Educational Movie

Children From The Distant Planet

Children of a Distant Planet is a documentary that brings us into the lives of children with autism. All children deserve to be treated gently, especially those with autism, who need more patience and companionship than normal children.Autism, also known as “autism”, is not a mental illness as most people think, and it is not related to family parenting style.Autism manifests itself differently in each child, but if two characteristics are present, it is generally considered to be autism. One is a persistent difficulty and limitation in social communication interactions; the other is a pattern of repetitive movements as well as interest behaviors starting in early childhood. To some extent, these behaviors limit and interfere with normal daily living.

Although children with autism differ from normal children in language, behavior, intelligence, and understanding, they are also lovely beings and are not useless. Due to their insensitivity to external stimuli, their lives are instead more pure, sincere and unobtrusive, far less complicated than the outside world, and they often have a unique interest in a physical object, such as singing, painting, or playing the piano, even more so than ordinary people.

The key to communicating with autistic children is not to wait for them to lean over, but to be more proactive, to enter their world and communicate according to their way of thinking.

It is impossible to change their emotions and feelings from the outside. They can’t understand the pleasantries like “Good morning”, “How are you?”, “Nice weather” and so on. So what we can do is to accept rather than change.

Children with autism have difficulty understanding what others are saying, especially when many things are said to them at once, which can cause confusion. They are better at using pictures or words to understand information than they are at hearing it, so important things can be told with small cards with pictures or words written on them.

Talk to them calmly and gently. Children with autism are not good at coping with unexpected events such as people suddenly speaking loudly to them, which can make them avoid communication even more, and it is calm, gentle words that will likely make them want to continue listening. Also, because of their lack of verbal thinking, try to avoid saying “no” to them when speaking, and instead tell them directly what to do.

Accept specific actions to some degree. Muttering the same thing all the time, spinning in circles …… When a child with autism repeats the same action, most of the time it calms the upset, so if it is not dangerous or harmful to themselves or others, accept the behavior to some degree.

Listen patiently. Although children with autism are not good at conversations, there are some of them who really want to talk about something once they have something they like. So if they talk to us or tell us about something they like, listen to them as much as time allows.

It is difficult to understand them as foreigners, with different emotions, feelings and values, and it is difficult to understand each other. We are like foreigners in a completely different culture from our autistic children. The “normal” in their world is completely different from the “normal” in our world, and with this premise, it becomes easier for us to understand them. By not imposing concepts on them, and by understanding them as foreigners with cultural differences, we will have more patience to communicate with them.

The adaptation of autistic children to society requires more attention and understanding from us, especially from their parents. Regardless of how other people view autism, at least parents who are closest to their children should face their children’s current situation, be more patient and attentive, observe their children’s little moments, and find the bright spots in their children.

When parents can tolerate and accept everything about their children, they can guide their children’s misbehavior correctly and teach them how to express themselves. When parents can understand their children’s difficulties from their children’s point of view, and thus treat their children’s problems correctly, the family atmosphere will gradually become harmonious, and also help children gradually integrate into normal social life.

If the child has no self-awareness, the only way is to change the environment and the way others treat him. If the child has strong self-control and self-awareness, he can improve through self-training, but this is a difficult process.

In education, we must not confront them and evaluate them with normal evaluation standards. The same applies to learning, we cannot force them to master what they can master, but we cannot force them to master what they cannot master, and we cannot give them negative evaluations because they have their own world, and inappropriate evaluation methods may cause them to behave in a more intense emotional way. It may seem that we change the environment for autistic children in our daily life, but in fact they have to make much more adaptations and changes than we can do.

Behind the education of children in loneliness we have to see that raising them, they have a great pressure that is not understood. When the outside comments about them and about the children are negative, the pain and pressure is unimaginable to ordinary people. I was especially moved when Cai Jie’s father told me that he had to read a short story to Cai Jie 35 times before the child could retell it, and the scene of Cai Jie crying while reading was shown on the screen.

It is hard for autistic children to have feelings of joy and sadness. They usually like to be stereotypical and repetitive, but they also have their own bottom line and patience. The image of him crying reminded me of a child at school who also gets nervous and cries when he encounters something he doesn’t like, but Cai Jie’s father, who continues to persevere next to him, should suffer more than the crying child. It is really too difficult to make such a ruthless and unwavering decision to deprive a child of his favorite toy in order to reduce his child’s meaningless and repetitive actions, and I am in awe of his determination.

Sometimes Cai Jie’s father also feels that his approach is a bit cruel, but “parents’ love for their children is far-reaching”. When one second the child cries, the next second in doing what he likes to turn his head to smile at him the picture, so he was touched by the kindness of the child, thankful that there is no grudge, innocent children.

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