Learning to Be Flexible

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Why are people with ASD so rigid?

People on the spectrum often express a strong desire to control their environment in order to manage the discomfort of autism.

Because processing new information is so difficult or painful, people with ASD become inflexible to manage the pain they experience.

Flexibility Is Essential

Learning to be flexible is essential in creating a successful life with someone on the autism spectrum. If we are too rigid, demanding and insistent on having things a certain way, it will really complicate our life and create stress for everyone. It is very likely that our loved one on the spectrum is unable to be flexible. This is not an attitude or willingness problem, it is a function of the neurology of autism. In other words, it’s not that they WON’T be flexible, it’s more like they CAN’T be flexible. (Click here to read more about Recognizing “Can’t” vs “Won’t”.)

Flexibility As A Survival Strategy

Flexibility is something we all need to cultivate, but if you love someone with autism, it is a survival strategy. It’s part of accommodating the real and legitimate challenges that those with autism face. I do it so often that sometimes I find myself saying “…flexible is my middle name.”

If those of us in relationships with someone with autism are as inflexible as they are, it will create head-to-head battles that no one wins. Flexibility is required to relate to our loved ones and carry on a functional life. (Click here to read more about Appreciation Makes Life With ASD Easier.)

Thank you for taking time to understand more, but knowing isn’t enough! Let us help you take the next simple step toward implementing your knowledge for your relief or the relief of others.

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