REFER TO THE EXPLANATION CONCERNING HOW TO USE THIS INFORMATION IN
HS01 THE BASIS OF SELF THERAPY
HS16 HOW TO USE THESE SUGGESTIONS
HS17 DESCRIPTION OF YOGA EXERCISES
This is a very large subject with many subcategories and I do not feel that I have any type of expertise concerning the problem. I will just pass on some common sense thoughts based on some experiences I have had with these special children.
It is being discovered today that a lot can be done by the parents to stimulate the physical, emotional and mental development of these children that was previously believed. The following is a very small list of possible actions to be taken. One should seek more expert?? and more specific advise on the subject if it concerns you.
1. For me, the most important requirement for helping these children is to realize that although the physical or mental bodies may be defective or undeveloped to some degree in this life time, that there is a divine immortal soul living in that body, which has the same consciousness which we have. If a master guitarist is handed a broken guitar and cannot create beautiful music, it is not because he is not able, it is because the instrument of his expression is incapable. The same is true for the handicapped child. His inner intelligence and awareness is perfect and divine. The organs of his expression on the earth at this present time are defective. Thus it is best not to feel sorry for the child but to respect it as an equal, and to communicate with it as normally as possible.
2. Physical stimulation is essential for the development of the child on all levels; physical, emotional and mental. There are programs given by various systems developed for the development of handicapped children which include many hours of crawling, walking, running and various other dynamic movements. In general these children require more movement and physical action and physical contact than normal children. It is important to understand that this is as much for their mental development as it is for their physical.
Of course the child should not be forced to exercise, if he is not in the mood, but various ways should be thought of as encouraging the child to be active.
3. All forms of creative expression are beneficial for the emotional and mental development of the child. Take time to play with the child, to dance, sing, paint, to play theater, to make collages, to plant in the garden, to do any type of creative activities which might interest you both. Take time to be with the child and to communicate with him at his own level, and in the ways which the child selects. The process of getting into the child’s world and developing a communication based on the child’s interests and fantasies and games has done wonders in bringing autistic children out of their shells.
4. There should be plenty of mental stimulation, through pictures and various images from magazines, encyclopedias and various other sources. Take time to sit with the child and show him or her various pictures and explain them to some degree. It is not important that the child gives the sense that it understands. Simply stimulate the child’s mind with these images about various aspects of life, explaining whatever you can, getting a sense eventually of what interests the child has and what it can comprehend. Do not underestimate the ability of the child to comprehend various subjects and situations. The child may be much more blocked in its expressive abilities, than in its ability to understand.
5. Never talk about the child as if it is less able or less worthy than others. Never let the child feel that it has less value or that it is a burden to you. Do not feel ashamed to take the child out and for others to see it with you. That child is an equal creation of the divine and is as divine as any other being, and in many cases much more pure and loving than «normal» people.
6. Let the child take on certain responsibilities gradually. Various jobs in the house such as setting the table, cleaning, washing dishes, helping the garden, watering the plants, washing the car. Let the child develop a sense of achievement and ability by doing useful chores around the house. Do not over protect or pamper or continually serve the child. Let it develop as much independence and responsibility as possible.
7. These children, like all children, but even more, need plenty of loving contact through hugging, kissing, embracing and other manifestations of love, caring and affection. They are often more expressive of their need for affection and holding. Take time to sit with the child and fulfill this need for affection.
8. These children are very sensitive and require a peaceful environment. They are very much affected by arguing between parents, or negative vibrations within the home. Work on your own emotional and mental maturity and spiritual development so that your home can become a place of peace and love where all of you can flourish.
When you need to correct the child for some problem-causing behavior, do so with firmness, but with respect and love. Explain why this behavior annoys you or creates some problem. Do not demean the child or speak to it without respect. This holds true for all people of all kinds.
9. Reflexology has been found to have a significant effect on handicapped children. It has been found that massaging the reflex points for the spinal column and the brain can awaken various blocked energies in the emotional and mental development of the child. As with all the above mentioned factors, the effect is much greater when applied as early as possible in the development of the child.
10. Shiatsu massage and spiritual healing too have been known to help children to relax and become more aware and conscious. Emphasis should be given to the areas of the spine, abdomen and head.
11. These children, as all children, require a healthy diet, with all the required nutrients but without toxins. They should avoid white flour, and white sugar and eat as little meat as possible. They will benefit from whole grains, sprouts, fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts, beans and various dairy products.
12. Vitamin B complex is helpful for strengthening the nervous system.
13. All exercises, breathing and relaxation techniques are useful and beneficial. You will have to see which of all the techniques presented in this book the child finds most interesting and enjoyable. Usually children like dynamic exercises. Thus one could start out with those. It is important that they do some head low postures each day to ensure good circulation in the brain.
They will also enjoy making the various vibrations, all of which are beneficial, as well as singing. Teach them the balloon breath and let them do it a few minutes a day.
13. It is important to realize that having a handicapped child born into one’s family is a spiritual blessing and an opportunity for accelerated spiritual growth for all the family members. It is never by chance that a soul is born in this limited condition. It is a choice made by that soul and all the members of the family on a psychic level long before the birth of the child. The birth of this child into a family offers all the members of the family an opportunity to learn many spiritual lessons such as:
a. Not to give importance to the form or appearance of a person, but to relate to the immortal divine soul which is within the body and personality. This change of focus is absolutely necessary for spiritual growth.
b. To get free from the fear of what others think and to live normally and freely with the child taking it wherever they go, not hiding or feeling ashamed, recognizing that this soul is equal with all other souls.
c. The development of patience and simplicity in communication is necessary for living with such a child.
d. The cultivation of the unconditional love is what the child needs for its development.
e. The ability to sacrifice more time and energy towards the survival and daily maintenance of another person, that a normal child would require. This illustrates the sacrifice of our own needs out of love for another.
f. Overcoming the misconception that the parent may be responsible for the state of the child. No other person can be responsible for the fate of another one. We all create our own fates.
These and many other lessons can be learned through caring for a handicapped child in one’s family. Perhaps the greatest lesson however that can be learned from such a child is the ability to express simple unconditional love in a straightforward way.