Chapter 11: Energize the Spirit
“There is no one professional or clinic, no magical place, no treatment approach offering all the answers and the plan to render a child “normal” so that families can put autism behind them and move on with their lives” (209).
“[P]arents want what’s best for their children. But when the challenges associated with autism enter the equation, it’s easy to lose track of what’s important” (209).
“A person can enjoy a good quality of life whether or not his behavior meets the criteria for autism. As one teenager told his parents when they first broached the topic of his diagnosis, ‘I love my autism'”(209).
“‘I keep trying and trying to fix [him], and what I’ve learned is that he’s whole and he’s happy.’ Voice quivering, she added, ‘We do need to pursue whatever we can to make our children’s lives more comfortable and happy, but they really are whole–and they can fix us‘” (211).
“All of that can make it difficult to look toward the future, for parents to consider What is it that I’m walking toward, anyway? What is my light? What are our hopes and dreams for our child? How should we make the right choices to fulfill them? Every parent answers differently. Every family has a unique set of priorities” (213).
“Overly focused on a particular goal, they see everything through that prism, and it becomes difficult for them to perceive the strengths, the breakthroughs, or even to see the child. What helps in those situations is reframing” (213).
“What abilities and qualities are important for a person to have to help assure the best quality of life? Here are my top priorities: building self-expression and self-esteem, instilling happiness, creating positive experiences, and emphasizing healthy relationships. It’s also important to increase self-awareness and the ability to emotionally self-regulate” (214).
“When you have positive emotional experiences, it motivates you to learn and explore, connect with other people, and seek out more varied experiences. In other words, it enhances your quality of life. Being happy also makes you a more desirable person to be with. It makes people seek you out” (214).
I bolded the 2 quotes above because they really spoke to me. Whether you’re on the spectrum or not, it’s important to to have priorities, experiences, and happiness for the best quality of life. It’s often hard, but it’s worth it.
“What they have is self-determination–a sense of who they are, what they want, and some degree of say over their own lives” (216-217).
“When parents and teachers and members of extended communities offer choices and empower individuals with autism, we not only help to advance their minds; we also energize their spirits” (217).
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post and read my upcoming posts about Uniquely Human by Barry Prizant. 🙂 ❤
Prizant, B. (2015). Uniquely human: A different way of seeing autism. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster
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