ENTHUSIASM, fifth essential. For Autism parents, for a good life

ENTHUSIASM, 5th essential, chapter 8 in Anat Baniel’s Kids Beyond Limits

this chapter says a lot

It’s like the magic spice
to make the meal of your child’s improvement

Here’s the deal:

It’s not jumping up and down and clapping
It’s not hovering like a hawk, pressuring the child to do something great,
so you can whoop it up

It’s subtle
and extremely powerful.

It’s your own, inner delight,
a smile pouring out from your heart,
and delight in your whole being


If your child can’t walk,
and your are waiting for that to get happy and excited,
your child may never learn

But is she gets interested in her toes,
or plays with rolling her hips,
or arches and rounds her back in a way that she’s enjoying and noticing,
on and on,
any little change, any little improvement
any little learning

this is what you can be noticing and feeling good about,
and radiating out that you feel good about it

sometimes you can say something,
sometimes, it’s better to wait a bit

Anat makes some good distinctions that are not usually made:

No applause when a child does something the first time.

the first time is always something like an accident, a happy stumbling into something new,
but an unknown combination of their prior skills,
but it’s new
and if you make a big to do about it,
their attention gets hyjacked into your attention,
not their own feelings and sensations

they need their inner awareness

they will repeat,
from within

wait, and see,
don’t distract them into thinking the world is about outside approval
too much of life is wasted there

they need the inner time

and again,
another subtle point:
same thing, really:

if it’s new,
they are busy getting excited and learning in their own
and may very well not be clear of how this came about
asking for a repeat will completely derail their inner learning

what do we have:

It’s about you,
feeling excited, positive, loving, aware
of little changes,
small changes
and conveying that without a big fuss to the child

( in the Son Rise method, they like the big fuss.
this might work better on the spectrum, but I’d pay a lot of attention to the
between positive reinforcement and enthusiasm– see which really would feel the best for you, a rah, rah talk, or actual deep and present awareness and appreciation)

There’s a great anecdote about a couple,
one of whom, the dad Ton, was quite, but clearly aware of the changes his son was making,
the other,
the mom Jackie,
was always worried about how much more progress was needed.

Though neither voiced this ,
the child, Jacob, clearly learned more in lessons when the father was sitting in the room full of delight and inner encouragement
than when the mom was in the room, feeling discouraged the child has “so far” to go

And what’s the Mom to do?
What are we to do?

If you can do it, do it. Show enthusiasm, quite, powerful, inward, toward the smallest of your child’s learnings.


1. Get honest or at least make an attempt to discover what’s stopping you, what inner story

2. Remember times you were enthusiastic about something, and  feel that feeling inside

3. Practice applying that feeling to a situation you might not ordinarily feel enthusiastic about, like doing the dishes

4. Now apply it, to your child, when she or he makes little improvement

This is cool stuff, because this sort of enthusiasm and appreciation can be lavished on many people and many situations, to grand effect in lots of areas in your life.

Here’s Anat’s words on what this chapter is about:

Enthusiasm, is the joy juice that amplifies what was learned in your child’s brain, and helps that learning get grooved in.

Not just grooved in as important.
But grooved in as happy.
As joy.

It’s fun to learn.

And can be done daily, and even more than that.

Get cracking.
But slowly, subtle, with variation, awareness, and

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