Bringing Out the Talents of Autistic Spectrum Kids
Connections

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Slave DriversEver felt guilty about expecting too much from your Aspergers child?  Shouldn’t you indulge him because your heart is bursting with sorrow over his plight?  It’s not his fault, so shouldn’t you be the one to adapt?

Not according to the young adults I know who have come to terms with their condition.  They either rejoice in the payoffs from a heavy handed workload imposed on them as children, or wish they had been pushed to learn more as they grew up.  The large percentage of autistics, who stand a good chance of recovery, don’t mind a workload that would drive a neurotypical kid to madness!

I am impressed by the striking similarity between the success stories I’ve heard, and cases I’ve witnessed.

Like emerging butterflies, autistics are struggling for their lives to escape their cocoons.  No amount of effort is too great when stunted growth on the inside is not an acceptable option.  Freedom from social isolation is an essential need, like food and water, and autistics will work, day in and day out, to the point of exhaustion to liberate themselves.  Wouldn’t you do the same?

With or without help, they struggle constantly, accepting any instruction that actually works.  Should a parent feel guilty for acting like a drill sergeant, insisting that an autistic work hard and long hours?  Thus far, I’ve always gotten “no” for an answer.

3 Responses to Should parents of Aspergers feel guilty about acting like slave drivers?

  • yes I agree. clearly parents even as drill sargeant should still be nurturing and praising. but the self esteem movement and the every child is special movement is not so helpful. what makes us happy at the time isn’t always what makes us learn. don’t be guilty being a drill sargeant because in years your kid will thank you. just balance it with compassion. balance obedience with a mentality that likes to question things.

  • also, as you suggested, im gonna post what i wrote in our emails:

    speaking of sergeant, about your article and parents worrying about being drill sargeants because thats actually an interesting topic. my mom was a relatively lax parent, aside from some ocd worries. it was me that trained myself. in some ways a parent needs to be gentle. for example, in school, a teacher can force you to read a book and not give a shit whether you like it or not, but after that the kid just won’t read again. or the teacher can gentle instill interest in the kid to where they become interested in reading. but there is a delicate balance. a parent who lets their kid do whatever they want is spoiled, but a kid that is NEVER allowed to say no may not learn how to stand up to bullies, manipulators and scam artists growing up.

    same thing with social skills. my mom never really told me anything about social skills but i had the drive in myself to get it. but i think of everyone else too and how just leaving it up to the child to magically find the motivation and objective though to do it may not always work. i guess the issue is where to draw the line because it’s both important to be a soft tender nurturing parent with positivity and encouragement, as well as a parent that can be bluntly honest and scold a child when they do something socially inappropriate.

  • When helping a child liberate himself from social isolation, never even breath the thought that there could be anything wrong with him. More about guiltless ways of driving lessons home in my next post.

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