The following is a portion of a beautiful presentation given by Dina Dadian at an Autism Awareness night at her son, Andrey’s, school. I have been deeply impressed – and humbled – by how Dina and her husband, David, have applied the frameworks of TED* to their parenting of Andrey, as well as in their business (which I will be sharing more about soon). Thanks, Dina, for sharing this with me and for allowing me to share it with others!
Perhaps the most beneficial tool of practical methods (in learning to work with Andrey’s Austism) we learned from the book called The POWER OF TED* (*The Empowerment Dynamic) by David Emerald. This book has taught us a new way to escape the infamous Drama Triangle – the psychological and social model of human interaction in transactional analysis first described by Stephen Karpman in 1968.
The drama triangle is used in psychology and psychotherapy to describe the way in which a Victim, a Persecutor, and a Rescuer get caught in a cycle that is hard to escape, and where a Victim sees life as happening TO them and feels POWERLESS to change their circumstances. Now, unlike the Dreaded Drama Triangle that is Anxiety-Based and Problem-Focused, The Empowerment Dynamic is Passion-Based and Outcome Focused. In the TED* framework, the Victim shifts into the role of Creator. The Persecutor takes on the role of Challenger, and the Rescuer assumes the new role of Coach. There are many ways to apply this Empowerment Dynamic – but it is now always positive, with long-term clarified goals for us, for Andrey and his progress.
Problems and issues will always occur, as we know Autism Spectrum disorders are unpredictable, but we now view it as a creative challenge, not a victimizing persecution, and we act from being more outcome-oriented as opposed to problem-oriented. Our job now is not to Rescue Andrey, but to Challenge and to Coach him; by taking what David Emerald calls Baby Steps — to get from current reality closer to the envisioned goal or Desired Outcome.
Autism gives Andrey a challenge when it comes to many things, including social communication skills. It is not just my job… it is my PRIVILEGE, to help him find and shape his voice.