March is a time we are often reminded of luck.
Four-leaf clovers, magical little people who bring us gold and treasures. Rainbows with promises. Sometimes when “good” things happen to us, we feel like we have had a stroke of good luck–we find a hundred dollar bill, we’re running late for an interview, but we hit a string of green lights and find a parking spot right in front of the job site, we are in “the right place at the right time.” And then we may feel unlucky when we hit roadblocks–our flight gets canceled on our way to visit family, we don’t get the job that we had been hoping for, we lose something essential to us.
We get a diagnosis that we didn’t expect.
That felt unlucky, didn’t it? It wasn’t the pot of gold you expected that might come from your parenting experience. There would be struggles, roadblocks, and a lot of sleepless nights. Some things in life just can’t be sugar-coated, even by a positive perspective. Maybe though, it could help to have an Autistic perspective when we consider luck and whether it exists in your life today.
Research into “luck” suggests that luck has less to do with encountering “good fortune” than how we interpret and respond to whatever it is that we face. Lucky people are inherently optimistic-they own the good and don’t own the bad. They expect and are attuned to positivity, and they mine for positive meaning within their difficulties.
Have you ever noticed how direct Autism can be?
Autism does not see luck as good fortune but more like good reality. It sees things from behind the rainbow, not through the pretty colors. Autism doesn’t always sound optimistic, but it certainly takes ownership of what is real and what is not. Autism lets you know when something doesn’t fit and needs to go, and it always finds that one thing that other people might have missed.
Perhaps we can see luck through the eyes of Autism?
As a person who is parenting or caring for an autistic person, what are some ways that autism changes your perspective on being lucky? Perhaps it’s just living in a time when we know so much more about what makes our brains work differently. Or for all the research that has been done to help find ways to communicate with even those who can’t use words. It might be that we have the internet, so during those nights when sleep isn’t an option, there is always something to do or keep your wide-awake child entertained. Or those small moments of connection and being invited into their world, even for a moment. And then you feel like one of those lucky people.
Lucky people imagine how things could have been worse, and they consider themselves fortunate for the “blessings” they still possess. They develop gratitude for the good stuff, big and small, that they are blessed with.
Yes, like Autism, sometimes the glitter of luck is hard to control.
However, there is one part of your person’s life of Autism that makes you both lucky. They are infinitely lucky to have you as their caring and determined guide. You see the lucky parts of their autism that make them unstoppable, and you see all of the potentials. They are lucky to have you stand up to any roadblock and allow them to grow into the person they are and were intended to be. You get tired, but you never give up. You know that the real pot of gold is looking right at you, and you want to find ways to continue to help them shine on. Life is different, but that does not mean it’s unlucky.
Consider Autism to be a little like that Four-Leaf clover.
What most consider to be not typical, some consider being lucky. It’s all about how you look at what you believe about that clover. We put together an infographic of ‘Why I’m Lucky and Autistic’ that you can print out for your loved one. Here’s the link:
Finding the rainbow in your life can at times feel impossible. We know that. But never forget that you are not alone, and the connection you have with others is another lucky thing to keep a firm hold on.
Joy is originally from the Central Valley of California, where she was raised on a farm and discovered her love for growing things. As the mother of a blended family of 7 adults and the grandmother of 9, she's learned many lessons about supporting the growth of people.