About the Author: Autism specialist Nicole Beurkens, founder and director of the Horizons Developmental Remediation Center, offers practical documents and instructions for families living with autism and other developmental disabilities. If you are ready to diminish your stress level, enrich your childs progress, and improve your familys quality of life, get your FREE reports now at ==> www.HorizonsDRC.com
Dr. Steven Gutsteins definition of remediation: Correcting a deficit to the point where it no longer constitutes and obstacle
The word remediation is terribly precious in the work my colleagues and I do with families suffering from autism and other neuro-developmental disabilities, however is a word that is unfamiliar to a lot of members. I thought I would take a moment this week to talk about what remediation means in general, and specifically in the realm of autism.
Lets commence with some basic dictionary definitions:
Remediate (verb) – To remedy an issue
Remedial (adjective) – Intended to actual or improve ones ability in a selected container; therapeutic, corrective, restorative
Remediation (noun) – Use of remedial methods to improve abilities; the act or process of correcting a deficiency
It is time to move beyond thinking about treatment as merely capitalizing on strengths, and commence thinking about how to strengthen areas of weak point. Research has shown us that autism is primarily a disorder of connectivity in the brainwith some portions over connected and others under connected. What is so exciting about this is that we know that neural connectivity can change all around the lifespan. The human brain has an enormous capacity for developing new connections and altering the patterns of connectivity when given the right sorts of stimulation. This is what allows us to analyze autism treatment in a new mild. It cannot be merely about strengthening the areas that are already steady. Effective education and treatment must be focused on constructing new connections in the areas where connectivity is deficient. This is the essence of remediation.
My definition: Work ON something, not simply around it
Whether you are a parent or professional, it is critical to understand what remediation is, and the dignity between remediation and compensation. Perhaps the commonest application of this distinction is in the vicinity of reading problems. If a child is diagnosed with a reading incapacity, we typically apply remediation approaches to help them learn to read. At various points we may use compensations, such as books on tape, to support them. However, our goal is to remediate, or actual, the problem that is stopping them from reading so they could develop into functional readers. In my professional experience, I have yet to come across a scenario where adults believe that if an 8 year old child is certainly not yet reading, that we should always simply compensate for that and give them books on tape to listen to for the rest of their lives. Remedial efforts are taken to get to the root of the problem and overcome the issues that are stopping successful reading.
Now take this same concept and apply it to members on the autism spectrum. By definition they are struggling in many areas: socialization, communication, thinking flexibly, and the list goes on reckoning on the person. What frame of mind will we recurrently take to these deficits? By and large, we take a compensation frame of mind. We uncover ways to work around these problems so that the students fit into the mold of what we do at domestic and in tuition everyday. Our main motivation turns into applying strategies that help them exhibit what we pay attention to to be typical behaviors sit correctly in the lecture room or at church, learn academic abilities, play on the playground equipment, wait in line without growing to be upset, greet others when we see them, etc. While we may additionally look for methods to support their communication and to improve their relationships with others, we do this on a very surface level without really figuring out the obstacles that create those problems in the first scenario. And, because we dont really understand the root issues that create these problems, we resort to compensation techniques instead than remediating the root causes.