Behavioral Aspects affecting those on the Spectrum
Wesley Thurman MS Ed27 May, 2022
As husband, parent, sibling, educator, community leader, international college lecturer, and behavioral clinician – I have had the good fortune of working and collaborating with a host of unique individuals on three continents. For this inaugural blog of Imagine Solutions UYI, inc., our team decided to begin with a discussion on something that has been a prolonged struggle for many individuals and families in the disabilities community: the plight of autism.
As youngster, I grappled with trying to comprehend the limitations of a younger sibling on the autism spectrum. My youngest brother as an infant was often confronted ear infections. Developmentally all else appeared well with in appropriate range of development, except for speech. This was 1973. Little was known and available at the time in terms of research regarding this phenomenon in the early 70’s. Yet, I recall dozens if not more mothers trekking to counseling meetings and group discussions about the behavioral and speech concerns that affected their child. Mine was one of them. At age twelve, I accompanied her for support.
The classification that we know today as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), was considered “autistic like” and placed as part of an umbrella diagnosis. Autism, Asperger’s, Rhett…etc. A diagnosis that appeared to have neurological underpinnings to areas that involve Sensory, Speech and Social interaction. Today we no longer use the term sensory. It has been replaced by the word behavior.
Expressive behavior is the form of communication with individuals on the spectrum. This does not exclude dietary preferences, or deficiencies. There may appear to be aggressive outbursts or other actions that may on surface appear as self-stimulation be it offensive or defensive that are replacements or substitutions for speech. This may range from a rooms visual lighting to auditory sound and volume concerns plus more.
As a researcher, practitioner, educator, and clinician of nearly four decades; I have gathered some basic insight and come to a few conclusions into the disability’s phenomena and more uniquely autism. The human mind and the consciousness of man is extremely pliable and adaptive to all that we may consider maladies, deficiencies and short comings and adjusts to accommodate communication and some operational functions. It is my hope that delving further into the understanding of mind and consciousness, through the use of technology, science and spiritually will aid us in opening conduits to better support and serve the community of those on the Autism Spectrum curve and others with disabilities , their families and loved ones.