Autism Part II

glass half full edited

High Functioning Autism and the Problem with the Half-Full Glass….

As a longtime Special Ed. Teacher, I recently experienced being on the other side of the table. Literally and figuratively. It’s been revelatory. I attended a CSE meeting as a support to a friend. And I learned something – I never want to sound as though I’m dismissing the concerns of a parent.

Sometimes parents need assurance – that they’re not alone, that they’re doing a good job, etc. Sometimes though, parents need to be heard and validated for their concerns about their child. I have probably done this before while trying to comfort an anxious parent – inadvertently dismissed their concerns by ticking off all the typical things their child does… knows letters, sings the words to lots of songs, does a great job playing on the iPad. But most likely there are also times that parents don’t want to hear about all of the things that they already know their child can do. It can come across as seeing a glass that is a half-full.

The problem with looking at a child with High Functioning Autism as a half-full glass is that families want their children to have lives that are a full glass – to have friends, to do well in school, to be prepared for a fulfilling place in the real world. If we settle for the half-full glass, it’s easy to lose focus of the path to a full glass. And I for one, never want to do that to a parent or child. It will take people on both sides of the table to fill those glasses. Let’s get pouring!

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