We strive to constantly improve ourselves, and have a tendency to use criticism to help others achieve their goals. In our eagerness to point out errors or areas for improvement we often forget the effectiveness of acknowledging what’s working well. When assisting those with ASD it is imperative that we use positive strategies as our primary source. Despite the good intentions of some critiques, individuals with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome may hold on to the negative aspects of these statements. Rather than inspiring change, criticisms tend to cause individuals with ASD to overly focus on their difficulties. They may become stuck, afraid to risk another mistake. In fact, 10 positive experiences may be necessary in order to erase 1 negative experience caused by criticism. To encourage progress, begin by emphasizing strengths. This will be necessary in order to overcome previous criticisms. And the next step? I’ll be releasing a blog on the topic of mistakes. Check back here to find out more.
Rebecca J Weaver is a Certified Autism Specialist at Independent with Autism, working to empower individuals with ASD. Need help creating positive strategies? Check out IndependentwithAutism.com for more information.