February 15 – Solving the puzzle of autism together

Armies don’t need to carry guns and swords to defeat the enemy.  Sometimes a puzzle and a spirit of teamwork is all it takes.

Yeah, the puzzle metaphor with autism is old hat, but today I’m living it on a new level. – I’m in the midst of autism’s finest in New England – professionals, parents and advocates at an annual retreat among whispering pines (snowy ones today).  Last night after fabulous food, sharing and dancing the team set out boxed 500-piece puzzles in an adjacent room.  I’m far from the puzzle master that my W, is in his ability to see shapes among the whole.   But with the help of about 10 people who came and went throughout an hour or so, we conquered that puzzle.  And is was sweet, as apt for me as I look at those macarons in the picture thinking about how my own attempt at them at Xmas fell short.

What a living, breathing example of the power we bring to each other.  Still 5 hours to go of this energy drink of a session, and far too many learnings to post all too soon.   This week’s daily affirmations will center on themes that resonated for me here:  transitions, team-building with professionals, life skills as paths to work skills, are group homes a bad thing, how our professional lives help or hurt our abilities as parents, the unique energies of men vs. women, how our kids teach us to be parents, using strengths to defeat weaknesses – and so much more.

For now, I’m ready to let the rest of my puzzle team help me put more of my own together. That we can all do the same, every day, always.