Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why Do I Struggle With This?

My stated goal in writing this blog was and remains to help my son (and others like him) succeed as best he can. I know there is little he cannot accomplish – I have seen him overcome obstacle after obstacle for 19 years.

But I am still not sure how much of this he wants to hear or how much he might choose to use as a strategy or even how much using any of these suggestions would benefit him.

Case in point: I received an email invitation to a workshop on “Using Social Skills in the Workplace.” With summer approaching and my son hoping to land a paying job, he might appreciate some strategies on navigating a work environment. In fact, I was recently lamenting over how frequently I (neuro-typical!) manage to put my foot in my mouth with a communication blunder at work.

I forwarded this invitation to my son, with a note saying, “Do you think you might be interested in this?” The workshop is geared toward people with Asperger's Syndrome or other nonverbal learning disability. The more I learn about AS, the more I see that my son's NLD leaves him much less prone to anxiety than people with AS or other autism spectrum disorders (if you've met've met one..."). So I half expect him to take offense at some of the suggestions I make.

It’s such a fine line between telling a 19-year-old that they need this type of help – especially when the 19-year-old might not agree – and suggesting that they might benefit.

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