So often we write about the weaknesses of children and teens with Asperger’s syndrome (AS) or high-functioning autism, focusing on what they can’t do, we frequently forget to look at what they can do and how some of the traits of AS can and are strengths that can help them now and throughout their lives.
Some of the best traits in children and teens with AS:
- Are honest
- Are non-judgemental
- Able to forgive easily
- Can entertain themselves
- Are talented and knowledgeable about topics that interest them
- Are curious about the world around them
- Smart and willing to study hard
- Can be extremely loyal to friends
- Detail oriented
- Have an exceptional memory
- Are dedicated and committed to success
According to Tony Attwood, author of, The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome, they value being creative over being cooperative. While this may seem to be a negative trait, it can also be a positive trait, helping them to solve problems without the extra worry of examining all the social and emotional needs of the people involved. Instead, they view a problem objectively and logically and look for the “right” solution.
In school, as well as in many careers, an attention to detail is important. While many people will look at the “big picture,” those with AS are very detail oriented. We need both people who have a great understanding of concepts and ideas and those who can work on the details to help make those concepts and ideas come to life. Many individuals with AS have a specialized interest and have an enormous curiousity to learn about this interest. They may become experts and use this knowledge in their careers.
As with parenting any child, it is important to understand both their strengths and weaknesses, to work to improve certain aspects of their lives while focusing on what unique gifts they bring to your family and can, as they grow up, bring to the world. It is easy to become discouraged or frustrated with some of your child’s behaviors, such as meltdowns. But taking time to look at your child in a new light, with a fresh perspective, can help you see your child as a valued member of your family and society.
Published On: June 06, 2012