Oh sure, we adjust those dreams up and down as they move through life, but, it is the diagnosis of autism that makes us, at least at first, scale down our expectations. That's not necessarily true or sad.
This whole idea suddenly occurred to me when I was talking to a Mom who brought her son for assessment. He had been diagnosed years earlier with autism. She felt as though she and Dad really didn't know much about "how" he "operated". She asked me, "What else should we know in order to help him?"
When I was done with the assessment, she came to pick up the report.
I explained to her that her autistic son would need a smaller college and a humane work environment once he graduates.
I told her, "He has tremendous potential to overcome many of his symptoms because he has very strong language which allowed him to develop his intelligence".
I also explained, "Anxiety and severe attentional issues will be at play for a while". She sighed and said, “I wanted him to have a bigger life”.
The “ah ha” moment struck. Those with autism often have a smaller “scale” life.
They go to college, just not the huge schools with high profile football teams.
They’re employed, but often have to start out lower on the ladder to prove their worth.
Their lives might not be as publicly celebrated as others, but they can still achieve satisfaction in life. It’s their definition of satisfaction that counts, not ours.
Like most kids, it will take a while for them to chart their own course. They’ll get there in their own time.
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