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isthmus nekoi
15-06-2004, 07:36
I have a piano student who has been diagnosed w/PDD (pervasive developmental disorder) or high functioning autism. His moods are very erratic and can turn on a dime. I was wondering if there were any herbs or crystals I could utilize to help him calm down when he becomes uncontrollable b/c speaking and touching tends to make things worse. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Island Dreamer
15-06-2004, 20:47
Hi isthmus nekoi,

My daughter, nearly seventeen, is autistic but not severely. I don't have much experience with other AS children because we live on an island.

I know what it's like to have an uncontrollable AS person and how difficult it is to cope with the situation. On many occasions the actual 'trigger' for the upset gets lost and forgotten, leaving the 'juggernaut' to continue at full speed until it eventually runs out of momentum.

My first thought was that he must be extremely sensitive and I know that some AS people find touching or being touched to actually be painful.

Have you been left to cope with this piano student without any input from professionals dealing in the field of AS and it's associated syndromes? If so, I think you should make contact with someone who can help you plan a systematic approach. AS people view life in a completely different way and their thinking processes can seem very alien at times.

Crystal-wise, I would be tempted to start out with either a rose quartz sphere or a clear quartz sphere. Just try one at a time and see if it helps. Spheres diffuse their energy gently in all directions which might be less stressful than a point which focuses the energy.

Herbs and scents can be tricky since some can actually trigger quite adverse reactions in sensitive people. I would suggest lavender which is calming and works quite well with my daughter. Otherwise a trained aromatherapist would be the best person to advise on suitable scents that might calm such a student.

There is an ocean of information about autism on the web - so much so that it's overwhelming. But one or two webpages that might help you are here:

Mono-processing in autism - one channel at a time.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/17100/97330

Peripheral Perception in autism - What is more important, eye contact or understanding?
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/17100/97315

I see you're in Canada so these links might prove helpful too:

Autism treatment services of Canada
http://www.autism.ca/

Autism Society Canada
http://www.autismsocietycanada.ca/fr/index.html

and your very own Canadian heroine, jipsy, whose site is known world-wide
Ooops ..... Wrong Planet Syndrome!
http://www.isn.net/~jypsy/

I hope these links help and that you find a way of helping this student benefit from and enjoy his piano lessons without trauma :)

Dreamer
*edit* omitted a link :|

isthmus nekoi
16-06-2004, 01:38
Island Dreamer,

Thank you so much for the suggestions and advice! This is really helpful :)

Yes, I was hired my the family even though they knew I had no experience w/special needs education, only piano training. His mother is always there however, and she basically takes over when he acts out. Usually he can tell us what he wants (e.g. no piano no!) so at least there is a very basic level of communication.

This is a little OT, but have you noticed behaviour worsens around a full moon? In my experience w/him, a full moon makes for a more difficult time.

Anyways, will give the quartz sphere a try. I think you are right about the aromatherapy, it is potentially too distracting to be beneficial.

Thanks again!!
Isthmus

Island Dreamer
16-06-2004, 02:11
I'm glad the information helped, Isthmus :)

Full moons most definitely affect AS sufferers. In fact, we visited the school that our daughter will start in September (she is due to leave our mainstream island school this summer) and they had a 'Terrible Tuesday' while we were there. They sensed that some of the students were already 'hair-trigger' and it combined with a full moon to provide a full-blown explosion. :(

It was scary but we were incredibly impressed with the professional way the staff handled the whole situation. Despite the fact that we'd never experienced anything quite like that, it was reassuring and reinforced our conviction that we had chosen the right school for her :)

Oddly enough, we find that our presence quite often makes our daughter's behaviour worse. Everyone else seems to be under the impression that she is a blonde haired blue eyed angel with a delightful smile .... they don't see the monster we have to put up with in the privacy of our home. Talk about Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!

Do these piano lessons take place in your home or theirs? If it's your home, I might suggest that, once you feel reasonably confident with the student, ask the mother to go to the shop to buy something. Just a short trip :) I would imagine she has a mobile phone so make sure you have her number and can call if there is an emergency. Make the purpose of her trip to buy something that the student appreciates and regards as a treat - maybe a favourite food or comic. You may be amazed at the difference in the student once Mum is no longer there ;) It's worked with our daughter and might be worth trying when you feel confident enough.

Feel free to PM me if you want to - I may not have all the answers but, after nearly seventeen years, I've accumulated a fair bit of experience and a lot of information :D

Dreamer

deedlit420
16-06-2004, 09:56
I also have AS, and have found that jasmine, lavender, and sandalwood are best at helping me focus (Real life example: i like to burn sandalwood incense whilst i study) Also, it may help to carry a little malachite (meditation and focus) or turquoise (grounding)

isthmus nekoi
17-06-2004, 08:31
Island Dreamer,

Thanks again for the further advice!! Actually, I do prefer to conduct a lesson w/o any parents watching just b/c it tends to make kids more nervous. It puts more pressure on them. The lessons are at the student's house, so we have the benefit of familiar surroundings. I think I will try to suggest at least moving to a different room (that is more quiet/private).

Also it's good to hear you're feeling good about your daughter's new school :)

deedlit420,

Thanks for your suggestions :) I am new to crystals so it's nice to have a few options.

Cheers,
Isthmus