Hope for a Child with Autism

Maria Brandt

MariaJust want to share something… Last night i had a massive breakthrough with my son. Two months ago I posted my request for help and asked if someones out there who has experience in working with autistic kids. At this day i was at the end of everything. i was so down and my energy was gone, i was so empty i couldn’t even cry anymore. Behind me were months of really bad fits of rage from my son and i couldn’t figure out why he had that not even how to help him. when it was really bad (hitting, throwing things, hurting me badly) we ended up in the hospital. It was just getting worse and worse and worse…

But thankfully on that evening, after a massive freak out, Brett Chitty wrote me a lovely message to welcome me in this group and somehow i just answered him how bad i feel, about what i am now very happy, cause it started a journey which saved my life and the life of my son. And i really mean it like that.

So here is what happened in the last two months:

As Brett encouraged me to write a request for help here in this group, the whole thing started. He also pointed me in that direction to listen to George Pransky about Common sense Parenting. I then get an answer from Tammy Furey with who i had a wonderful meeting in Germany, which made me even stronger in my decision to not give my son into psychiatry (school wanted that i do).

So what i just did was listening to everything about the principles, i ordered lots of books, cds, watching clips. I was like a sponge. And i could see day by day how my mood shifted and how this had a direct effect on my son. From daily fits of rage we turned down to weekly freak outs. what is like a miracle in that short time. I tried to talk with my son about his thoughts, it didn’t work so well. But i could see behind his words and i could see how scared and troubled he was. and suddenly his behavior made totally sense to me.

He is a thinker. and he is so troubled by his scary thoughts. About what could happen to the universe, the world, the people, me and him. He was in panic. every day. in panic about his life. to be killed by a stranger, to be killed by a hurricane, by a comet, by a car, by global warming, by toxic food. And he was so frustrated that i didn’t cared about all those things. He couldn’t believe that i as his mom don’t thought about all those dangerous things, so he had feeling that he also need to take care of me… so you could imagine in which spiral of fear he was…

As i could see that, i knew why he need to fight so badly against everything and everyone. the first thing which i did, i took all the stress away. I talked to his teachers, to everyone around him, to give him a break. I let go of all my educational goals and just tried to give him a safe and secure feeling. I talked with him a lot and we figured out together how we can reduce his level of stress. It worked pretty well.

Over the Easter holidays we were going on vacation on a ship and i knew that the potential for stress was very high. And so it was. He had a lot of moments of rage and at one evening i didn’t know what to do anymore. But it suddenly hit me and i had an idea. During my holidays i had a lot of books with me but i just read “the enlightened grander” from Syd Banks. And i must admit that i didn’t like the story, cause that’s what it was for me: just a story. But in that night i realized why i read exactly this book. Laying with my screaming son on the bed it hit me and i thought: That’s what it is! I must tell him a story! Not have a endless talk about thought, just tell him a story!

So out of the blue i told him a story about a unicorn and a little sad elf… and the unicorn took the sad elf every evening on a ride through the magic forest and told him about 3 secrets to have a wonderful life. My son couldn’t get enough of that story. His eyes were wide opened and he wanted to hear more and more about how the life of the small elf changed. It calmed him down and we had a pretty good time after that night.

But yesterday i was in a very low state of mind, his cousin was sleeping at ours and i was tired and had a headache. I just wanted that day to end…

When i told the boys that its time for bed it happened. Again my son freaked out. He started to scream and couldnt stop telling me that i should leave and never come back again. I was under stress. I didnt know what to do, i didnt had energy for that.

I was thinking: “Thats not what i need now. I just want that it stop. Soon he will hit me, or throw things through the flat. 3Ps where are you? why i dont know what to do now?…”

So all that comes on my mind was giving me a 5 minute break for a cigarette on the balcony. During that break i was thinking: “Its thought Maria, its all thought…oh maybe i should say in German that i realize that on a deeper level…”nur Gedanken Maria nur Gedanken…” But nothing happened. I was still stressed. so i just said to whoever: “Show me the missing link in that situation, show me what i dont understand and what i dont see right now”.

And i get back from my break, seeing my son angry on the floor. And then i saw it. And it blew me away. What i was missing whole time was, that even if he was really angry he didnt hit and he didnt throw things, he didnt even screamed that loud like usual. He was just giving his best to deal with his thoughts. And that lifted my mood. I was so happy to see how good he was doing it.

I took him on my arms and we sat down. And i told him: “Oh my god Fynn, i can see youre having a really troubling time and you give your best to not hit and hurt anyone. And your doing so good!” And he nodded and bursted into tears, telling me that he is whole time trying not to listen to the thoughts which tell him to fight with his fists.

And then there was this huge, big moment: He started to smile and said: “Mom, mom, i got it!!!! I dont need to do that! I dont need to listen to my thoughts! I dont need to hit and scream and destroy everything! I got it mom! Its over, its over! We are done with that!”

He started to laugh and his face brightened up and he went on: “mom, now there is just love! I love you so much, i cannot even describe it! I love you so so much, thats what it is: its just love! Our hearts are all connected through love!”

I started to cry and he hugged me and whispered in my ear (he is 7!!!!): “Mom, i am so proud on you that you have not given up on me! That you have not stopped trying to help me and to explain to me about my thoughts, that you were calm and haven’t scream at me! I thank you so much and i love you so much. You set me free from that.”

– Maria

Living From the Inside-Out