Autism is a diverse spectrum of disorders with an even wider range of symptoms and characteristics. We’d be remiss to point out autism’s symptoms without noting people on the spectrum’s strengths as well. Since every person on the spectrum experiences their symptoms differently, their strengths vary on an individual basis. In this post, we’ll highlight some of those potential strengths and celebrate people with autism’s diversity.
For people on the spectrum, verbal skills can develop at a varied pace. Some people with autism may even be completely nonverbal or struggle with certain types of communication. Unfortunately, many people associate someone being nonverbal with low intelligence or a lack of understanding of complex concepts and processes. This is inherently false and a frustrating association.
Like their neurotypical peers, people with autism can be independent, highly-intelligent and successful citizens, even if they struggle with verbal communication. Since many of the ways we measure a child’s intelligence require certain communication skills many children with autism, and their potential to learn, go misrepresented.
Highlighting the Strengths
With this potential for misrepresentation, it’s important to help uncover children on the spectrum’s hidden strengths. One of the best ways to do this is ensure your child is enrolled in a specialized behavioral therapy program, like ABA therapy. ABA therapy programs at The Place for Children with Autism offer specialized assessments and learning plans that will better represent a child with autism’s potential strengths. Some of those strengths might include:
- Excellent academic skills and high IQ: Many children on the spectrum grow into high performing students and qualified professionals. An autism diagnosis does not equate to low intelligence and its always important to remember that when working with children with autism.
- Impeccable attention to detail: Some people on the autism spectrum will develop a laser focus on the topics and things that interest them most. This can make for an impeccable attention to detail and work ethic that is unparalleled.
- Affinity for technology: Especially for people with autism who are nonverbal, technology can be an excellent tool. As such, many children on the spectrum develop skills with tech early. Building on those can open up some exciting educational and occupational paths later in life.
Potential for Growth
As the parent or caretaker of a child on the spectrum, one of the most valuable things you can do is identify your child’s strengths and help build on them. Everyone has potential and unlocking it is a life long process that takes a village. Many of the hidden strengths you identify can make for excellent job or independent life skills. Use this potential for growth by communicating consistently with your child’s teachers, behavioral therapists, and family members.
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