You are so important to me. You are why I created Her Autism. Because I care about YOU!
Your struggles matter to me.
That maybe I could help you avoid going through all of the things I have gone through gives me hope that maybe I went through those things for a reason.
The 9 Essentials
I love to build solutions and assist people in troubleshooting. Doing work as a consultant enables me to do that in a way I love. In my life and in consulting, I identified nine points that I feel are so very important in building solutions.
These nine points make up the Philosophy of Her Autism.
I recently talked about this philosophy on my first Facebook Live, which I am including here so you can see it.
In the Faceboook LIVE, I forgot to talk about what I feel may be the most important point, the Whole Family Approach. Ah, the joys of being live! HaHa! The part about the Philosophy of Her Autism starts with 10 minutes and 9 seconds remaining.
So here it goes:
1. Whole Family Approach
Really early on in my journey as a parent with kids with health problems, I came to realize that most doctors, providers, therapists, teachers, etc., take the approach that the person in front of them is the person that matters to them. Some of these folks actually said that OUT LOUD when I let them know that while their suggestions were helpful, they were not going to fit into the life of our entire family. It became important to me to craft solutions that fit not just one person, but our family and surrounding relationships. To that end, I sought providers/experts who understood and supported this philosophy.
In everything I do at Her Autism, I want to promote this goal. There are times where the needs of one person overshadow the needs of others because of their seriousness or severity, but overall, I take this approach. It just makes life easier!
I want this for you.
I want your family and relationships to function as a group of healthy individuals and as a unit as well.
Everyone is unique and individual. I think one of my favorite things about this blog is that when I look at all the people who follow me on Facebook, they are so different.
Society inundates us with autism being some little boy somewhere. Yet, all types of people are autistic. The people who follow Her Autism are women from all over. They look so different, and they’re so beautiful. I totally think that every solution that we put together ought to be something that you can take and make it fit just you and your relationships and family. It ought to meet YOUR need.
A lofty goal for sure, but one that I am confident is totally reachable. I care about each of you as an individual with individual needs and want to build solutions that fit YOU.
3. Step by Step
Trying to unravel all of the issues that come with autism at one time would be beyond overwhelming.
I can’t even imagine it.
Financial issues, education issues, relationship issues, personal hygiene issues, sensitivity issues all can come into play. I am sure if you are reading this, you know that these things exist and can name even more issues that arise.
So the work I do and the solutions I build will come in steps. Because, for my whole life, this approach has WORKED.
Taking steps also gives you something to celebrate along the way as each step is a win (see below!) and helps you see progress. In addition, if you do things in steps, you are better able to troubleshoot in the event something goes wrong or you are not achieving the success you intend.
4. Forward Focus
How often, upon learning something new, something better than what you were doing, did you spend time kicking yourself for not having known that new thing all along?
Well, I used to do just that–kick myself, I mean. You can read my post, “The Counterintuitive Nature of Autism,” and see that I have tried and failed many times before getting to where I am today.
What I really learned, in a big picture sense, is that kicking yourself is pointless. And not only is it pointless, it is the OPPOSITE of what you should be doing, which is CELEBRATING your newfound success! (Again, see below.)
So what I intend to build into my work at Her Autism is this paradigm or way of thinking which is that it doesn’t matter where you have been, it matters where you are going.
I believe if you come to adopt some or all of the Her Autism Philosophy and join me on this journey, your life will be so much easier, and I believe that because I have lived the transition of making life easier. WAAAAY easier.
I want that for you, too, but it requires this forward focus.
No more looking back at where you have been unless you are looking back to measure progress and celebrate success or because you need to trouble shoot so you can continue to move forward.
I want to be clear at the outset of talking about this point that I am not referring to preventing autism. That is a discussion for another post and another day. Let me note that I know that some of you have autism in your lives that is much more severe than mine, and you probably would have liked to have prevented that.
Here, I mean knowing what types of issues you face, and either preventing them or being prepared for them. I want to focus in my writing on what steps we can take to make life easier by preventing things we know might be coming down the pipeline and preparing for things that we can’t prevent. (See how the essentials begin to overlap!)
And that in taking this attitude of being proactive, we’re going to make life a whole lot easier than if we’re trying to react, and catch up, and put out fires.
I’m pretty sure that’s how a lot of you feel today. Right?
Like how many times in my life have I thought, “If I could just stop putting out fires, I could catch up.”
I finally had to stop and say, “You know what? This fire that I put out today, I will prevent from lighting tomorrow. Once I shifted to that mindset, things got a whole lot easier.
I think you can do this as well!
I love to optimize.
I want to be the best I can be, and I want to do things that are bigger than I ever thought, and I want to go out in this world, and I just want to conquer and have fun and have life be amazing!!
You know, I’m never going to be an Olympian or a rock star. Nobody is ever, ever going to give me a microphone so I can sing on stage.
But with my gifts and talents, I want to do absolutely the most that I can do, and that’s what I’m talking about in terms of optimization. How can I use the resources I have to get as far as I can get and to enjoy them as much as possible?
By way of example, a single-tasker at heart, I know that with focus, I can single-task my way into multiple outcomes. How many multi-taskers actually achieve multiple outcomes for each task in which they are engaged? Not very many, I bet. Which would you rather have? Multiple outcomes for a single task, or a single outcome per each task done simultaneously? I know what I prefer!
You can live this way, too!
7. Support When Needed
No one in small town Findlay, Ohio, was talking about autism when I was born back in the early 1970’s. In fact, I bet no one had even ever heard of it. I was just different.
So I had help, but no help in regard to being autistic. No one was focused on becoming aware of the problems I had or accepting my autism. They were understandably oblivious, as you can’t know what you don’t know sometimes and this time was one of those.
After my diagnosis, I did research and concluded that we need more attention on girls and women with autism, and more specifically, we need more women with autism to come forward and share their stories, their views, and their solutions.
I realized that I could do that.
I have the blog, I have a Facebook group, I have services coming, I am creating online courses and frankly, you can email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to chat with you and offer you the support I didn’t have.
Autism research, still focused on understanding and diagnosing autism, fails to provide the everyday solutions to what you are experiencing NOW.
I hope I can help fill that gap.
If not, there are some really great support groups out there as well that you can join. It doesn’t have to be me.
Find support that you can access when you need it, whether it’s me or someone else, because you know what? This stuff is hard. And yet, if you can keep your head on straight, and you can stay calm, and you can approach it kind of using this philosophy that I have, I think you can get so much farther.
8. Toolbox Approach
I talk to people who’ve spent thousands of dollars on autism. Many of these people have autism that is much more severe than mine, but some of them don’t.
Some of them are just trying to combat the fire and the frustration and the overwhelm.
You know what? I’ve been doing this my whole life.
I live very frugally.
I spend very little money.
But, I manage my autism and achieve my goals.
I think that I am very good at knowing what tools I have and at harnessing those tools to create and achieve things I may not be able to do otherwise.
I want to help you see that you have way more tools at your disposal than you realize. If you think about everyday simple things as tools, you will realize you can do a lot more with what you have.
My poor kiddos hear it all the time, “Is that in your toolbox?” “You got a tool for that?” “What tool are you going to use?”
If you have to, make a picture on your fridge or set a box somewhere and start acquiring these tools.
We’ll build a resource section soon with a toolbox in it.
9. Celebrate Wins
I always celebrate wins.
Every single step of the step-by-step forward is a win, and you’ve got to celebrate all of them.
If you have to, write them down, because you know what? I bet all of those little steps actually amount to something really big. All wins, big or small, are worth celebrating.
When you start to celebrate, life changes. In ways you never imagined. I can’t wait for you to get there!
A celebration doesn’t have to be big. It may be as small as sharing your win with someone else. Just today someone published me as a guest blogger on their website The Art of Autism, and I am celebrating just by sharing it with people I care about. It feels like a huge win. When I started blogging, having something like this happen felt like a pipe dream. Yet, living this philosophy got me here.
Working with you and hearing your stories means so much to me. I hear your pain. I hear that you love the people in your life, and that you desire to continue to move forward.
So what is interesting is that even though I live by all the points in this philosophy, because it is CUSTOMIZABLE, you can pick and choose what fits you, and build a philosophy and take STEPS that move you and your family and relationships FORWARD! See how great it works!
I hope you will come alongside me. Join the journey of Her Autism because I want for you what I have. I want for you that your every day is the best it can be!
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