ARCHES and AUTISM
A – Acceptance: Being autistic is understood from a variety of perspectives all the way from pride to shame. Autism acceptance is embracing neurodiversity. Working to re-story how we understand ourselves is highly impacted by how others tell the story about us. Together these influence how we make sense of the “who am I?” question.
R – Relational: At Arches we practice from a relational perspective both in terms of the therapeutic relationship as well as how we work to renegotiate relationships. It is important that the therapeutic relationship works to respect the values, hopes and what you find important and from this relationship a re-positioning in relation to the problems is possible.
C – Co-Constructed: Some of you may have heard the quote “Nothing about us, without us”. This quote captures the way in which we work alongside you and your family. We work with your voice, values, and future hopes.
H – Humanity: Each person has a range of expression, as does autism, we include all the aspects of a person and respect the variety of actions as part of being human, not something to be cured. We explore multiple ways to enhance quality and meaningfulness in your life.
E – Experience Near: There are many theories and models, but often times our lives do not fit into boxes or we tick so many different boxes it’s hard to find us in a distinct category. We are changing living beings and so is each of our sessions, in fact each question is based on your experience. Experience near implies a collection of actions, feelings, and responses from which we draw upon to co-create meaningful descriptions of your life. The story of Autism can invisiblize other experiences that are unique to who you are as a person. It’s your autistic identity that you get to define where this can take you, not predefined by anyone else.
S – Storied:
Understanding the interaction between the environment and the person is essential. Having a non-assumptive position in regards to the interpretation of behaviour. Understanding that behaviour is an expression of communication and how to interpret this can be confusing. Often evaluations are based from a neurotypical lens and a story of non-compliance gets told rather than one of holding true to what your beliefs and experiences are.
- 22 Mar 2016