In my opinion, teaching kids on the autism spectrum to read nonverbal communication is as practical as teaching a blind person how to navigate a sightseeing tour.
It makes more sense to teach them what information is being communicated nonverbally (e.g. emotions, boundary setting, interest) that they’re missing and how to get it using the strengths they have.
People who are blind read through touch using Braille or through text to speech technology. I am verbal and ask a lot of questions.
👉 “Do you have any feelings about that?”
👉 “Would you like to hear more about this or talk about something else?
👉 “How much more time do you have, I don’t want to keep you?”
👉 “I sometimes get a bit loud when I talk, it’s okay to let me know by ‘insert cue’.”
So I use that strength to ask the questions most effective at getting the information I need.
It can be hard enough to keep yourself regulated emotionally, manage your anxiety and find the words to express yourself let alone decode the other person’s nonverbal communication.
Comparing your life to someone else’s robs you and the world of the lessons you’re here to teach.
I talked about this with my Inner Circle members this morning.
Thinking you have no right to your emotions because she has it worse than you do.
You may feel guilty sharing a positive experience in case someone is having a tough time.
The reality is we walk side by side in our journeys through life. This is where you can witness each person doing their unique healing work.
You will learn various lessons throughout life and every one who cares about you watches what you make of those experiences.
Your healing can be contagious as your courage, vulnerability and empowerment shows others what’s possible for them.
They learn from your healing.
You learn from theirs.
A variety of perspectives and experiences provides a more comprehensive understanding of how to approach any particular problem as you watch numerous others work to solve it.
One lifetime isn’t long enough to learn everything through experience. So we need to learn from each other.
This requires you to embrace the honesty of your experiences without filtering them through comparison (as much as possible).
Then when you’ve done your work, you show the world a way through as you discovered it.
Perhaps a road few dared to travel looks a little less threatening. Because you had the courage to take a chance on healing.
Patience is a lost skill I’m finding.
I’ve been up since 4am. I had early morning tests in Chicago and had to catch a train.
A test that usually takes an hour took three for me. I’m a complex case.
The staff kept apologizing and I just laid there and took it in stride. They seemed surprised I wasn’t getting upset.
In my mind I saw absolutely no value in telling myself a story full of “shoulds” that would be upsetting but change absolutely nothing.
Instead I focused on my breathing.
I scanned my body for muscles I could relax.
I answered staff questions and occasionally listened to the traffic outside.
I wasn’t bored or impatient in large part because I wasn’t fixated on the idea that I’d rather be somewhere else or that things “should” be going differently.
Things weren’t bad, they were just different than expected. I can handle different.
I can focus on the experience I’m having, in the moment until it is passed.
When you think about the difference between the things you can control and the things outside your control.
The most powerful force in your tool box is your attention.
You pay attention and receive a direct connection to life unfolding in real time.
You notice more of the little things and they’re magnificent.
When you become skilled at this, being patient can provide you an opportunity to witness a whole lot going on around you. And within you.
That’s my reality and as I started today it was getting to me a bit. It happens from time to time, it ebbs and flows, it’s also temporary so I know it won’t last which makes it easier to sit with.
I spoke with my good friend Victoria Helle this morning. She’s brilliant and an exceptional human that I recommend you check out.
What talking with Victoria helped me remember is how I too can fall into the comparison trap as I see others living “busy” lives and being active in a way I wish I could be.