How do you define success and can your child with #Autism be successful?

How do you define success and can your child with #Autism be successful?

This is something that creeps up every once in awhile. Someone makes the comment that a child with #Autism can never be successful. My response is the same every single time.

I think that if someone believes that a child with #Autism can never be successful, they need to reevaluate their definition of success.

I think success is widely open to interpretation. 

Personally, I absolutely believe that any child can be successful. The problem lies in the expectations of those that are doing the judging and not the child. I think that too many people define success as money, fame and power.

I personally believe that success is defined by reaching ones potential and by getting up one more time than you fall.

By that definition, my autistic children are already a success and I make sure they know that as well as that I believe in them.

How do you define success? Based on your definition, can your child ever be successful?


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having autism it took long time to find what im good at .my parents look at my scuess at what i over come an can do know .from were i was .i think parents should help there child be as indapent as possbille even if it only mean they can bath an clothes themselfs it should be were the child is but rember vwhat we are dx at as a litte kid dosnt mean we will be there as an adult .some of us maybe dx as severe but once we get the right help by time done with hs maybe able go to collage live somewhat normal live .some bmay all ways be severe anm need 24/7 care but have other skills that are good .my mom an dad decided to treat me as nt as possible get what ever therthy were avabliy if one wasnt working try something else .i had a few therhist that if it wasnt for them i still be stuck in my dark connfussing world of autism .im still in my own world more then people no .but i learn skills to cope i live on my own wuth some help an driive a car an stuff but work is still a nightmare cant work im low f in that area ,so i do art an gust speaking when i can .useing a coumputer an many other things were told to them i never be able to do


@autti34 brilliantly put. Thank you for sharing. 🙂


All children can be successful, even ASD children. You just have to keep it in perspective. For my son, he's good at math but still can't read above a first grade level. He's great at sports but can't write his name. So what? He is great at what he can do. We don't judge him on what he can't do. Although, others look at him differently because he is different and gets anxious because he senses it when out in the community.


@Marlene0657 very well said. Thank you.

Ken Brzezinski

 @MeaghanGood  @Ken Brzezinski
 I Think you did very well. This was a success. It is something you can build on.


What about those more profoundly affected by autism? If we define success by the expectation of independent living or holding down a job, what message are we sending? 
I think those things are definitely successes but they are far from the only way to be successful.

Ken Brzezinski

Autism can be an ability if you work to develop the positive things you daughter can do.  God got bored with the normal people and created people with autism so that there would be diversity in the human race. Autism may never be cured but the person who has it can always become a better person.


For my son with autism, it means reaching his goals (personal and school) and overcoming his fears. Therapies and diet and treating his medical issues have helped him tremendously down this road. We try to stay as realistic as possible given his special needs. I believe he is successful. He couldn't play sports over two years ago due to extreme hyperactivity and sensory issues. He has now overcome those enough to play on a special olympics team multiple sports seasons. He is not ready to compete yet because of his competition anxiety, but we are okay with that. He also now has a best friend with Aspergers, whereas even over a year ago he struggled on playdates and with maintaining attention while playing with other kids. That to me is a huge success. I honestly don't care if he does not love sports or is not the most popular. My goal is definately for him to be as independant as possible one day, whether in a group home type setting or on his own. But do I care if he works for Google or has a more entry level job? Mostly I want him to find satisfaction in life and be happy. I am sure other good things will follow.


What I wanted to point out is that I want for my daughter to see autism not as disability, but more as the ability. 


 @kat13 Nicely said.

Ken Brzezinski

Success  for children with autism can be as small as them looking you in the eye. Giving you a hug, getting out of bed without crying. Every little victory with a child with autism should be celebrated. The child should know that you
believe in their abilities. The smallest improvement needs to be acknowledged. This means when they have spent five more minutes in the store than you planned and they did not have a melt down you need to let them know you appreciate that. It is the compilation of the little victories that make a child willing to try the things they hate.  It is the building the trust that you will not put them in a spot where they will fail. It takes time and a lot of patience to help a child to succeed.


 @Ken Brzezinski Well said. Well said. Nice to meet you by the way. 🙂


 @Ken Brzezinski I've got Asperger's Syndrome and even though I'm very high-functioning, I've got a lot of challenges. I, and the people who love me, try to find small successes every day. Yesterday, my boyfriend's dad asked me to open a window which was locked, and I couldn't figure out how to unlock it and he wasn't able to give clear directions as to what to do. Finally my boyfriend stepped in and unlocked it for me. Then my boyfriend's dad congratulated me on not freaking out and hyperventilating or stimming or anything, something I tend to do when faced with a problem I can't solve. There was a time when being unable to unlock a window would have caused me to start crying and rocking and banging my fists against my thighs.


I think it might be dangerous to define success by independent Living. What does that say about all the people who can't live in their own but have other strengths or contributions to make.

I want my kids to happy. Independent Living is a huge positive but not a defining trait of success in my book.

I'm not critical just wanting to point that out. 🙂


I think there's a different definition of success for each child.  For my oldest, it's getting all his assignments turned in on time, and keeping his diabetes under control.  For my daughter, it's improving in band and choir, and she wants to try out for track in the summer.  For Anthony, it's partly defined by his IEP, but more than that, it's the way he socializes, and understanding social cues, and knowing when to say things, and when to keep them to yourself.  Each child sets their own definition of success, and as they meet their goals, they set new ones.  I guess you could say success is to keep moving forward.  You don't reach "success" and stop.  Once you achieve your goal, you make a new one.


I definitely believe that people with Autism can be successful. Look at Ms. Temple Grandin. I like to define success by defining your passion and the goals to get ther and acheiving as many of those as possible. They may need a little more help and may never be fully independent but they can become successful in arts, animal care, music, and many other avenues. Granted my lil lady is a high functioning aspie, I have no doubt that she will do something with horses, painting, and writing. My goal for this year is to find a place for her to publish her work. She would thrive on a ranch even if it was just mucking stalls and being next to horses. I think you are right in having to redefine success. If more people looked at their giftd and strengths and designed their life around those, we would have a lot more people who were thriving in life. One of the ways children with special needs are successful is by helping the adults in their lives change their views or perception of what defines a person. They brighten our lives in so many ways and with all of the daily struggles they have that we take for granted, they are unbelievably happy, loving, and joyous most of the time. That is successful if you ask me


My definition of success is the satisfaction of the one being of what have been accomplished. If one enjoys something with all its hard, success is the accomplishment in that area. 
With that I do believe in success of autistic children. Majority of them do have special talents, and for the parents like us is the goal to help them shine. 
Needless to say, an incredible autistic people who changed is fairly large… I just got some books to help my daughter with the basic social skills and body language, along with that the book that I started reading with her is about the autistic greatest people. Among many there are few that I would say just about every person should be aware of are: Albert Enstein, Nicola Telsa, and Alan Turning. If not for those people who didn't carry about socialization, we would probably still be somewhere in the darker ages… 
Whatever she will accomplish in her life is a success to me, even if it as simple as living independently.


 @kat13 Great point. I think socialization is way over emphasized today, unfortunatly meaning there is less opportunity for creative or technical or practical training and practice that people with autism and even neurotypical people can clearly benefit from.


I define success as the ability to live and independent and productive life. i believe what is needed most is a better definition of autism. i have not observed autism to be a static life long condition. For my children it has been one of incremental growth in all areas. Through nutrition and detoxification we have managed to significantly remove many of the symptoms of autism over the last six years, with a child who was non verbal at three. So success to me means losing the diagnosis to start, and the ability to live and independent life.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
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