Donna Williams is one of the most inspiring and beloved authors, sculptors and screenwriters diagnosed with one of the most controversial and widely debated conditions, autism. In her tormented childhood she was tested for different mental and physical disorders. As the author of a fascinating and unsettling autobiography entitled “Nobody Nowhere” Donna attracted immediate attention from the media. Nowadays she is one of the most influential autism consultant from the world, worth keeping an eye on if we wish to dive into the depth of the science of autism.
Furthermore it is worth considering her contribution to the perception of society of people diagnosed with autism. Her techniques and methods to make this disorder even more comprehensible spread all over the worlds, revolutionizing the art of handling children and adults suffering from this condition. Donna, in her article “The Music of Beingness .... why being a master of calm can be more effecting than using force” offers the solution for millions of parents on how to master the best methods to calm their children. The famous consultant describes an experiment she conducted with the parents of autistic children.
Donna Williams sheds light on a technique that can be used without any difficulties in everyday life. First she asks the parents how they react to calming and then to aggressive and raging music. The adrenaline level indeed lowers or rises according to an external impulse. She also claims that their autistic children react the same way to the parents’ mood. If you managed to calm yourself down with a useful trick, you’ll manage to spare yourself from a multitude of delicate and critical scenes.
This home remedy for self calming provided by Donna Wiliams can be used without any pro skills. The autistic author and artist asks parents to change „the music in their own body, for their own health and also to model such self calming in a non-invasive indirectly confrontational way in the household so their child can pick up these patterns”.
In order to illustrate her point Donna starts to count backwards from 50 and soon after the parents will join her in this experiment. She starts the counting and at 40 she’ll encourage parents to join the exercise. They go on with the counting but the pace gets slower whereas their voice becomes much more softer than before. Donna’s technique for self-calming that actually does magic with the mood of the autistic child is practiced by thousands of parents all over the world. The mother or the father started to count down from 50 to calm herself/himself until the child actually fall asleep.
However you can get more creative by coming up with more interesting lists and ideas to practice this exercise. Some might enlist the days of the week or the name of various animals, countries and even as Donna reveals, names int he telephone books.
It is actually a real miracle that in our century we have the chance to find out the most efficient technoqies and methods to handle autism, right from the ones who suffer from it. Donna Williams is indeed one of the most visionary figures of our time who succeeded in changing our view of this much debated condition.