A Theory On Autism
The Role Of Order, Of The Partial Verses The Whole And
The Role Of Labeling As The Key To So Much!
It is my firm belief that almost all of the issues I see in my son, Zachary, are COMPLETELY rooted in his need for "order" and his inability to cope with the "in between" or "partial", the "non-whole" in everything. The autistic child, in my opinion, cannot process "the whole" without first having a complete understanding of all aspects of "its parts". If the "parts" are not understood, "the whole" is lost. This is true in many aspects of the autistic child's life. Finally, there is one common link to so many issues – one common link that puts it all together...behavioral, social, emotional and many sensory issues as well… one common link that puts it all together and makes sense!
As had happened with the writing of my first book, Saving Zachary: The Death And Rebirth Of A Family Coping With Autism, when I neared the completion of my second book, The Misunderstood, Neglected, Yet Critical Role Of Order, Partiality, Labeling, Motion and Color In The Life Of The Autistic Child, many of the breakthroughs in terms of truly understanding my son had come "all at once". I had understood very small bits and pieces for approximately 7 months (from December 2001 through June 2002), but the very major breakthroughs in terms of truly understanding Zachary came quickly together... almost all in the month of July 2002... with the last two critical pieces, the role of colors and motion, coming in early and late August 2002, respectively.
Almost overnight, as I completed my first book, I came to understand the role of order... then again, almost overnight, I came to understand the role of partiality and labeling (in July 2002)... then again, almost overnight, I came to understand the role of color (in early August 2002)... and finally, again, almost overnight, I came to understand the last piece... the role of motion (in late August 2002).
All these “pieces” had actually been put before me; it had simply taken me a little while to see how they all “fit together” (for more on this, see my section on Putting It All Together).
In the life of the autistic child, it was my opinion, that all these things were interrelated - all critical pieces - in terms of how the autistic child perceived his world and how he coped with his inability to properly process partialities... because all of these things were indeed tied to how the "parts" fit together to form "the whole"!
I came to understand very clearly that a function we all took so much for granted, the integration of "the parts to a whole", in the "normal" person, was done on a subconscious level, but that, in the autistic child, in my opinion, this function was not occurring subconsciously, and as such, in order for the child to understand his world, this function literally had to be done consciously!
As a result of this, everything that the child perceived through his senses, in my opinion, had to be defined... everything in terms of sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. Absolutely anything that provided sensory input, in my opinion, had to be defined in order to make sense to the autistic child - in order to allow him to "break the code©"!
Breaking The Code To Remove The Chains Of Autism©
Perhaps the best way for parents to think of everything presented in my materials as it relates to the need to understand "the parts" before "the whole" can be understood, is to think of all these issues in terms of the autistic child's need to "break the code".
By this, I mean that in order to understand almost everything in his world, the autistic child must first understand how every part fits into that world. This is true in everything from language to emotions, socialization to process completion, sensory (visual, auditory, touch, etc.) input processing to issues with potty training. All these things - be they behavioral, social, emotional, or sensory - must first be broken into their respective "parts" for the whole to be understood.
Thus, for the autistic child, in my opinion, life consists entirely of "breaking the code" or breaking things down to their lowest level. Once each part is understood, the whole can then be "put back together" and understood for what it is.
Until that happens, everything in the autistic child's mind will be perceived as:
A when it should be perceived as B
The key thus lies in helping the autistic child "break the code" to get from A to B...
This, in my opinion, is true in absolutely all areas of life for the autistic child! :o)
I truly believe the "ordering function", and specifically, the concept of "the partial verses the whole" has been critically misunderstood and, therefore, neglected by researchers, doctors, therapists, teachers, and parents alike. But, when you look at so much of what you see in autism based on this one common thread... it now all makes perfect sense!
What is amazing about my theory is that ONE thing explains so much... how the brain processes the part from the whole... a function that has to do with the ordering of information... whether that information is reflected in or considered a behavioral, social, emotional, or sensory aspect of life makes no difference because the issue is one of how things are mentally processed – not an issue as it relates specifically to behavior, emotion, socialization or physical sensation (although I do believe there are a few aspects of autism that are, in my opinion, “sensory” in nature – having to do with how the brain processes sensory information)!
Truly, so many issues are explained by my theory about the processing of partiality that it is certainly a major piece of the autism puzzle.
For decades, no one saw the ONE thing all these issues had in common! In trying to look at the whole picture, the whole puzzle of autism, we failed to see that the underlying issue was actually one dealing with the processing of parts as they relate to the whole. Perhaps this explains why this critical issue has for so long been so allusive – why it has for so long - been completely missed! In looking at the whole, we, too, failed to see the parts that made up the whole. All these issues seemed so unrelated... but, when each is examined in view of the function of partiality processing in the brain, they are all COMPLETELY related! :o)