Timothy (2012) refers to autism as a neural development disorder which is characterized by poor communication and poor social interaction. This mental disorder affects the functionality of the brain and how it relays information and interprets it. This is because autism affects the nerve cells, processing of information and how to organize the information. Normally the symptoms are visible in children of at least three years of age. However this may be exhibited at an early age. Autism has been argued by Timothy (2012) to be genetic while others like Caronna et al. (2008) contend that it is caused by birth defects and environmental effects like heavy metals, pesticides and vaccine. When dealing with autistic people, certain things have to be considered or employed because they need to be handled with care and understanding. This paper expounds on various aspects of subjects of autism, autism and Christian principles. The paper also does this by presenting a case study relating to autism. It further provides a conclusion with numerous recommendations.
Autism and Christian Principles
Experience has shown that application of Christian principles in autism has proven to be a successful measure. Christian principles are guidelines or doctrines of a religious belief which help in making decisions or finding answers to questions. These guidelines may help in the understanding and dealing with the condition. When dealing with people who have this disorder it is vital to consider the Biblical point of view. The Bible has quotations and verses which echo instructions e.g. when someone does something against the rulers, he/she needs to be disciplined and guided with love. Hebrews 12:6 says “For whom the Lord loves, He disciplines”. In the same way we should “reinforce discipline with love” (Timothy, 2012).
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Mrs. Brown is the secretary of Tina Agency, a well renowned company that exports workshop equipment. She has been working as a secretary to the Chief Executive Officer for 2 years now. However, there are some uncouth behaviors she explicates. Every morning she enters the office singing loudly which is quite an annoying character. Afterwards, she sits on her desks and start removing stuff from her desk. She pushes some of books and files to the neighboring assistant secretary who sits adjacent to her. She then started arranging and re-arranging the books on her desk after short periods of time, as if it is an attempt of making it perfect. This is a behavior that she does repetitively. Miss Brenda always tells her that this habit interferes with her work. Another mistake Mrs. Brown makes is that she always forgets to notify the C.E.O of the appointments. The rule here states that the senior secretary should inform the C.E.O at least 5 days before the appointment or of any scheduled meeting. Her constant forgetfulness landed her at loggerheads with her superiors several days ago; Mrs. Brown got fired because she forgot to inform the C.E.O concerning a very obligatory meeting he was to attend with other exporting companies. He almost got demoted from the post of treasurer of exporting companies, thanks to his secretary. It was a great lesson learnt by the C.E.O of Tina Agency.
Explanation of Her Behavior
Mrs. Brown has a habit of forgetting instructions. Over time, this has become a problem in her social as well as career life because she cannot adhere to instructions. This is because this has not been reinforced properly using the correct channels or procedures. This problem is not out of this world. It is a familiar phenomenon which can be addressed scientifically and traditionally. These methods have been time-tested and have proven beyond every reasonable doubt to be effective in previous cases of autism. What she needs understands and constant reminders of the activities she is to carry out. Her supervisors should ensure that she is allocated the work in an area where she does not need to remember so many protocols, instructions and there is no quite demanding routine of informing the C.E.O of many appointments (Timothy, 2012).
People with autism may have poor social interaction skills which may interfere with them. This has been demonstrated by Mrs. Brown’s constant behavior of making noise at the wrong place and time, not respecting her co-workers’ privacy. Furthermore she creates unnecessary attention thus distracting others. Her condition made her look as if she flaunts orders from her superiors when it was actually involuntary; for instance, she continuously fails to notify the C.E.O about the coming meetings and appointments in advance. This landed her in trouble and she eventually lost her job.
Caronna et al. (2008) argues that autism impairs social interaction, communication and behavior. Mrs. Brown’s behavior is impaired since she cannot remember major to-do things. She constantly piled files and other things on her neighbor’s desk which created misunderstanding. This behavior can be explained in terms of her attempt to show her superiority over her workmates. In her mind she knew she is inferior and struggles with her self-esteem; she thus tries to prove that she is normal if not better than her co-workers. She lacks communication skills thus widening the rift between her and her workmates. Autism increases over time and becomes severe where people have difficulties in communication and socialization. It makes them feel inferior and out of place when with other people. Some will withdraw from other people and exhibit repetitive and unusual behavior. However, according to some researcher, policy and continuous practice may change this condition. This may involve encouragement and guiding the autistic person. One of the main domains of autism is socialization. It comes in where one has the impaired use of verbal and non-verbal behavior which interferes with the interaction (Caronna et al. 2008).
Delayed peer interaction may also indicate autism as well as a little or no social interaction. Autistic people may not know how to relate with others thus opt to do things alone. They see themselves as different thus avoid situations that may force them to interact with others. Another problem Mrs. Brown has is her obsession with arranging and re-arranging various things which consumes a lot of her time that would otherwise be used in productive activities at work. We can categorically explain this as her attempt to be perfect. Chances are this behavior began at an early age. A child born with autism experiences a lot of difficulties in interacting with other children during play; for instance, activities that require arranging of materials such as putting together jig-saw puzzles or building blocks. Growing up, this child feels inferior and lesser than the other children thus may develop a tendency of trying to bring things to perfection to prove they also can.
Principle of Praise
She needed reminders or flash cards put on her desk with clear outlines e.g. “Am proud of you for keeping time”. The book of Proverbs 25:11 states, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver”. This will make her aim at improving her working.
Principle of Encouragement
She should be motivated so that she can do her best. When she fails her duties, consider if she had clearly mastered the prerequisite skills. Repeat to her what she needs to do and let her try to comprehend. Try to back her up.
Principle of Instructions
She should be given instructions which are clear for her to follow. Tell her not to interfere with others in the morning by the melodrama which she comes with. Tell her the reason against doing that. Everything written above is applied in Christian principles which help in understanding autism.
From the experience discussed above, there are several problems which were highlighted. The senior secretary normally distracts others on arrival by singing out loudly. This hampers their efforts in trying to concentrate on their work. Applied Behavior Analysis helps in shaping her behavior. It involves positive reinforcement. It can foster skills such as listening and understanding another person’s perspective. Therefore this analysis helps to tackle the secretary by guiding her to use steps that are friendly and which will make her receptive so she would know that her noise affects the environment around her. She would therefore refrain from the noise she makes.
Also, she interferes with her neighbor by piling things on her desk and it is not socially accepted. If explained to in details and clearly, she will gradually stop her annoying habits. She also interferes with her boss when she failed to notify him about the impending appointments and meetings. According to S. Levy autistic people have poor social interaction and communication skills; therefore, Mrs. Brown does not understand what annoys her neighbor.
Causes, Education and Medical Considerations
The end goal of treating someone with autism is to reduce the linked deficits and family distress as it will be helpful in increasing the quality of life and functional independency for the individual suffering from autism (Catherine & James, 2011). Psychosocial interventions have proved to have positive evidence thus suggest having some form of treatment. Educational interventions are effective to a certain degree in a majority of children. The intensive ABA treatment has confirmed the effectiveness of enhancing universal functioning for preschool children. At the same time, it helps to improve intellectual intelligence in young kids (Catherine & James, 2011).
There are various therapeutic measures for treating ASD symptoms, considered with interfering in the process of integrating a child into the school when behavioral treatment has failed. Most of the kids diagnosed with ASD get the prescription of anticonvulsants (Catherine & James, 2011). Here, the general drug classes are: antidepressants, stimulants and antipsychotic. Apart from antipsychotic, there is a limited research of the effectiveness of drug treatments for grownups with ASD (Industrial Revolution, 2012). Although, autism is, as a result, neurologic abnormality, in many cases it is not easy to establish what led to these problems affecting the nervous system. Research findings show that there is a strong genetic constituent (Catherine & James, 2011). It is most likely that environmental, immunological and metabolic factors play their role in development of this disorder (Catherine & James, 2011). Many individuals suppose that autism has reached plague proportions. It is vital that as individuals we ought to construct bigger schools to hold those suffering from this disorder; however, there is no need of building bigger churches. The best thing is to have big churches that are willing to help those suffering from autism. When God reaches for his spiritual tool, He looks upon those suffering from this disorder and builds love and empathy in such children with autism. And by allowing God to grow everyone’s hearts, there’s a likelihood of everyone suffering to secure room enough for everybody.
Conclusion and Recommendations
More often than not, people have been found in complex situations where they have to deal with social misfits that may make their lives a living hell. However, from the above arguments, it is crystal clear that such people may be autistic and may require help and understanding. This will help in dealing with them easily. Therefore application of Christian principles in dealing with such people is vital because they give guidelines (Gwartney, 2008).
Parents with subjects of autism should accept and care for their children. Having a child with such a medical condition may trigger feelings of sadness, stress and even depression. If not handled well a parent may reject and avoid contact with the child all together. Both parents should, therefore, be counseled and encouraged that it is okay to have an autistic child. Acceptance is the most important thing. Parents of an autistic child should also be taught by medical personnel on ways of bringing up the child well (Gwartney, 2008). This will include the dietary needs of the child, physical activities and special medical care required by the child.
Parents should encourage their children and develop their skills to enable them to deal with reactions from fellow children in school and other social scenes. This makes them develop self-confidence and interact with others in various activities. A grown up with autism should try and have reminders of various activities he or she is supposed to undertake. This is because completion of tasks becomes hard for autistic people, thus, anything to make the activities simpler should be encouraged. Subjects of autism should also try and relate well with people. This majorly touches on anti-social activities that they may do and irritate others or interfere with other people lives (Clinical Epigenetic, 2012). This helps others to understand and deal with such individuals in various set-ups. Spouses, family members and co-workers should be made aware of the condition of an autistic person. They should be able to understand and help him or her as appropriate. This also makes the subjects of autism to cope very ably with certain behaviors of an autistic person that might be infuriating.