles raising her autistic child.
During the class we learned of her struggles to help her child and the politics of our healthcare and education systems in this country that seemed determined to keep her from getting the correct diagnosis and subsequent help in dealing with her child's condition. But most importantly learned that people in my profession, massage therapy, can have a profound effect on the Autism community through the use of touch therapies and most specifically Craniosacral Therapy (CST).
CST works through the Neurological System, the brain, which is where the disorder originates. It is a developmental disorder that most often appear between the ages or 2 and 3 according to the website autismspeaks.org. Since this is Autism Awareness month it is therefore appropriate to speak about it. According to the website Autism affect 1 in 68 American children with is a 10-fold increase over the past 40 years. Someone you know most likely has a child with some form of the Autism spectrum.
Do the research and you will find that there are as many sides to Autism as there are children and now adults with the disorder. And as many variations of what is believed to cause it. That is not for my discussion here. My thoughts are more on the line of "How can I help", "How lucky am I to have the children that I have" and "How important really are my minor life problems"? When I compare the now small problems I had raising my daughters to the issues that parents of Autistic children face everyday I am humbled in comparison.
Each and every Autistic child is unique, interesting in how there mind works differently from ours and mysterious for the same reasons. I don't really think that we know how the "normal" mind works so unraveling the Autistic mind is even more mysterious. But by spending the time and effort to work with these children and young adults can have a very profound effect. On them and on us. As a body worker I look forward to the honor of working with some of them.
Moving forward I want to look at my priorities in my massage practice and spend some time reviewing my CST training and give some time to those children my daughter currently works with to see if we can indeed make a change in their lives. What really is important to you?