Growing up around Autism has benefited me with a specific type of perspective. A perspective that has really allowed me to work and deal well with others who may struggle in this world of ours.
Over the course of my life I have seen some individuals (friends, family, therapists, peers, etc.) who have not done well with the differences that lie between us and “them”. I put the term “them” in quotations because it’s that type of attitude that greatly disadvantages you from understanding the “thems” in this society. We are all people; people with specific needs and desires and feelings. Just because someone goes about their life differently than you that does not make them of a different species. We belong to this world and deserve to feel at home in it just like anyone else.
With that said, there are things you can do to better understand individuals who struggle with disabilities. First, by recognizing that they are people too and feel and want the same or similar things that you do you are on your way to a better understanding. Also, I have seen my clients break many therapists. These therapists were just not prepared for the task in store for them. In some cases, it was in fact just because it was a rather difficult kiddo; in others however, it was due to the fact that the kid just wasn’t what the therapist was expecting. To be more clear, he didn’t fit into their set mold of how they wanted to go about doing their job. Many people, from what I have seen, have a certain agenda of how they want to do things. “First we are going to do this, and he’s going to react like this. Then we are going to do this.” The realty is that these individuals are unique and require certain things. Some can be put into a routine but most are going to want and need things at different times. You have to be prepared but plans to change, you have to be prepared to drop plans completely. It’s life, like anyone elses, things change.
Moreover and what’s most important is to recognize that there is no good vs bad when comparing to other people. They are them, they are unique just like you and me. Above all, they are doing the best they can with the tools they have been given. And you and me, we are all tools to each other, to our fellow man, to these individuals. Do your job and be understanding, respectful, and be open minded and you can’t go wrong.