The Positives of Autism
Today I wanted to share with you the positive aspects of autism, and how we can celebrate differences in everyone's unique abilities. While working as an occupational therapist and being a big sister of a sibling with autism, I have been able to see many positive attributes of autism.
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Focus on the Positives
While watching my brother grow up, it was so much fun to see him excel in certain areas of his life. Things that come easy to him are things dealing with science, computers, and anything technical. He's very interested in building things with legos, and he's very good at following step-by-step directions with concrete directions.
He is able to focus for hours on end if he wants to, on activities that he is good at. He is one of the most kind-hearted and honest people that I have been able to meet. Every person is unique, and we all have unique abilities and differences, but I feel like we need to always make sure we focus on the positives aspects of their lives.
We Can Lose Sight of the the Positives
When someone has a diagnosis, I feel like we can sometimes lose sight of the positives, and we focus on the struggles too much. The child goes through evaluations and assessments to show deficits and sometimes we focus so much on what they can't do that we forget what they CAN do! By focusing on the child's strengths and the things that come easy to them, we can help them excel in some other areas of their life as well. For example, if we can focus on what they're good at, we can incorporate that with some areas that they struggle with.
We can focus on their strengths to help them excel in other areas of their lives
If they do well with visual cues, we can add visual cues to other areas of their life that maybe they are struggling with. For example, we could provide them with a visual schedule or a visual checklist to help them accomplish tasks that don't come easy to them, or maybe they really enjoy music and auditory situations, and so we can include that with situations that are hard for them, to help make that easier and ease their mind.
How can we help them excel as they transition into adulthood?
When we think about our teenagers and young adults with autism, how are we going to be able to help them excel as they transition into adulthood? One way to help them is to help them focus on the positives in their life, and what are their strengths. What are they really good at? How can we help them find those skills that they are really good at, and keep pursuing them to find skills and abilities that they are good at?
Think about specific skills. There are specific skills that you and I are all good at, and in other areas that we do struggle at. We seek out jobs and activities that we are strong at, to help us succeed and excel. We need to help our loved ones with autism find these strengths as well, and guide them to opportunities that will help them excel in these areas.
Check out our list of positives of autism to help you find the strengths for your loved one. What are your loved ones' unique capabilities and strengths? We would love to hear about it in the comments below.
Each person is an individual
Remember each person is an individual. Not every person with autism is the same and will each have their own set of skills and strengths unique to them. No one person will identify with every feature of autism. Each person will have their own characteristics that make them who they are as a person. This is the power of neurodiversity.