Part 1: Part of the Problem or Part of the Solution?

As parents and caregivers of children with autism, we are faced with the reality of the old adage “Do you want to be part of the problem or part of the solution?” Of course, we all want to be part of the solution, but how do you do that? How do we “solve the problem” which medical science tells us currently has no cure? Most of us wish we could eradicate the autism entirely, but if that is not an option, we must shift our focus and ask a different question.

The question then becomes “how can we create a greater sense of well-being in our lives and contribute to greater well-being in the life of our autistic loved one? How do we adjust, and find a new normal in our lives? How do we create more well-being, in spite of the existence of autism?” The shift in the question we are asking is representative of the shift we need to make to realize the solution; shifting our focus from excluding to including.

This adjustment in our perspective defines the true task set before the “rest of us-” to use our thoughts and our energies toward living our best lives with autism. Once we grasp that, we also intuitively know that working on ourselves is our primary point of power; controlling our loved one on the spectrum is not possible. We have probably already proved that to ourselves, or there wouldn’t be a “problem” for which we were seeking a “solution.”

Conscientiously pursuing ways to manage our own attitudes and make ourselves feel better (which helps us to actually be better) can only contribute positively to our situation and to the success of our loved one with autism.  Do you think it helps the person on the spectrum in any way if we are disappointed, frustrated, sad or angry with their autism (or them) all the time? Yet many of us not only experience exactly that, but get stuck there – upset, lonely and exhausted. No one understands this more than I do, as someone who has lived with autism all her life, but I have come to know that there is better way, a higher road we can walk that will create much more success and peace in all of our lives.