Updated: Apr 26, 2021
Each typical child is different. Different personalities with a different way of doing or achieving things and a different scale of achievements. Autism and ADHD can have an enhanced affect on peoples lives.
Children with ASD can be a step outside that, a step beyond that. Not only can they be different from their peers like the above but they also have a different way of seeing, perceiving and broadcasting to the world. To their families, the children are uniquely wonderful. To the outside world at times, they can seem strange, unusual and aloof - maybe loud, awkward (in some ways) and frustrating.
Our eldest lad participates in sport (when it's possible with COVID). His coaches are constantly reining him in and back to get what they want from him - that can be a specific function, a way of behaving, attention when they are talking or perhaps to 'stop being disruptive and distracting to others'. At the same time, the same coaches can be amazed at how he will do things within the sport before his teammates - who haven't been coached in a particular movement or skill but our lad looks at a problem and solves it his way. In a way that makes it easier for him and makes sense to him.
His teachers assume he doesn't grasp what they are saying, as 'he's staring out the window' or perhaps that he isn't showing his comprehension or grasp of a topic in his work. He is however getting questions correct. What are they looking for? Children to perform within a set criteria and display the same taught traits? Or is it their role as educators to encourage outside the box thinking or problem solving?
Herein lies the contradictions they battle against. They can excel within their interests. They can excel in their expressions. They can find a solution to problems beyond others within their age. Whilst at the same time, their supervising adults can find them frustrating because they are grasping the basics, or because they are distracted or being a distraction.
Are they not showing interest or showing the basics because they don't understand or because they are long past that level? Are the supervising adults reaching them? Can the supervising adults see their potential?
Is society boxing them in or labelling them because they aren't the norm? they aren't the standard? They are challenging? They want plain instruction and the fastest way from A to B. They don't want to go round the houses to understand or to massage a supervising adults ego.
Don't get me wrong. They are challenging. They are frustrating. They are demanding. They will shred your patience. BUT, when you reach them and when you allow them to perform to their own standard they can fly. As parents we must never ever forget that.
Remember that our children are ours. Where possible, they will lead their own trail. Some will require additional and/or continual assistance - it might be physical, it might be emotional, it might be additional nurturing through their journey. Don't ever lose sight of how wonderfully gifted our children are. I had someone tell me once that they believed that without ASD man as a species would still be sat in caves struggling with the concept of fire - someone at some stage must think outside the box in order to progress.
Our job is to give our children the best opportunity to find their spark. Guide them. We must then fight against society if society doesn't see their spark.