Autism: Focus on the Abilities, Not the Disabilities
As parents of children with Autism, we often hear the negatives of our children. For example, when we attend the IEP meeting, most of the time can often be spent in the aspect of what our child is still not doing and accomplishing yet. Over time we hear the disabilities often enough, or the negative aspects, and we begin to have this negative connotation about our child’s ability. Our outlook on life becomes more negative.
My dear friends, let us gather together and focus on the abilities that our children do have! Autism is such a beautiful thing! The way these individuals think, the way they can see things in life that others cannot, it is such a beautiful and unique outlook. Such an ability to have that others simply struggle with!
May I please challenge you to find times throughout the week to sit down and meditate on the many abilities that your child does have. Be thankful for those abilities and use them to build character for your child.
Some parents have told me they struggle to find abilities in their child. This is always heartbreaking for me. I encourage those parents to make a goal each day for two weeks to find one strength, ability, or special thing about their child; at the end of those two weeks you will hopefully have 14 amazing things about your child that you can then focus on!
Share these abilities with your child’s team at school. Use these abilities to strengthen your child’s learning environment, activities, social interaction, etc. Help your child to become a better person because of their ability, not become less because of their disability.
Above all, love your child for who he or she is. We are all made different and uniquely. So let us celebrate all of who we are and emphasize the abilities of what we can do!
Jen Edwards, LMHCA
Counselor and Behavior Therapist