I was asked today why I mention the limitations of autism in my participation recruitment video. The reality is that we all face limitations, from the boundaries of physics through to the inevitability of death. One of the most biggest turning points in my own journey in raising my neurodiverse family was when a Psychologist challenged me to rethink what those limitations meant.
A limitation can be viewed as an immovable boundary, forced upon you to clip your metaphorical wings. When you view them this way they become points of despair and friction in your life. The “I’ll never” and “I can’t” that creeps into your thoughts and eventually stops you trying – because why bother right? Alternatively you can view limitations as simply a part of existing. There are some things I can not change, I will always be the short one in a family photo for example. When you view them this way you can then choose to either work within them (e.g. finding alternative communication methods), around them (e.g. avoiding noisy locations) or if it is possible through them (e.g. learning how to handle social engagements even though its distressing and requires recovery afterwards).
I realize to some may hold the former perception of what a limitation is and assume that I view Autism in a negative light, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, raising Autistics can be challenging, particularly when you have no idea what that means. It is also immensely rewarding and an ongoing process of learning and growing as a person/parent.