I use the two-door metaphor to explain why autistics may not respond well to parents’ and teachers’ efforts to reach out to them. Parents and teachers can open the first door from the outside to reach out to the autistic. However, the second door can only be opened from the inside by the autistic. He must willingly choose to accept and embrace the world. If he resists that, then no matter how much effort parents and teachers put in, he will not change himself.
Using a peer (e.g. friend or sibling) instead of an authority figure (e.g. parent or teacher) is a gentler and perhaps more helpful way to reach out to autistics. I am keen to work with high-functioning autistic adults who are open to receiving guidance to improve their own lives.
Buddy Companionship: Providing companionship with a positive influence. The activities can be anything as long as it is safe such as cycling (in parks), shopping, and visiting tourist attractions etc.
Skills Tutoring: Teaching useful skills without the stress of attending a formal class. I am well-versed with computers and IT skills, which are essential for successful employment. In the event that the skill is something I am unfamiliar with, I can learn it together with my buddies, or even guide my buddies on how to teach their skills and knowledge to myself.
Conflict Resolution: Acting as a neutral party to work out conflicts. I can help buddies and their loved ones to advocate (and translate) their viewpoints to each other, and work out a concrete deal to end unhappy conflicts.
Inner Coaching: Providing guidance on inner issues. I can help my buddies work with their doubts and frustrations, as well as find meaning in life. Topics can include letting go of past traumas, building a positive mindset in a realistic yet authentic way, finding the motivation to connect with people, and developing a personal transformation plan.
Success Coaching: Providing guidance on achieving success in the material world. I can help my buddies find the best approaches and perspectives to navigating life’s challenges, as well as answer their questions about why people behave in mysterious ways. Topics can include time management, employment, and relationships with people.
Relationship Coaching: Providing guidance regarding specific partners in a relationship. Buddies can bring in relationship partners (e.g. lovers, parents, friends) and I can help to facilitate the resolution of the relationship issues and deepening their bonds.
Personal Advocacy: Providing guidance on how to present their own point of view and situations. Buddies who have to explain their personal situation (especially regarding autism) to unfamiliar parties can obtain guidance on how to express themselves clearly and to the point. This can include different scenarios such as choosing who to disclose about autism as well as public speaking.
Note: If the event is an outing, I expect to be fully reimbursed for all my expenses including tickets and food.
Compassion is not about:
The wise guiding the naïve
The strong helping the weak
The knowledgeable educating the ignorant
It is a relationship between equals:
Only when we know our own self well
Can we be present with the selves of others
Compassion becomes real when we touch our commonalities.