At the heart of the difficulty giving and receiving advice/ criticism is our view of mistakes. We frown upon mistakes, emphasizing the weakness and even the failure illustrated as a negative, rather than an encouragement to try new things and progress. There is a tendency to view mistakes/ failure as the final product, rather than part of a much bigger process where each mistake directs the next step and refines the goal. This approach to mistakes is the greatest error. Mistakes are experiences that provide information. It is how we use this information that is negative or positive. The occurrence of a mistake allows for observation, reflection, and self-correction. Mistakes can provide a positive experience and a necessary tool for learning. They are a key in developing resilience. If we can reframe the concept of a mistake as a form of information collection, we can assist those with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome in becoming independent and strong. Our greatest leaps forward come from our courage to take a chance, make a mistake, and learn.
Rebecca J Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD. Need help reframing your experiences? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information. @IWAutism