Podcast Episode 15: Autism- Stories of Individuals

Autism is not merely a disability and it is not the sole, defining characteristic of those with autism.  Those with autism (some prefer to be call autistics) are individuals with unique preferences, interests, and personalities. They have some things in common, but more things that make them unique!

Audio version: www.DecodingLearningDifferences.com


Welcome to Decoding Learning Differences with Kimberlynn Lavelle. This episode is autism strengths. In this episode, I just want to affirm that autism is not just a disability, but it has a lot of strengths inherent in it. And I want to make sure that people are aware of that as you may or may not know. One of my big driving beliefs is that a child's biggest struggle is directly connected to their greatest strength and often what defines them as their struggle can also define them as their strength.

So in this episode, I wanted to highlight some of the strengths of autism because we often think about the negative aspects of autism and the struggles with autism. And we think of it as, as basically just purely negative, right? So I want to just highlight those strengths and make sure that people think about those and focus on those. So I talked about this before,

my personal truth about those I've known with autism is that they have more different than they have common in common. They have those core pieces that do categorize them as being, as having autism or being autistic, but they are much more unique than that. They are not purely defined by their autism. They're defined by their other interests and the rest of their personality,

the, you know, the way that they interact with people and tell jokes and, and they can, they have that. It's not that autism takes away their ability to tell a joke, right? It can make it difficult in some situations because they might not understand some of the social skills and social aspects of things. But again, that can be so different depending on the individual person,

most of the children that I've worked with with autism. So I always focus more on those individual pieces of who they are rather than I don't. I don't, I don't believe in treating all children with any disability or any categorize cutter cutter will say characteristic categorization, any category of child, I would not teach any of them all the same way. Right.

And, but there are certain things that everyone within a category tends to benefit from. So there's also that, all right, so we'll talking about some of the strengths for those with autism, The abilities of people on the autism spectrum, the autistic include. So I got this from directly from autism-advantage.com autism-advantage.com. So attributes of people on the autistic spectrum include enhanced focus,

concentration, and perseverance. So sometimes people who are neuro-typical, we'll see someone with autism and feel like, Ugh, they've been doing that for hours. They need to learn to move on. They need to learn, right? We want to, we want to fix it. Maybe we don't need to fix it. Maybe it's perfect. The way it is.

They have outstanding attention to detail. So we often can be frustrated by some of that. But I think about, think about that outstanding attention to detail. They have a propensity for logical thinking and within that, that, because they can be very logical, they're are much less prone to bias, which makes me wonder if they would make really good judges,

because it's just about the facts. It's not about any inner bias that you might have, which we definitely have too much of that in our systems. There's a lot of systematic problems, systemic racism and, and things like that that are causing major issues. And having a few more autistic people in those roles might help<inaudible>. They tend to have an analytical mindset.

They have an ability to recognize patterns and spot irregularities, and they have unique ways of filtering information. They can think about things very differently from the way a neuro-typical person might. They might not have the same social constraints that kind of guide our thinking, right? So these are just some of the strengths that I've found in some of my research. I liked this list and I,

I kind of wanted to just focus on this for today, but I want you to think about it too. What is, what have you seen? And in a previous episode, I about what are we calling a weed in our children? And is it really? So when we see a child with autism and they're displaying a behavior, keep in mind that that behavior might also be a weed to you,

but a nutritious food to someone else, right. Can be very desirous. So one of the, the goals in some companies actually to hire more people with autism because of these various strengths that they have and can bring to the company. So I want, I would like to see more of that happening. More people recognizing the strengths that a person has not despite their disability,

but perhaps because of that defining disability and that it's not just a disability, it's an ability that some of the rest of us don't have. So I hope that that sparked something in you. And I'd love to know. What have you noticed about either those with autism, where they own the strengths in your own children? Email me, let me know.

Kimberlynn@DecodingLearningDifferences.com. I can't wait to hear from you. And I will talk to you again next week.



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