Are you locked into “Social Expectations” when you are in public with you child?

Do you own a suitcase filled with the “Shoulds”when it comes to being in public with your child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder?

The shoulds are a large external family of social dictators that tend to rule internal social expectations. The should family is usually comprised of the social perspectives of others. The should family has influenced our sociocultural behavior since we were young children and depending on how and who we have become as adults the “shoulds” still seem to regulate our behaviors from a deep internal fortress.

You should not take your child out in public, you should feel embarrassed when he has a meltdown, you should not cry in public, you should not express your feelings to total strangers, you should wear an orange hat with a purple fishing vest and carry a large banana to call home to mother! Should you? Should you be listening to the ancient and current dictators of  “should” telling you who and how to be and when to do it? Should you? I challenge you!

Who determines your response to a new and different set of behaviors from your child? Who prepared you to accept and love a child that is so different and unusual than anything you have ever experienced? Who prepared you for the child that does not seem to blend into any setting you live work and play in?

Who – most likely no-one. But it is okay. You are with the most unique and special gift you have been given in life. Your child is amazing!

Why let others and internal guardians of the “should” fortress indoctrinate you and tell you how to think feel and act? I am not telling you what or how you should do things. I am inviting you to take a personal uncomfortable risk, take a challenge to do and think and feel differently, invite a new internal voice that asks “how can I do, and see differently”, what do I need, what does my child need and how can we achieve it together.

I invite you to develop a new system that challenges, educates, the existing belief system of the social dictates of the “shoulds”.  Educate yourself, your family, your immediate community on the very unique needs and best practices of and for your child.

About Mary

Hi! I have been providing services for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ages 3 through age 27, for twenty years. I also teach teachers and other professionals strategies and interventions to improve and develop communication skills, social understanding skills, and replacement of stereotypical behaviors. I try to create an awareness and empathic response with professionals working with families and caregivers living with the unique differences and challenges of ASD. My other goals include educating the public about ASD. ASD is a label that provides a common ground for discussing treatment, strategies, and other interventions to help the child or person. The label is not the child and vice-versa. Over the years I have observed many children develop communication skills, experience social success, and decrease and change stereotypical behavior into productivity. The children I work with are unique and wonderous. Like you and I they have specific interests and strengths that are valuable assets to their Quality of Life.
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