7 Mistakes Undermine Independence

Apr 04, 2023

Click here for more resources that increase autistic graduates' independence.

Hi! it's Lynn, your adulting coach. Here are the seven mistakes that we all make that undermine autistic Independence. We really want to notice when we're making these mistakes. Just noticing them will make a huge difference.

I can identify each of these mistakes because I make them myself even though I teach this. I still struggle to do what matters so that they do what matters. These seven things really do matter and they add up over time. Let's look at the mistakes that I've made that I've identified and that I've figured out as well after coaching autistic graduates and their families for the last three years.

The first thing the first mistake that we make is we just argue with what is. We get mad that they can't do what we expect them to do or that we're um having to support them longer than we thought was going to happen or that we're just tired of being yelled at or we're tired of you know them not earning any money and making a contribution and will they ever? All those questions. We just argue with what is.

We notice all the things that are from between where we are and where we want to be. That's that Gap. And instead of letting it Inspire us, we argue with it.

It's such a common mistake not just with parents I think it's with the whole human race. Acceptance works a lot better to give us the thoughts that fuel the that create the emotions the fuel the actions that are gonna help us produce those outcomes we want.

Acceptance says, "Okay here's where we are I know what I can and what I cannot change and I'm going to go forward working on the things that I can change."

The second mistake that is so common is catastrophizing the future. "Oh, it's never going to be okay for them to be on their own. Which, by the way, they're gonna have to do that because none of us live forever. And even if they have a great support structure, they're still going to be on their own meaning without you without us so that we've got to get them as far as we can in that Independence range. Not everybody's going to be a 10 out of 10 on every skill, on their energy work and love skills. None of us are. So we're gonna all have to figure out where we are now and where we can go from there.

That's when we believe that we can make a difference that's the second mistake is not believing that we can make a difference. We need to stay where our feet are. Get our brain to stop anticipating all the bad things and get it to focus on what's Happening Now and what we can do now.

The third mistake that I tell. I make this mistake every day, but I'm more aware of it and that's the point, and I think my kids are starting to forgive me for doing it. But um I catch myself and I say, "Oh, I'm sorry I told you."

And they say, "I know Mom. You're just, you're doing the best you can."

I love that when they tell me that because you know I am trying to do the best I can for them. So rather than telling them what to do, rather than suggesting, advising and criticizing, it's so much better if we just validate where they are and make a statement.

"Okay, what's you..." Make a statement not a question. Okay um, "So you've got a plan." or that sort of thing. You know, we want to first validate their emotion and that this is what happened.

This is so good when they're, just their behavior is telling us that their brain is offline. They're yelling or they're cursing or whatever it is they're they're sleeping too much that means that their brain is just not in a thinking place so we need to make sure that um that we acknowledge the emotion that they're feeling.

So we say, "You're disappointed because something happened at work," that sort of thing. Just a short validation so that we can connect with what's happening inside of them. I mean, all behavior is communication.

Then um the fourth mistake that we make is trying to solve it all at once rather than grounding ourselves in what how we want to show up. What are those virtues that are most important to us?

Then deciding okay in the energy, work, and love areas of our life what is the one domain we're going to work on? What is the one thing we're going to do next?

Just take that funnel and focus on what we're going to do now and how we want to show up. So this is the anchoring in what's most important to us step.

And we need to know what's most important to them so that we notice and validate when they have done something really amazing. We give them a high five. They need a high five.

And then we need our own high five. Saying, "Well done. You kept your cool in that situation and I know that's how you wanted to be."

Then the next thing is that just when we react just like that instead of responding getting slow and low and loving and thinking on purpose. Okay here's what I really want to do. I want to make sure that they feel safe. That they know that I love them. That we're not going to um overwhelm them. We're going to stay on track and we're just going to be wise in this case and we're going to figure out what the next thing is to do.

Then the sixth mistake we make is we indulge in this confusion. We think we don't know what to do but we really do. Once we notice our feelings and feel it and then figure out what the next, the very next tiny baby step is, we aren't confused anymore. We just need to know the very next action to take that's what we need to do in our action step.

Finally when we think that they are the problem that's never the case. The problem is always our thinking. The good news is that we do have the power to change that.

In the way that we partner with them we can come up with proactive collaborative solutions that make all the difference in the world because then we both are confident that things are going to get better we're both confident and willing to act to make things better together.

So those are the seven common mistakes that we all make and you know, just knowing that we're making them is the very first step that awareness step and then okay now what?

Thanks for watching this and I hope that you join us in the Art of Adulting as soon as possible where we talk about this every single week every single day of the week that's why they're seven.

Bye for now