Creating Inspirations

Today I was going to talk to you about how inspirations is an important part of feeling positive and motivated and how we all need it.  But today I’m in Melbourne with my gorgeous sister and her family, so I thought I’d write to you instead….(just because my gorgeous 13month old niece was going to make it difficult to talk over!)…..

Today I was thinking about the role of inspiration and how having that inspiration can have a ripple affect.  One of the aspects of my job, as I see it, is to inspire others.  And although that’s not something that I set out to do by my behaviour, it’s always great if something I do inspires others.

More specifically in the therapy room, I want to give my clients feelings of hope, positivity and inspiration when they think of themselves and who they are and what they can be. 

Often many of my children and teen clients have developed not so positive ideas of themselves, whether it’s because they are struggling to manage emotions, have difficulties with friends or have conflict within their families. 

Part of their journey of discovering that they are autistic is showing them examples of how being themselves is a really great thing, but that also showing them people who are also autistic, having done extraordinary things that everyone admires and is grateful for.  I want them to believe that being successful or being accepted can happen because they are autistic-and how exactly their autistic differences have helped them. 

So as part of building this process, we talk about autistic people who have done great things in history, and great individuals that are currently doing things.  I show them books of autistic individuals, we look up individuals who have had impact in different fields, hoping that this has a positive impact.  I want them to begin to look at their differences as strengths, not deficits. 

The way we talk about the difference of others, really does make an impact on how we conceptualise this difference, so I’d definitely encourage you to have conversations like these with your young person/young people as often as you can, with this in mind. 

This is not to be confused with pressuring them to have to achieve at a high level to be admired, but that showing admiration for individuals who are just like them to the core.  So paying attention to rather than excluding this group of individuals is a way of encouraging admiration of autistic people and what they can accomplish.

We all need inspiration from others who have gone before us, I know I need it to do the work that I do in trying to expand the message to many people. 

And….children and teens are no different. 

They are always looking for role models, for examples to live by, for things to look to as what can be possible.  So by opening up the awareness that there are many, many individuals that have led inspirational lives, just might help inspire your child to begin (or continue) thinking of themselves in a really positive way.

Happy Friday to you and your family!

Kate

Published by Kate French

Clinical Psychologist; expertise in autism and child and family psychology.

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