Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Autism Awareness Month: Building "I Can" Networks

Here is how to turn a child's perspective from I can't to I can!

While children and adults on the Autism Spectrum certainly need solid and as wide as possible "I can" networks, it's important to remember that every child and even adults need to be encouraged, sometimes even nudged a bit toward a spirit of capability.

Never underestimate the value that your skills, wisdom, or talents can bring to another person's journey or experience. And yes, you have something to offer. It's usually the simple things that are the most memorable and often make the biggest difference. And our time and attention are two of the most precious gifts we can ever give another person. 

Can you become another thread in someone else's support web? Can you play a few games with a child to help them practice taking turns and see someone modeling good sportsmanship? Do you know how to cook or bake? Sew? Oil a bike chain? Enjoy animals? Hiking? Changing a flat tire or one's own oil? A love of historical fiction? Botany? Carpentry? Gardening? Web design? Photography? Art? Music? Fishing?

You can!

There is really no skill so small that it is insignificant, because for someone who hasn't yet learned it, it is one more stepping stone on their journey to independence, confidence, or connecting with others. And the ultimate goal isn't really to make them masters at your interest or skill anyway. The most important lessons these one's can learn will be things like patience,  teamwork, and friendship.

Here is four examples of kids who many people probably would have though "can't", but did, because somewhere along the line there were people in the backgrounds of their lives who had told them you can. And when they found themselves in situations that would typically overwhelm a person with Autism, they found themselves doing the impossible. Meet KyleMaddoxLachlan, and Karson

This distance between two points really boils down to two words. Which two will you choose?

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