seaborn wrote:Dear PadmaVonSamba
Thank you for visiting this tender place with me.
for bringing the issue to this forum.
Writing it out helps me to think it out & work it out.
I think that the biggest help Dharma has (and I alluded to this before) is that with Buddhism, one learns to let go of "expectations". Not everything (I mean, I expect the light to go on in the fridge), but the expectations we put on ourselves and especially onto other people.
Because either you are dealing with another person for who they really are, in the present moment,
or you are dealing with some imaginary fantasy about who they are or will be in the future.
I think that when it comes to knowing which deal to choose, a lot of people choose the wrong one.
This certainly happens in relationships.
So, we are doing two things at once.
You might say it is somewhat like ultimate truth and relative truth...sort of.
We work with our kids as though they are typical, and place as many demands on them as we would a typical kid.
That is the relative truth.
For example, we have a "no stimming" policy. (You probably know that term but to someone reading this post who doesn't, it refers to self-stimulatory behavior, such as hand flapping or repeating a noise or word phrase over and over again, any type of excessively repeated erratic behavior).
So, our standard is "would a typical kid his age be doing that?" and if the answer is no, then we redirect his behavior. Actually, he has learned to control a lot of it himself. Eventually the brain rewires itself and he doesn't do certain things any more.
At the same time, we are completely aware that this is a real challenge for him. That is the ultimate truth. We know we are dealing with somebody who faces a lot of challenges, who has a disability, and who is going to need help doing something 100,000 times before he does it on his own (reminds me of Vajrayana ngondro
Imaginary expectations get in the way of seeing who a person really is. When you can see who they really are, you can benefit them much more. Of course, some kids are really severely disabled, and it is really hard for parents not to be devastated
(not to mention feeling sleep deprived, broke, and feeling isolated!).
I just remembered, I think there is a website somewhere for Buddhist parents of kids with autism. Unfortunately, a lot of times people who are on so-called 'spiritual paths' fall for some rather shady "treatments". But I will tell you something interesting, because a lama who is both my friend & teacher did a ceremony, a "blessing", to help my son. But I am a very skeptical and science -based person. So I asked him how anything like this can help. I don't believe in faith-healing.
The interesting thing is that there were three parts to the ceremony. And none of them had to do with "curing" him. They all had to do with removing obstacles
to his treatment and cure. To me, this is somewhat different, because I support scientific research, and this wasn't set up to replace that--rather, to remove obstacles.
That is something I can go along with!.