Options and Choices for Autistic Individuals

Recently Brandon was being teased and bullied by a group of adults in his neighborhood. He told me about it because it was out of his control and he didn’t know what to do.

Over the years, I have had to become a detective to find ways to extract the answers I needed in order to help my son. I have learned what to ask and how to ask it so I could get to the bottom of each issue. I have had years of experience doing this and today it comes quite naturally.

This time, the initial question that uncovered the problem was, Do these people hang out in the same place every day? When Brandon answered yes, I asked him, “Why do you go back there?” He looked at me as if to say you mean I have a choice?

My heart sank. Was my thirty-seven-year-old, independent, autistic son not aware that he had the choice to not return to a place he didn’t want to be? Or did he not know he had the right to walk away if he was being hassled? Or did he just want to fit in so badly that he felt being bullied was better than not having friends?

We spent the next several minutes talking about having choices and what that meant to him. We also talked about his rights. We have talked about all of this before, but he never related it to being teased and bullied so he was unable to access the information when he needed it.

We all learn differently and when we know how to reach our special needs kids or adults the easier it becomes for all of us. I know I cannot assume anything when it comes to Brandon. It is necessary to cover all the bases and to make sure he knows he always has options and choices, but not too many, because it puts him in overload.

I have found the best way to reach and teach my son is to address each situation respectfully. Brandon responds well when being treated well. Don’t we all?

Amalia Starr on Twitter
Amalia Starr
Mother to an independent autistic adult son, Motivational Speaker, Author, and Founder of the Autism Independence Foundation. Book Amalia to speak, call 800-939-1046 or attend one of her conferences or training.
Amalia Starr

Amalia Starr

Mother to an independent autistic adult son, Motivational Speaker, Author, and Founder of the Autism Independence Foundation. Book Amalia to speak, call 800-939-1046 or attend one of her conferences or training.

0 thoughts on “Options and Choices for Autistic Individuals

  • July 31, 2010 at 6:35 pm
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    That is so true, it is not easy, but knowing you have choices and taking action can make ones life so much better.  Thanks for sharing.@keystspf@xanga – 

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  • July 29, 2010 at 5:56 pm
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    ha ha… knowing that you don’t HAVE to be in a place is a wonderful thing… being able to choose to leave or not go to it. It’s great when you start putting things like that together. If you don’t like something, CHANGE IT. Obviously there are some things beyond our control… but at those points, you can change your attitude about them instead. Learning this stuff hasn’t been easy, but it has been life changing.

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