Saturday, June 8, 2013

Autism Answer: Find and use your strengths!!

When I think about my mom I imagine the words tough and smart and creative and kind insistence

When I think about my sister I imagine words like smart and cool and organized

I also used to think in both cases that those words made my mom and sister better than me. Oops! 

Words that come to mind when thinking of myself are silly and satisfied and following. And I often used to wonder about the validity of those strenghts. Even though my mom--who is a global mental health therapist--has told me over and over that when Dar (my still autistic brother) stays with me, he has an opportunity to assimilate his learnings and take a small break from constant bar raising--an important step for him in his quest for independence-- I still wonder about the validity of my own strengths. 

But, as my mom constantly and kindly points out, with my own children I have taken the lead by following. I have used my skills as a satisfied and silly mom to be happy with who they are and find fun and silly ways to make sure they are happy too! 

When I was busy trying to be tough and smart, I wasn't helping anyone. In truth, I was drowning my own strengths in self-doubt. And, in turn, teaching my kids to do the same. Not cool!

Now I can see that my strengths are equally as useful as anyone else's, even my mom and my sisters! And guess what that must mean?! So are the strengths in our kids and friends and neighbors!! Regardless of labels, colors, cultures etc.!! Let's use our strengths to help them find their strengths!! 

My guess is that it will be fun for all of us! 

Hugs, Smiles and Love!!