Staying the Course
As a consultant to families I get to celebrate the highs with them, as well as support them through the lows. When families experience periods of difficulty or setback I often find myself telling them that autism is tough, but they are tougher. They have to be. Autism is hard and change usually doesn’t come easily. We cannot allow ourselves to become too blinded by the joys of the highs or the sorrows of the lows. We must stay the course and know that in every marathon there are some miles that will be harder and slower than others. I recently came upon something called the Stockdale Paradox, which was written in the realm of the business world. It reads:
“Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties. And at the same time confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”
I want families to write this out and stick it on their refrigerators! We must be tenacious in our desire to remediate autism, and at the same time be honest and willing to act on the things that are getting in our way. It does no good to believe that somehow we will prevail if we are not willing to look at the very real obstacles and problems that must be addressed. It also does no good to stay focused only on the immediate problems at hand and not have a long-term vision and mission for what we will accomplish. Both are needed – a long term mission that accepts nothing less than success, as well as short term willingness to confront the obstacles that are getting in the way.
Until next week,