Monday, December 19, 2011

obsessive joy

A friend of mine, who is a parent of a child with an exceptionality, shared this article on "The Obsessive Joy of Autism." It was written by teenager with autism.

I read it and couldn't stop crying.

What a great reminder for us to acknowledge that joy is expressed in many diverse ways, as diverse as the people expressing it.

As an educator, I am aware of the differing opinions on "stimming," the behavior that tends to accompany the diagnosis of autism - whether to let it be or discourage it and modify the behavior toward "more appropriate" (quotation marks are intentional) behavior. Whether the stimming is significant enough that it interferes with social interactions or quality of life. Whether it is self-injurious, etc etc etc.

But reading this just seemed to naturally pull my questioning researcher's lens off - and I read the article with the most "feeling" part of me. And I realized yet again that doing that is not a bad thing. It makes me a better educator.

I won't say anymore about it, as the article itself is just so eloquently and insightfully written.

Read it here.

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