Xiao Li was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old. From then on, his mother took care of this baby full-time. The whole family was immersed in anxiety about Xiao Li’s treatment and worries about Xiao Li’s future…
That spring, I first met with him. Xiao Li met, he was a little over two years old at the time, wearing a little vest, standing in front of me like a handsome boy. I greeted him warmly: “Hello!” He ignored me, didn’t even look at me. I squatted down and said hello to him again: “Hello, Xiao Li.” His eyes floated past my eyes, how I expected his pure eyes to stay on my cheeks, but unfortunately not.
These autistic children were given a poetic name full of compassion and helplessness-“Children from the Stars”. They live in the same time and space as us, but they never seem to be able to communicate on the same channel.
In the next period of time, according to the treatment plan, I will meet Xiao Li in parent-child group therapy every week. At first, he ignored the people in his surroundings, and drove his car around the table in a fixed area every time. I tried to drive another car on the toy table. When I met his car, I had the opportunity to say hello to him: “Hello, police car” and “Goodbye, police car”. But he ignored me and drove the car away…
In a later treatment, I introduced a male colleague of mine to him. When Xiaoli saw this Uncle Lin, I observed that his eyes seemed to stay on Uncle Lin’s face for a while. In that treatment, he left the table for the first time and played with the car on the slide; in that treatment, he and the person other than his mother—Uncle Lin, began to interact in the game for the first time; During that treatment, I heard his giggles for the first time…I think maybe Xiao Li’s world needs adult male characters.
After another period of time, Xiaoli made new progress. Every time he comes to the treatment room, he will first poke his head at the door, look inside, and then retract, and then retract again, and then come in with his mother. In subsequent games, we can often feel the joy and happiness when he got out of the toy house.
Later, we discovered that if we had a surprised expression, his eyes would pass in front of us, and a smile would appear at the corner of his mouth. Although we have not had eye contact yet, at that moment, I seemed to feel a little bit of “interaction” between our two originally parallel “channels”. Later, we discovered more and more clearly that Xiaoli’s actions before entering the door were actually peek-a-boo with us.
This is really a great encouragement for us. We are gradually entering Xiaoli’s world, and Xiaoli is gradually entering our world…
As we interacted with Xiao Li more and more, we arranged for him a therapist in charge, and Xiao Li’s treatment gradually deepened. We found that Xiao Li’s range of activities has become wider and wider, from just turning around a small table, to now being able to flexibly change in areas such as toy huts, small tables, painting areas, slides, etc.; from the previous step with his mother Staying true, you can move freely now; from just playing with individual toys by yourself, to now being able to play with toys with children. In the process of group therapy, we can often see his initiative to interact with other children. Xiaoli’s changes make every therapist feel gratified and proud.
The treatment of Xiaoli includes two forms: individual psychotherapy and parent-child group therapy. Individual treatment is performed by a therapist. Parent-child group therapy involves multiple therapists. In this process, our medical staff work in casual clothes, avoiding the role of medical staff in the interaction with the child, which makes the child feel nervous and cramped. One day after Xiao Li was treated for half a year, something happened that I will never forget.
That day, he came to the hospital for individual treatment. While waiting for treatment, his mother took Xiao Li to play in the garden of the hospital. I ran into them in the garden. I was wearing a white coat that day, and I answered a phone call while walking, and didn’t notice them. Suddenly, a naive voice came: “Aunt Xiaoming!”
I was taken aback for a moment. It was a familiar voice. I turned my head and saw Xiao Li was looking at me. When his eyes met, he smiled at me. I greeted him with joy, and he ran away to play. I greeted my mother, Xiaoli, who was not far away, and walked back to my office.
On this short road of a few hundred meters, I was extremely excited! I really didn’t expect this “child from the stars” to greet me proactively in the non-treatment area! Not to mention that he had never seen me in a white coat before, but he could still recognize me in the garden! I really feel the effect of the treatment and the great changes made by Xiao Li, and I also deeply feel the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction.
Although children with autism are special, it is not impossible. Everyone’s heart seems to have a key. Find this key and you can slowly enter their world. I hope that more people can care for these “children from the stars”, so that they can slowly emit their own light, illuminate themselves, and also illuminate others.