Access Consciousness® Founder and best-selling author Gary Douglas has said for years, “The children who are labeled disabled actually have capacities which are gifts that are required by humanity if the species is to survive.”
It is for this reason that Douglas calls these kids “X-Men Kids,” after the movie in which people developed extraordinary abilities that are not acknowledged in this reality.
But sometimes, seeing is believing. Sometimes a movie can make a lofty abstract concept, like the idea that the “disabled” are actually a gift, real enough that we can integrate it into our lives. One such movie is the relatively recent film, Temple Grandin.
Now rather well known in certain circles, Temple Grandin is an autistic woman with a PhD who has revolutionized the way animals are treated in American slaughterhouses as well as the way the world can look at autism.
Many autistic children never speak, though they are often acknowledged to be intelligent. One of the key diagnostic features of autistic children is the unwillingness to receive physical comfort like hugs, their unwillingness to make eye contact, and delayed or absent speech.
At the time Temple was growing up in the 50s and 60s, autism was called infantile schizophrenia and institutionalization for life was recommended. It was assumed that these individuals wouldn’t and couldn’t learn to speak or live in the “real world.” Psychologists attributed it to maternal coldness. This movie demonstrates all those ignorant theories to be incorrect.
The rate of autism diagnoses is multiplying rapidly. One in 88 children born in the United States will be diagnosed with it. Diagnoses of autism have risen 25% since 2006 and risen 634% between 1987 and 2003. The diagnoses of “higher functioning autism,” in which the children or adults do not have the severe speech and language deficits but share some of the difficulties in relating to people and the rest of the world, are responsible for much of this increase. It’s precisely these high functioning autistics for whom Douglas’s observations can be most useful.
Douglas has noticed for years that the autistic people, both children and adults, that he works with have capacities the rest of us have not yet acknowledged or claimed. They do not divide the world into left brain/right brain functions and communicate telepathically to a degree that is stunning compared to the slowpokes around them.
Douglas is known for asking off-the-wall questions that open doors into our perceiving the world of the autistic as well. Sitting next to a boy who repeatedly stroked a table for reasons inexplicable to adults, Douglas asked him what information he was receiving from the table. The boy looked at him, stunned that anyone could understand his world to such a degree. Douglas worked with another autistic boy and noticed he could know what was in the refrigerator in a strange house without opening the door.
Watching the movie Temple Grandin is a feature film length journey into this world. It makes the behaviors of autistic people, which can seem bizarre to the rest of us, seem completely rational and understandable. It makes their view of the world “not less, just different,” as Temple’s mother and most supportive teacher insisted on seeing it.
If there is a child anywhere in your world with whom you cannot seem to get on the same page, you might choose to check out this movie, which was produced by HBO in the US. The person you’re having difficulty with—or even you—may have more traits in common with the autistic than you’ve ever imagined.
Those very words, “not less, just different” perfectly summarize Douglas’s approach to autistics as well. Many people who have taken Access Consciousness® seminars have discovered that even though they managed to grow up in the “regular world,” the difficulties they experienced in doing so were due to their own autistic capacities.
There are many ways you can find out more about this dramatically different approach to autism, as discussed in Access Consciousness®. Anne Maxwell, LCSW, Dr. Dain Heer, and Gary Douglas co-authored a book called Would You Teach a Fish to Climb a Tree? all about Autism, ADD/ADHD, OCD and other label. There are also recordings of shorter classes available, including “Accessing Conscious Kids: X-Men,” by Gary Douglas, and the recording of an evening class introducing the “X-Men” concepts, “My Kid Ain’t Normal, Am I At Fault?”
Many certified facilitators also conduct introductory classes that cover autism, as well as the attention deficit disorders (ADD and ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorders, and other differences that are labeled “disabilities” in this reality. You can find a facilitator near you by searching for your country and state on the accessconsciousness.com website.
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