Connection – A Different Perspective — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

Connection – A Different Perspective

by Gina


Connection with another is the most natural occurrence in a human life. From the instant a child is born, we talk about ways to connect, laying upon his mother’s bosom for skin to skin contact, for the mother-to-child bond that is so crucial. When we’re sad or elated, even going about the normal routine of our days, connection is sought after through the small smile given to a stranger, the wave to the person who allowed you in line, the touch we give our children as we usher them into school.

Yet, connecting with our kiddos is one of the toughest things to do when there’s a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder, and in many other neurological disorders. The questions of, “Does he know I love him”, “Does she love me”, “Does she feel hurt, sad, happy, have a stomach ache or want to swim in the pool”? They all seem like somewhat easy questions to answer for a neurotypical relationship, but they are the questions that seem to get in the way of connection in an ASD.

However, the perspective of connection can be seen a different way. Quite possibly connection can come in the form of empathy. Of understanding. Of having as clear a realization of influences on a child as possible. For instance, I’ve talked about the understanding of Sensory Processing Disorder that’s made available through the use of videos as examples.

Certain videos explaining what’s happening during a sensory meltdown give me the ability to understand what J is going through. Since I’ve seen one video in particular, I am better able to find a connection with J during his meltdown times because I have that better understanding. This lends our connection to be, in a way, the experiencing of the same thing and working together to get through it.

My perspective of connection has changed because of this. It’s no longer a matter of does he love me or not and having the verbal answers to my questions…although those are the ones yearned for, for clearer communication…the ability to connect now comes to us at a new level.

What are your thoughts?

Email Author    |    Website About Gina

Gina St. Aubin is a mother of 3, one diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, PDD-NOS, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Landau-Kleffner Syndrome (a rare epileptic disorder causing verbal aphasia) . A former Victim's Advocate turned advocate for those with intellectual and physical challenges, Gina believes being a 'Special Parent' means to discover, embrace, educate, advocate, encourage, treasure and laugh.

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1 Jo July 19, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Gina Thanks for sharing. My son has sensory issues related to his connective tissue disorder. I agree that by learning what it is like to live in that world/body can go a long way to understanding the behaviours.
Have you heard of Carly Fleischmann? She is a young girl with autism who can’t speak but is using a computer to help the world understand what it is like to live in her world.

2 Gina July 19, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Jo. I have heard of her. I think because of her breakthrough and others, we have a better understanding!

3 Janet July 19, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I am lucky, even though my son is non-verbal I know we have a strong bond (love) unlike he has with anyone else.

Sensory is a major issue with Luke. The hard thing is trying to get others to understand. But as they see what happens to him with good vs bad sensory (and it’s always a guess!) they are beginning to get it.

Thanks for sharing.

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