How to: autism — what's changeling?

Ara Nader asked a question: How to: autism — what's changeling?
Asked By: Ara Nader
Date created: Fri, Feb 5, 2021 8:37 PM
Date updated: Thu, Jan 1, 1970 12:00 AM



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I think 2 things can happen: (1) An autistic person can be delayed in their development of emotional self-regulation (ability to calm down, to cope with a lot of emotion without becoming totally overwhelmed), or never develop this ability to the same degree as the average non-autistic person even with constant effort, education, and support.

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In the first chapter, titled “The changeling,” the author describes her autistic daughter Jessy’s early years, writing that her daughter’s attractive appearance and unusual behavior prompted the thought that “the fairies had stolen away the human baby and left us one of their own” (12).

Let’s talk about autism. In Celtic folklore, in tales from Scandinavia, the British Isles and Germany, fairies have a weakness for beautiful babies, abducting them and leaving in their place a “changeling”, a substitute, a child who is the exact duplicate of the stolen child, but who, in reality, is merely his reflection and always has some characteristic that gives him away, usually a disability.

Autism, change and transition Change is an inevitable part of life. It can be challenging, but it can also give us opportunities for personal growth and development. Some people with autism find change and transition difficult. This information sheet introduces reasons why, and how we can support people with autism during change and transition.

A Changeling is a child stolen – most often by fairies or elves, but in some cultures it’s trolls or other malevolent spirits – and replaced with something that looks human, but somehow…isn’t. Sometimes the child is stolen as a newborn, but more often it’s when the child is a couple of years old. Young enough to be confined to a cradle, but old ...

When a child with autism is in the throes of aggressive or self-injurious behaviour, a parent must consider safety first. Move away; say very loudly and clearly, 'Stop' or 'No' and make it very clear with a very different, very strict tone of voice that what they’re doing is not okay. Something to remember.

It also uses the framework of the changeling myth and has several characters who I’d argue are both autistic and fairies (in this one, there’s not a one to one correlation; children who become changelings are rejected or unhappy in some fundamental way, but all changelings aren’t autistic), but it actually does tell the story with equal depth from both perspectives–that of the human boy taken by changelings, and that of the changeling who takes his place.

Some autistic adults have come to identify with changelings (or other replacements, such as aliens) for this reason, as well as their own feelings of being in a world where they do not belong and of practically not being the same species as the other people around them. (Compare the pseudoscientific New Age concept of indigo children.)

Even after autism became an accepted diagnosis, it was generally believed that autistic people couldn't feel emotions as intensely as allistic people could. This is simply untrue. In fact, due to aspects such as a literal mindset and sensory overload, it is now becoming a more common understanding that autistic people may feel more intensely than allistic people.

The new child—the changeling—is characterised by unresponsiveness, resistance to physical affection, obstreperousness, inability to express emotion, and unexplained crying and physical changes such as rigidity and deformity. Some are unable to speak.

Asperger's was once considered different from autism. But a diagnosis of Asperger's no longer exists. The signs that were once part of an Asperger's diagnosis now fall under autism spectrum ...

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