Friday, May 16, 2008

Ahh, Friday, Autism, Scripting, and my thoughts on Free Will.

I am done with the week. I have a few more scratches and bruises to show for it, and I'm not sure what to think about my students' improvement (or lack thereof). I feel overall alright about it. My student had a particularly bad day yesterday (thursday) He was aggressive all day. I'm not sure quite what it was, but he was sneezing a whole lot in the morning.
The whole day was me redirecting him away from aggressive behaviours. I have a number of open wounds from that. They're primarily on my left arm at about elbow level and on the front of my neck nigh the Adams apple. They aren't serious, but I can't say I like coming home from work with red marks down my neck and blood on my arms (this is after washing)
It's no fault of my student. His care has been so mismanaged in the past that you really can't blame him. He's gotten too used to getting things he needed very easily, and so never pushed himself. It's natural, and it's rather sad when it happens. It's going to be nice getting good data on how he's doing. We (being me and my supervisor) don't think the data that had been taken before was accurate. Setting a baseline of behaviour will make things much easier to deal with.
My predecessor wore long sleeves (every time I saw him at least). I've a feeling that this is why. I'd rather be cool and have some marks on my arms though. The thing is, my student doesn't have aggressions if given time to communicate, and if given the opportuninty to get enough rest. We have bad days when he hasn't had good sleep, and when his allergies are acting up. It makes sense. Honestly I still think it shouldn't take too much time before he starts to straighten up a bit. People have mentioned a marked difference.
I really hope they're right, because I can't stand the idea of a bright good kid being fucked over by poor management in the past. I don't know the particulars or the politics of it, and frankly I don't care. I just think that it's a shame he wasn't given the sort of help my organisation specialises in earlier.
In the long run, the track that his parents have set him on will make him incredibly dependent for a long time to come. (They've been very adamant about not having him go to behavioural schools or to the sorts of places that would help him.) As always in situations like this, where the child is hobbled despite natural ability, I wonder how much of it (subconsciously of course) is because the parents want to have the child dependent on them.
I get a lot of my thoughts on that from Eric Burns, particularly from his book "What do you say after you say Hello" It's quite good, and it's about the idea of Scripting. Scripting makes a lot of intuitive sense, and I imagine with more research could be developed further into a strongly applicable branch of psychology.
The primary idea is that we are scripted by those around us in our youth. The example I give most often is somewhat of an oversimplification, but of course no one ever wants to hear the long version, so here is my coloquial explanation.

Suppose that while you're growing up your parents say with some frequency (doesn't have to be a lot) "You're so much like your uncle mike" Mike is an alcoholic. They never mention this in concert with saying how much you're like him. However they tell stories about mike and his alcoholism. This gives you the script that you are expected to become an alcoholic.

This is an oversimplification, so If it seems too blunt, that's because it is. Scripts are very hard to break, and very few people manage to. That's not to say that scripts are all bad, one can be scripted for success (sounds like the title of a bad self help book). The main point is that most people, most of the time will develop in adherence to their script.

This fits into my beliefs regarding free will as well. I gather that all people have the chance to chose outside of what they're _bound_ to do. However, most people will not.
Hence the world being largely Deterministic. People have free will, but it doesn't negate the general flow of fate or whatever you want to call it. This works well as an explanation for certain anomalies caused by individuals.

This is something I could talk much much much much further on, but I'll refrain for the time being.

I think next week will be better with my student, I am happy that I have a nice weekend to relax, and I wish all who may read this a good weekend (even though I'll probably post tomorrow too).

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