The Northeast Pennsylvania Regional Autism Acceptance Project was established by Dr. Dan L. Edmunds, Ed.D. in the Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area to help autistic, Asperger's and other developmentally different persons based on autonomy, understanding, tolerance, inclusion, self-determination, and meaning as well as providing educational and other advocacy for persons with special needs. Please contact us at or visit

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Most of what I really need to know about how to live, and what to do and how to be, I learned from my behavioral therapist before I was 5 years old. These are the things I learned: Life isn't fair. Sometimes you get punished when you don't understand what you did wrong. Sometimes you get punished for not trying when you were doing the best that you can.Sometimes the people in control think you are stupid and that they are smart, but if they were really smart they'd know you weren't stupid. Grown ups don't share and never say they are sorry. The teacher doesn't care about what's important to you. Feelings don't matter, only doing matters. Do exactly as you are told and you get a cookie. Don't question why you are being told to do something, just do it, and quickly. Being autistic is a bad thing. Don't stare out the window in rapt amazement at the fluttering of leaves on a tree or at the formation of a cloud. It's not allowed. What is allowed is learning to put a lid on a box, 90 times a day, until you get it "right". Life is repetetive and boring. Always hug when told to hug. Always kiss when told to kiss. Act like a dog, but never say you are a dog. Act like a robot, but never say you are a robot. Only say what other people want to hear. Don't cry when you are in pain, unless they expect you to cry because they expect that you should be in pain. The only important things you learn are learned from someone holding a clipboard and stop watch. Thinking independently is a mistake. It doesn't matter that normal kids don't get treated this way. To the teacher: eye contact is more important than your pain. Life is: stimulus - response ... stimulus - response. Don't try to imagine someone elses thoughts, it's a waste of time. Saying strings of oral nonsense in response to strings of auditory nonsense is communication.Connecting words to your thoughts and then saying the words is not communication and will get you in trouble. If other people hit you, it's because you're a bad person or you did something wrong.If you hit back or try to defend yourself... then you're a bad person and you're doing something wrong.



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Dr. Dan L. Edmunds is a noted psychotherapist and child/adolescent developmental specialist in private practice in Northeastern Pennsylvania. His background and experience can be obtained at To arrange a consult, please contact