When thinking and saying things there are words that no longer exist in my vocabulary. These include “can’t,” “will never,” “limited” and “not able to” just to name a few.
My vocabulary has words like “can,” “will,” “is doing” and “will happen.”
I don’t believe that autism comes with its own set of limitations, only the limitations that we choose. As I look into the world, I see this all the time and I think this limits parents when we should feel empowered.
Now I’m not trying to say that if your child is struggling academically that they will be able to become a surgeon. And that is true for any child, not just those who have autism. What I am saying is that they can be successful in life with the proper training and guidance and ability to find their passion.
Whenever there is a situation with our son that comes up maybe society is dictating or someone else is that he cannot participate or will never be able to.
I try to think outside the box . . . not can’t but “how do I find a way?” How do I teach him? How do I make a path through? Even if some things take longer to teach. This keeps me motivated and maybe perhaps in some ways wanting to “prove them wrong.” And maybe I’m just stubborn (which is true) and I won’t give up.
But you see, I have a secret. I know my son the best. I know he can learn almost anything. It’s just the approach taken may look different and it may take a lot more time.
Let me give you an example of when he learned to ride a bike.
When our son wanted to learn to ride a bike, we did not just give him the bike and a helmet and asked him to get on and start riding. First we watched people riding bikes. We talked about safety (the helmets) but back then, although he knew he had to put on a helmet to ride, he didn’t fully understand the safety aspect.
Next we had to break it down into small stages.
- sitting on the bike
- stopping – at first this was done by putting his feet on the ground and then we taught him how to use the hand brakes.
- looking both ways
All of these things were done slowly in small stages so that he could achieve success. Since he is very motivated by YouTube, we showed him videos so he could visually see what was happening. At first, he used training wheels like everyone else until he was comfortable enough to try without them.
My point is the process took longer, but by going slow, we were able to achieve success as we have done with many things. Obviously as parents, we need to decide which activities are suitable for your child and what you want them to participate in. But not only do I believe, I know our son can achieve success if given the chance.
Try not to let others limit your child. Keep doors open. Think about how your child learns and what you can do to help them be successful!
Most important – never give up!