I am tired, really tired. Last night I went to sleep at 7pm. The past two days, this guy came to my house and helped me to change my brain. Raun Kaufman, who runs the Son-Rise program and used to be autistic, flew here on Sunday to train me and my team.
Raun told me what other big autism experts have told me before: If I want to help cure my son, I’ve got to be way more energetic, enthusiastic and exciting in the playroom.
So after Raun suggested I be more energetic, I thought, “Fuck – I can’t do this. I’ve been told by different people for the last eight years to be more energetic. If I’m not more energetic by now, it’s not happening.”
Raun asked me if I had ever been energetic with Cal. I said yes. Raun asked me why I didn’t think I could be energetic with my son considering I have done it before. I said I haven’t been able to do it consistently before. After many hours of our consultation, Raun said, “You’re saying you want to be more energetic with Cal, but you are building a case for why you can’t do it.”
He also said that after talking to me often over the last two years, he noticed that I have a pattern. I’ll say something is good for me and then give arguments of why I can’t or won’t do it. For example I’ll say, “I think I would be happier if I believed I’m a good person and didn’t need other people to say I’m a good person in order for me to feel good.” Then, I’ll list and argue many reasons why it would be dangerous if I didn’t worry about what other people thought about me. (i.e. I would argue that if I didn’t care about what other people think of me, I wouldn’t have any friends. I would say, if I didn’t worry about what other people thought about me, I would say things that would hurt other people.)
It was like a nice smack in the head. I want to actually believe and do things that I say are good for me, as opposed to argue why I can’t do them. I now believe I can be energetic with Cal in the playroom. I let go of the belief that since I couldn’t be energetic with Cal consistently in the past, I can’t do it now. I now believe I can really do it. So after I let go of my belief, I could really listen and be open to Raun’s suggestions about how to be more energetic. He suggested I celebrate Cal a lot more often and enthusiastically when Cal looks or talks to me. Raun said what he does is, when a kid looks at him, he doesn’t think, “I should celebrate now.”Instead, he feels grateful first, for what the kid is doing, and then the celebration comes more naturally. I did that the last two days and it really worked. It wasn’t hard work for me to be excited about Cal, when I was focused on being grateful for what he was doing(as opposed to thinking “I should celebrate him enthusiastically now”).
Thank you Cal – You got me here. At thirty-nine years-old, I have changed my brain and the way I think. And because of you, Cal, I believe I can continue to change for the rest of my life, no matter how I was before.