Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.

Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D,B.C.S.A.,DAPA.
e-mail: batushkad@yahoo.com

Monday, April 13, 2009

A few stories from my past therapeutic work...

I recall with with fondness, a 5 year old boy I had worked with who had been given a diagnosis of autism. He was completely non-verbal when I first encountered him. He came into my office and began to bang on the computer keyboard. So, out in the main room of the clinic was a large pit of plastic balls. So, I told him, "I am going to have to scoop you up and throw you in the ballpit." He smiled and walked away, only to return to the keyboard with his hand outstretched towards the keyboard, not touching it, just grinning. Just as he touched it, I picked him up and said, "yep, to the ballpit with you." He giggled and smiled, and then returned to the keyboard again, but this time he did not touch it, he just fell into my arms and then for the first time spoke to me, "Throw me in."
In working with a gentleman with Down's Syndrome, I came to discover that he had a dream of being a minister and spent alot of time reading spiritual texts. He frequently would ask me the question- "how do I have a pure heart." And we would have various discussions on ways to treat others kindly and so forth. When he would be argumentative with his mother, she only need say "that's not a pure heart" for him to take a kinder tone. In wanting to help him to fulfill his desire for ministry, I wrote to the Bishop of the LCAC and explained I wanted to have a ceremony and give some sort of responsibility to this person so that he would feel his dream of being a minister had been fulfilled, if only partially. So, this is exactly what we did, a service was held at which he participated and he was admitted to the role of a cleric and given various responsibilities within his means. This event brought enormous joy to him and his family. Similarly, many years prior, I had helped an autistic person with the same dream to become ordained as a deacon in his church, and he later assisted me in my work as a chaplain at a facility for the elderly.

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