Would You like to experience Autism?

Episode 9: Would you like to experience

Lack of Confidence? 

“If you think you can do a thing,
or you think you can’t,
you’re right”

Have you heard that saying before? It illustrates the power of your mind to focus you towards achievement, or towards negativity and resignation. It illustrates the importance of Confidence.

A good teacher inspires us to learn, but even before that a good teacher inspires us with confidence that we can learn. You are your Loved One’s teacher, and helping your Child find Confidence is one thing you must do if you are to have any success.

Speaking of teachers, have you heard of that classic study, where school teachers were given two groups of children into their care,one group was described as being well-above average in ability and the other group, they understood, was well-below. In fact, there was no ability-difference between the two groups but the teachers did not know.

After a period of teaching them, it was found that one group’s performance turned out significantly better in every test than the other group. Can you guess which group it was …?

Can you understand now why I shun the applying of Names like “Autistic” and “Aspergers” to anyone, because of the limitations it imposes on the people themselves, as to how much they can achieve, limiting the imaginings of their parents and carers as to how much they are capable of, and the setting-up of an “us-versus-them” comparison, which simply overstates the case, and categorizes where it is just not appropriate, necessary or helpful..?

What do you say instead? “You are more autistic than most people, but everyone is autistic, it’s just a matter of degree. And you can change how much you are, if you decide to enter the Real World a little more often, when you can.”

I have heard that the “application of a Name” to a person has made him.her feel relieved, that his.her characteristics have been categorised. He or she can relax now, and settle into comfortable “other-ness”. What a shame.

How many others might feel defeat, and a gulf of different-ness open up before them after being inappropriately Named, a gulf they are never supposed to cross? How unjust.

To say instead that there are no set limitations, and to remove such barriers might be more challenging, more difficult, but we humans rise to challenges – if we have the Confidence that we can triumph ! And this “stepping-out-of-comfort-zone” approach is conventionally applied to “neurotypicals”, so why not challenge more-autistic people in the same way?

Back to the Topic: How do you experience “lack of Confidence?” (Who wants to! )
Pick a time when you saw some small achievement in your boy.girl
and your hope rose that progress was being made,
only to plummet when a more typical behavior returned,
when say watching him.her miss the point again when
interacting with other kids…

Confidence-setbacks like that have the power to forever direct us negatively – if we let them. I know of quite a few parents on medication themselves to get through the day. We can all think of times when nothing went right for us, and other times when we were “on a roll”. When one success lead to another. The power of scoring a goal. The exuberance of passing a test. The feeling of Confidence when finding love, winning a new job, of succeeding in any endeavour you can remember. Success breeds success. Feelings of certainty and new possibilities at our fingertips… The difference was not in the surrounding conditions, but the state of our minds.

You can focus your energy inward: “why me, why him/her?” or focus your energy outward, visualise what can happen, and go for it! How do you create that sense of Confidence, that sense of Certainty? I will not reinvent the wheel, the best motivator I know is Tony Robbins. He has the enthusiasm and the strategies to bring you out of yourself, and into peak-performance-states that might surprise you.

Just briefly, you can inspire yourself even through your body-actions..! Even if you don’t feel like it,  act as if you have just succeeded in something. Reawaken a memory of a success in your mind , if you can. What were you doing, at that successful time, what were you thinking, how did your body move, how did you feel? Play uplifting music as you think, and dance along to  it. Free-up! Laugh! Feel silly! Visualize your success even more strongly, and you will start feeling even stronger Confidence.

This is just one example of how to affect your State. Why not visualise your young person doing something impressive, and don’t let your mind cast shadows on it. (Talking to yourself in uplifting light-bright language, rather than using shade-and-dark words, also has the power to affect your State. And it’s not imaginary! Neural scans show a structural difference in the composition of your brain, depending on the kind of thoughts you think!)

Does that example of the teachers Confidently teaching the “gifted group” and less-Confidently teaching the Others, inspire you about the power of Confidence? If you feel Confidence that you can succeed, you can make a difference, and you can pass on those feelings to your youngster. What kinds of abilities might he or she then master that at the moment you would struggle to imagine..?

 “Real-World” Training can help you, by providing you with cutting-edge strategies. But they will not work if you approach the Training feeling negative before you
even start.

Practically speaking, the best way to build and boost your Confidence is to systematically record your Child’s progress during Real-World Training (if you are doing it), and over time look back occasionally on your notes to see how far you have come. Share your Child’s progress with him.her, possibly showing your notes, and never miss an opportunity to praise when a success is achieved. As said before, success breeds further success and growing Confidence.

A final thought, can you describe the attributes you admire most in your favourite TV / movie character? For most people they are things like courage in the face of adversity, making the effort to work things out sensibly, to be fair, supportive and generous to others. In a society that increasingly focuses on self-indulgent Escapism (Escapism to where? to your autistic Own World of course!) you have been given, by contrast, the opportunity to demonstrate and practice these finest characteristics you admire,
in defence and support of one you love.

Being proud of yourself if you do, is not a sin.

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