At the rise of devastating symptoms or the receipt of a devastating diagnosis our lives irrevocably change. All expectations of a normal life seem canceled.
We then delve deeply into literature looking for all reasons why. We become numb reading the symptoms. None of this paves the way for how we cope NOW. We will be deluged with data and opinion declaring the deficiencies of our children. No where is there to be found data and opinion as to preserved proficincies. We are at risk to succumbing to the belief there are none.
The scientific journals accessible through Google Scholar number over 1,700,000 on the topic of autism and you are hard pressed to find any research that addresses preserved functions in our non verbal children upon which we could build a better life. Yet the same techniques that identify deficiency can be put to identifying proficiency.
In moving forward on this project we have scanned what seems to be over thousand of those journal articles. We have learned much. One of things we learned is that not much is known about the latent cognitive ABILITY of our silent children, and it is rare that there is an interest in learning more. In fact, literature in these hallowed journals indicate that our children are excluded from most neuroscience research.
What we have also learned is that the CORNERSTONE OF COGNITION IS ATTENTION. And we know that when our bright eyed silent children are engaged they are certainly paying attention.
AND THAT IS THE GATEWAY TO LITERACY.!
AND THAT ATTENTION IS MEASURABLE!
AND THAT ATTENTION IS AN OPEN INVITATION TO CONVERSATION!
A year or two ago on a walk through a park with Haley I noticed a familiar cock of the head as we passed under a tree. She noticed the song of bird that was new to us. We stopped. I told her the bird was calling her name, she clapped and smiled. ATTENTION AND CONVERSATION IS EVERYTHING!