I’m often asked if Love and Logic can be used with children who have special needs, such as kids with autism. For years, we’ve been hearing success stories from parents and professionals who indicate that the answer to this question is yes. They point out that although using Love and Logic doesn’t solve all the issues associated with kids who have special needs, it can certainly help them.
In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, I’d like to share a relevant and much unexpected experience I had bicycling home from work many years ago. While I was peddling down a peaceful pedestrian-only path, a woman in a minivan jumped the curb, screeched to a halt in front of me, and screamed, “I’ve lost my child! He’s autistic and he ran away from us at the pool! Have you seen him?”
Of course I agreed to help her look for the boy. As I did, she warned, “He’s 13, he’s really big, and you won’t be able to get him to come with you.” About two miles down the path, there he was. Yes, he was very big, and very agitated! I decided to use one of my favorite Love and Logic techniques, The One-Sentence Intervention.
I said to him, “Look at that watch.” He suddenly stopped and raised his arm to show me his Batman time piece. I countered with, “And I noticed that your shirt has a motorcycle on it.” He looked at his shirt. “And I heard you like to swim,” I continued. He stared at me with a combination smile and “what-planet-are-you-from?” look.
In our book Teaching with Love and Logic we emphasize that relationships are the key to reaching kids. The One-Sentence Intervention used by Love and Logic teachers involves noticing unique and special things about children. This technique can be used with any kid in any situation.
After noticing these small things about the boy, I said, “Just follow me. I’ll take care of you.” To my amazement, he followed me all the way back to his mother.
This boy gave me a great gift. He reminded me that a kid with autism is a human being, not a diagnosis. He also reminded me that every kid, with or without special needs, has the fundamental human need to feel noticed and valued.
To learn more about autism types, the root causes of autism, and interventions from world-renowned experts, we recommend that you consider Amen University’s course, Autism: A New Way Forward, by Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Jerry Kartzinel.
Thanks for reading!