Why I don’t take “I can’t” for an answer

There’s a young man named Matt Stutzman.  He is the current record holder for longest accurate archery shot.  You may think this is no big deal, but it is.  You see, Matt was born with no arms.

The previous record was set by an able-bodied person.  I showed this video to my son, and told him that “I can’t” isn’t okay.  If he cannot do something the regular way, we will figure out a way that he can do it.

Case in point: He’s always struggled with reading.  One day his mom showed him a note that she had left for him a few days before.  He acted like he couldn’t read it, but when we pushed him, he read it.  When we asked him how he knew what it said, he told his mom, “Oh, those were easy words.”

Another case in point: He had some math homework he was supposed to do.  He told me “My teacher lets me use a calculator.”  I said “Oh, really?  Well go ahead and get started.” I didn’t bother to get him the calculator.  After he’d finished his assignment, I checked his work and he’d only missed 3 problems, which I had him correct – without the aid of a calculator.

Just because your child with autism cannot do something the regular way doesn’t mean it cannot be done.  As parents we need to find alternative ways of doing things where they are needed.

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