One of the biggest mistakes we make as parents of children on the autism spectrum is to cling to unrealistic beliefs about our child’s future.

It is such a tightrope walk! On the one hand, lowering our expectations (along with revising our hopes and dreams for our child) feels a bit like we are betraying our kids, giving up, criticizing them, or branding them as different in a negative way. As parents, we all want to hope for the best for our children and help them stretch to achieve it.

On the other hand, continuing not to adjust our expectations of our child sets us up for frustration and disenchantment, and sets our children up to experience failure and our disappointment in them. How do you navigate this tightrope? Too far in either direction and we are creating additional difficulty for all of us.

The only way I have found peace with this is to understand autism at a very deep level, and accept my child as unique, and as able to find the workarounds he requires to carve out a life that he loves. I have to let go of expecting his life to be the ideal family of 2.3 kids with a dog and mini-van in the suburbs, and focus on helping him be happy and able to make his way in the world independently, regardless of how that looks to me!