Curiosity is the key to learning. Without it, you are just being compliant (or not). Curiosity requires a regulated enough state to not only receive input but to seek it. However, when you have autism, you may be too sensory overloaded/flooded to manage your own regulation to be curious. Your mind may be elsewhere, or your attention not focused enough to be curious about something presented. You may get so hyperfocused on something that you don't notice, let alone seek, additional information available in your environment.
At Synergy, we help guides be curious about their children/student's processing, learn new ways to support, and ensure increasing levels of independence every day. When we are working with teens and adults, our process is often to the individuals directly, to help them understand their own processing, ways to advocate for themselves, and ensure ever increasing levels of independence for themselves.
Guiding must have the element of curiosity going in both directions (from guide to receiver and receiver to guide). The direction that is often (almost always) missing is the curiosity TO the guide.... which we call Curiosity to You (C2U).
The concept of C2U was born out of years of dedicated research and experience in the field of autism by Barbara Avila. Current research is demonstrating the extreme importance of joint attention for children who later develop autism. The challenges associated with not having neurological systems primed for joint attention and subsequent social engagement can be later seen in the hyper focus on objects, topics, “sticky” attention, and the cognitive differences seen in autism.
By focusing squarely and deliberately on the Curiosity to You concept and subsequent engagement with your child and/or student, you can make real and lasting change neurologically that can guide that child to learn more naturally.
Yes, the earlier you start the better but it is truly never too late. And if you think this is an easy concept and/or something your child already does? Think again. Every parent, teacher, and guide whom Barbara has worked with has been lacking the understanding of this important element of curiosity and how life changing targeting it really can be for any individual. We urge you to take these steps today.
Not everyone is ready to be curious. Sometimes, we need to address challenging behaviors, family health, or other factors to be sure that guides/parents are ready to be curious about their children and children are ready to be curious about their parents/guides. Therefore, Barbara's guidance is a mix of counseling and coaching. She is not a licensed counselor but has training to provide couple and family support that targets a family's ability to target curiosity in all members.
To watch and listen to a youtube video sharing more about the C2U concept specifically for children with autism, [click here].