Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Autism Answer: Metallica Magic! (Rockin' the Autism Answer!)

"Adapt to the unknown..." ~Metallica

I've seen Metallica live in concert a few times. They are amazing! True performers! Which is why I immediately became an active concert goer. Living for and loving the feeling I'd get when Metallica rocked the stage!

What I learned as an audience member is that not all performers are equal. Some draw you in with such intense talent and energy that you can't help but be fully interested. You trust that they'll give you what you want and you become an active, avid listener! And sometimes, as is the case with Metallica, a head banger! However, when the performer is nervous or rude or tentative, the audience feels that energy and becomes uncomfortable and less interested. When I'm at a great show, I never see fights or cruel hecklers take over... the audience is too sucked into the performer to fight or heckle! But when the show is less than stellar, fights and heckles happen. 

Ummm.... how is this an autism answer??? Well.... it's a big one actually!!!

When you're playing with and teaching your children, do it with Metallica magic!! Be so exciting, interesting, enthralling, involved and intensely interested in your audience and their reactions that they can't help but get sucked in!! Don't be afraid to be fun and loud or soft and sincere!! Whatever you are doing, do it with all of your energy and love, and let it pull your loved ones closer to you so that they aren't made uncomfortable and distracted. 

Of course, Metallica is not on stage 24/7. But guess what? They are always Metallica. So that means that when they aren't performing, they're following! They check in with their fans and other similar performers, they become an active audience themselves and follow the interests and expectations of the people they plan to perform for. You can do that too! When you're not "on" you can follow and question and check in with your children! 

My mom taught me all of this long ago. She is both an autism expert and performer--and a mom extraordinaire! She used these techniques when parenting all eight of us kids (six adopted, four on the autism spectrum) and I absolutely do too!  I'm more of the follower than the performer-- while my mom was always more the performer than follower--but as long as you remember to do both, it's not important that you be more one than the other. Just be who you are with passion and know your audience! Metallica doesn't run around checking out what Justin Bieber fans are into or try to perform like him... they aren't him! (Thank goodness for me!!)

And guess what? I LOVE parenting!! And my kids think I'm awesome!! 

Hugs, smiles, and love!

"Fade to Black..."

Autism Answers with Tsara Shelton (Facebook)