ASD and the Ability to Relate to Others
It has been very gratifying to see the advances that therapists have made in recent years in their understanding of and help for those with ASD. Often at the end of talks I provide regarding the Oneness Approach, Spirituality, relationships, neurobiology and really any diagnosis the question comes up… "Does anything help with the ability of someone with ASD or Asperger’s Disease to relate to others?" Despite all the available research, the answer - I believed - was no. However, I’m happy to say, I may have been mistaken!
ASD - A Family Illness
I spoke with Kurt Othmer on a Oneness Approach podcast whose older brother, Brian, suffered ASD and a seizure disorder. He and his parents wrote a book about Brian’s struggles called “Brian’s Legacy”. He also admitted to the trials of being a younger sibling of someone with ASD. Kurt clearly had a firm understanding of the relationship limitations of at least one person with ASD. He and I agreed that this truly is another example of a “family illness” where the life of everyone in the family is changed.
Imagine my surprise when he told me that his brother had undergone a therapy that actually changed his ability to relate with Kurt and others. They went from talking about things to talking about how they felt about all aspects of life. The change was not subtle but dramatic and positively affected all aspects of his brother’s life. I was excited to hear this, so he told me the "rest of the story”.
Neurofeedback and Improved Relationships
Kurt’s parents, Siegfried and Susan, were both brilliant scientists who met in college. So when Brian was born, they set out to find answers for their son. In 1985, they began working with their son using neurofeedback. To my surprised they found a powerful link between neurofeedback and improved relationships in their son and others with ASD. Since that time they have dedicated their professional lives to this treatment modality that so benefited their son. Sadly, their son died in his twenties but their exploration, innovation and training in the field continues to this day.
So much has changed since the early days of neurofeedback and I highly recommend this mode of treatment for anyone who has ASD. Please see www.eeginfo.com for more details on neurofeedback and improved relationships. Neurofeedback has also been used in PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Pain and a number of other arenas. People who meditate are also finding it helpful as it allows you to see your mind in action - and do something about it!
I see this as yet another tool to help you develop your internal Oneness so you can experience your life fully - and I share it with empathy and compassion between and beyond!