Meetings and Those Moments.

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If we were having coffee today I would be grateful for the chance to sit down and chat with you over a nice hot beverage. It’s been a busy week for me but today I have space to relax for a while and share a story with you.

On Thursday I had a meeting at my son’s school. Let me tell you something, when you’re the parent of an autistic child life becomes one long cycle of meetings, appointments, phone calls and administration. It’s all for a good purpose of course but it does get exhausting at times.

The meeting I took part in this week was a particularly important one to discuss my son’s future. He is in his final year at the school he is currently attending and we need to hatch a ‘What next?’ Plan for him. For me this is a stressful time and there are difficult decisions to be made. There were seven of us in that meeting, all of us have been working with my son in one capacity or another and know him well. Still, at this point we are struggling with ideas for his immediate future.

In the midst of the seriousness of the discussion there was a moment that really made me smile. My son’s teacher was describing where he is at in terms of his development at school and she mentioned how well he contributes to class discussions and how vast his general knowledge is. “In fact” she said “he is always teaching me things that I never knew”. At this everyone else around the table, myself included, nodded their heads in agreement and laughed knowingly. My son is a fountain of knowledge, he teaches everyone he meets things they never knew! 😊

That is one of the amazing things about autism. Autistic people often have what is described as ‘scattered skills’. Neurotypical people tend to be relatively consistent in their abilities across skill sets, but autistic people tend to have large variations in abilities from skill to skill. Thus autistic people can perform significantly below average in some areas, average or thereabouts in others, and significantly above average in yet other areas, all at once.

The shame of this is that people tend to focus heavily on the things that a person with autism struggles with, and when they do this they are overlooking and missing out on the many areas in which that person may have remarkable and exceptional strengths. I hope to encourage people to look more at the strengths.

The #Weekendcoffeeshare  is hosted by Diana on her blog Part Time MonsterFollow the link to read other coffee share posts and find out how to join in yourself. 

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5 thoughts on “Meetings and Those Moments.

  1. Teaching things that most people dont know, is so very amazing. Wow! That’s truly a wonderful skill to have.
    Here’s wishing your son a very happy and successful time ahead. And a big hug to you too… you are doing great!!

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  2. Yes, it is true we tend to hit nege thing and forget the positive. There are times I wonder aboutbour attitudes. My God guide with the coices you make for your son future. Have a pleasant week.

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  3. That’s the norm…concentrating on what one cannot do instead of celebrating what that one person CAN do. It happens with all students but more so with special needs kids. It’s a shame because if we concentrated on their strengths, we might find a way to reach them so they can begin to do things that they can’t.

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  4. I wish you and your son all the best with his school transition process. It’s great that you have so many people caring about his future. I agree with what you say about appreciating the complexity of kids on the Spectrum. I have disability and chronic health issues and while I write well, I have serious problems with disorganisation. I am working on it and confronting it rather than avoiding although avoidance is very tempting. I read a book called “The Brain which Changes Itself” by Norman Doidge which went into neuroplasticity, which has helped me. I keep trying to build bridges across my neuro potholes but I’m doing well.
    The thing I struggle with is that I come across fine but it only takes a few variable to throw me. I understand that many people living with autism also struggle with this.
    Anyway, hope things go well for him!
    xx Rowena

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  5. Wishing your son and you and smooth transition process. He must be very knowledgeable to teach everyone with things they don’t know. All the best for his bright future! 🙂

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