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AMW2021 Dialogue #3 with Jerome Poudevigne: The "Happiness Approach": An Underrated Autism Treatment

Thursday, May 27th 2021 8:00 PM - 9:30 PM, SGD5 (all proceeds go to A Mother's Wish)

Register for the event here:

When I was writing my book, Where Does My Autistic Son Belong?, I was even more conscious of the fact of how much Jerome, my husband, was this quiet hero who was always ready to come to the rescue. While most people tend to associate me with the caregiving journey of Sebastien, my autistic son, and the incredible story setting up an overseas home for him, I could not have survived and made it without the courageous and steady support of Jerome.

As a wonderful partner who came into our life, only when Sebastien was 12 years old, Jerome had every reason to walk away from us when Sebastien was going through the pubertal throes of aggression and what I now know to be my erroneous parenting responses that were only adding fuel to the fire. But instead of leaving, Jerome dug in. It was not because he thought that he had all the answers, but simply because he was not someone who would turn his back on people steeped in crisis, let alone those he loved. This was the kind of person that he was.

What really fascinates me about Jerome's perceptions of Sebastien is that he had never dwelled on the unpleasant moments of our past life with Sebastien — having to protect me from Sebastien's aggression or being attacked himself in a few instances. Instead, what Jerome had treasured above all else was the luxury to just focus on making Sebastien HAPPY, whether it was running a homeschooling day on my behalf, taking Sebastien to the movies, or travelling abroad. As it turned out, Jerome's natural desire to focus on Sebastien's happiness, instead of "fixing" him, would turn out to be the RIGHT thing to do for Sebastien.

Therefore, Jerome is someone who possesses the natural intuition of being an outsider who has voluntarily (with no obligation) became an insider in the autism universe. With his reflective approach, not just with Sebastien, but also in some of his volunteering work with other autistic youths back when we ran autism programmes, Jerome has thoughtful insights that can help others to understand why it is so CRITICAL for us to address the WELL-BEING of autistic individuals as a foundational approach.

Register for the event here:


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