Affect is the third part of our mental map. In every situation we encounter, we experience feelings and emotions associated with it. These feelings affect our behavior. A visit to a new city can be met with different emotions that affect our behavior in different ways. If we were planning a trip to that city to see the sites, we will be excited and anticipatory. We may be looking around with wonderment, snapping pictures, and frequenting the souvenir shops. If we go to that same city, but by mistake because we got lost on our way to another destination, we would have different feelings, perhaps fear, annoyance, or anger. Our behavior would be much different. We’d be trying our best to get out of there by looking at a map or gps, asking for directions, or wandering around arguing with one another.
Today, was a particularly good day to discuss affect with Philip. As always, Philip gave me permission to blog about it. Philip’s school note came home saying Philip did very well in his classroom, but had to be taken out of music and lunch because he got upset. Music and lunch are two periods he spends with the “normal” kids.
I began by reviewing the lesson on affect from Soma’s book and Philip freely brought up his feelings about transitioning to his new school.
Philip, what is affect? (Philip’s answers in bold)
It is an emotion.
How does this relate to what you are going through?
I have strong emotions. I am meeting kids who do not struggle with autism like me. I have a hard time each day accepting my autism. One day I hope to be more normal. I want to be able to talk and make friends easily. I’m timid around normal kids. Today I had a meltdown each time I was around them. I was anxious because the idea of them teasing me terrified me. I very deemed myself to escape the situation to avoid attack of emotions. When I had the meltdown I felt ashamed. Before I went to (my school) I was not expected to know anything. It was easy to address each day whether or not I was expected to fit in. There was pressure from no one to fit in. At (my school) I am looked at as smart each day. I am expected to ade (aid) myself at trying to make friends with normal kids. I am having a hard time doing it. I am attracted to kids with autism too. They are easier to be with. I am too tedious to deal with. I understand I am difficult and I want to get a lot attained. I want to get a good education, teach about autism, make friends with normal and autistic kids, and reach notable status. I want to advance at (my school) because the teachers at (my school) go to great lengths to not get mad at me. They listen to me. They don’t let my behaviors stop them from teaching me. I like to spell personally with them. I readily spell with them because they think I am smart. I want them to help me make friends by piecing a plan for me to purposely talk to them. I want so much to be included. I need to stop having meltdowns. I will try to think each day about silly thoughts so I too can relax. I am turning into a student who can problem solve. I like our format of learning at home. Each day I am understanding myself and the world a lot better. It is medicine to learn to accept no limit to what you can go to.
At Leaps and Bounce for Cousin Tommy's 4th Birthday- 3/8/14