So my last post was a rant about finding myself lost in my search for online Asperger communities – an unschooler in a world of school people. The same thing is happening with respect to parenting.
I’m looking for strategies to help my children. I understand that therapy will help them and me with it, but I am eager to learn all I can. Son has been having some really major meltdowns lately, more intense than ever, and I’m sort of feeling my way through them, trying different strategies each time and noting what seems to help and what makes things worse. I could really use some good ideas. So off I went in search of information.
Once again I’m a stranger in a strange land. The land of mainstream parenting. The autism boards are full of tips on how to apply punishments (they call them “consequences”, as if that somehow makes it different) and how to use the child’s “special interest” as a tool to manipulate behaviour. It’s basically “mainstream parenting Lite” where you don’t go overboard with the threats, scolding, etc. but you definitely manipulate your child. That is not an approach I would ever feel good about. All my experience as a gentle parent tells me that people tend to resort to the usual stuff rather than think outside the box, so I’m quite certain that there are alternatives out there. If nothing else, my own boy is quite immune to the power of rewards anyways. He’s turned down some pretty hefty carrots when he feels he is right about something.
I’ve put out messages on various unschooling and gentle parenting boards, but I’m not getting much in the way of replies. I know there are people in real life I can talk to; I do and I will, but what I really wanted was an online community. Perhaps I’ll end up having to start my own!