But the cold hard truth is that you can have all the information in the world on a subject…and still be no good at it. It is not until you begin to apply that Mind Understanding that you develop…
Heart Understanding could just as easily be called…HARD Understanding because it begins with deep introspection and ends with actions. These are skills that are much more challenging than any strategies or programs for autism that ‘experts’ have to offer.
Deep introspection in particular is not something that is all that common in our modern, fast food, instant gratification world. This is a level of thoughtful living that it rare. It is not a life skill that is encouraged by parents or schools. It is ultimately a questioning of authority. Of all that we have been taught and believed for much of our lives. It requires deep self-examination that many people are afraid of. Especially when it comes to something as intimate as parenting.
You must learn to think about and analyze everything you do…and everything that happens to you. Why? becomes the most important word in your vocabulary.
- Why did I do that?
- Why did I say that?
- Why do I feel like this?
- Why does my child meltdown?
Why? WHY? WHY?!?!
Heart Understanding demands that you consider the information you have acquired in light of your situation and values. This is where things become even more complex. As the Google definition said: an individual’s perception or judgement of a situation.
That requires you to examine yourself. Your actions. Your thoughts. Your beliefs. Where did they come from? Do they meet the needs of this situation? Are they serving you well?
You have to stop accepting situations as they are…because the doctors/teachers/’experts’ say so…because that is how it has always been…because that is what is expected.
And no, I cannot give the right answers either. I can tell you the right answers for PanKwake and our #HomeCrazzyHome. I can explain to you how we came to those answers. But our situation is not yours. PanKwake is NOT your little human. We are all different…and that means we all have different choices…and different answers too.
But as hard as this thoughtful introspection is, even that is not enough to bring about Heart Understanding. No, for true Heart Understanding, for change, you have to put all that information…all that thinking…into action.
This is when you finally come to Deep Understanding:
- friendly or harmonious relationship
- an agreement of opinion or feeling :adjustment of differences
- a mutual agreement not formally entered into but in some degree binding on each side
- sympathetic awareness or tolerance
- sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; tolerant and forgiving
That is what #ActuallyAutistic people want and need. Not just an awareness of autism or what people think autism is. But…
- Harmonious relationships
- Adjustment of differences
- Mutually tolerant relations
- Sympathetically aware of other people’s feelings; tolerant and forgiving!
And when that type of Understanding begins in the home with their parents while they are little humans, then they are better prepared to face the challenges that will face them in the world outside those doors. They will be confident, #HappilyAutistic and #ProudlyPDA humans.
Yes, they will still face ignorance, prejudice, discrimination, and even hatred/fear in the world. But you will have given them the solid foundation upon which to build a resilient human being.
What does this action look like? What is this Deep Understanding?
Deep Understanding is about applying the Mind and Heart Understanding to every day situations. It means taking all that knowledge you have collected and all the thoughtful insight you have given into change…into action.
For instance, you learned that anxiety is the driving for control with Pathological Demand Avoidance (Mind Understanding). You spent some time thinking about all the things that might cause your little human to be anxious (Heart Understanding). As a result, you eliminated as many of the ‘demands’ as you could in your situation for your human.
That is Deep Understanding. You have applied the knowledge you acquired and the thought that went into it and come up with actions that are ‘right’ for you and your little human.
Deep Understanding is much more than just following strategies or programs in a book or recommended by ‘experts’. It takes into consideration the HUMANS involved in a given situation. It recognizes that there are no absolutes. That what might be right for one person is not right for another. What might work for us and PanKwake may not in your home, your child, your family.
Deep Understanding is a personalized response to your little human. His needs. Her anxieties. Your tolerance. Your paradigm/worldview. Your culture and beliefs.
The other thing to note about Deep Understanding is that it can and does change…over time…in different circumstances. The Deep Understanding that worked for your little human last year will not this year. Sometimes even what worked yesterday will not today.
This is because once you learn that deep thought, that Heart Understanding, you will never be the same. Just as your little human will grow and change so to will you.
So tomorrow when you read about our journey to Deep Understanding remember it is a journey that for me as a parent began even before PanKwake was born. It is the culmination of a lifetime of Mind and Heart Understanding. It is our journey…yours will be different.
But with Mind and Heart Understanding you too can come to a place of Deep Understanding. A place of Tolerance, Sympathy, Forgiveness, and Harmony where differences are celebrated. That is what all children deserve, not merely the neurodivergent ones.
That is the ideal environment in which to plant and grow little humans into Happy, Successful, Compassionate, and Enlightened human beings ready and capable of changing this world for the better. Not in spite of their #autism or PDA but because of it. A world of true #Neurodiversity. And it begins in the home.