Life can be tricky, especially when you're Autistic and the world wasn't designed with your needs in mind. That's where an autism life coach comes in. At Autism Personal Coach, we know our clients are the real experts, and our coaches are their guides.
Our approach to autism life coaching is a unique model for supporting teens and adults, created by Autistics, for Autistics. It's not one-size-fits-all advice. Instead, we look at each person's individual strengths and challenges, helping them to achieve their goals on their own terms. In this blog post, we'll learn about autism life coaching, why it's great, and how it helps people.
Personalized strategies for unique individuals
Autism life coaching is fantastic because it's all about personal plans. Every Autistic person is different, with their own strengths and challenges. Good coaches understand this and work closely with each person to create a plan that fits them.
We won't be looking at a generic list and telling you what you need to work on. No eye contact? No problem. Too overwhelmed at the grocery store? Let's find an alternative. You only have so much energy each day, why waste it on things that could be easier?
Whether someone needs help with making friends, finding a job, or just getting through the day, an autism life coach comes up with ideas that match. Your coach can even help you learn to figure out what's wrong when you have no idea in the first place. They celebrate what's awesome about each person and make a roadmap for success, according to your own definition of where you want to go.
Unlocking the power of self-advocacy
Learning how to speak up for yourself is a game-changer. Many people we work with (especially those who didn't know they're Autistic until adulthood) have heard this a million times. But they might not realize just how many times and places where self-advocacy is an option. Autism life coaching puts a lot of focus on identifying these opportunities. Plus, "speaking up" for yourself doesn't have to include speaking at all!
For instance, did it ever occur to you that you can bring a book with you to a haircut? They'll usually get the hint and stop trying to small talk with you the whole time! When you work with an autism life coach, you'll discover all kinds of strategies just like this one.
Thriving through life transitions
Life is always changing, whether we like it or not. The difficulty of big changes, like starting college or moving to a new home, might be obvious to other people in your life. But even if they're trying to be supportive, people might not understand how exhausting "small" changes are for us, too.
Don't worry, your autism life coach knows exactly how big a deal it is when your favorite crackers get discontinued. We'll help you come up with a survival plan, find an alternative, or maybe even buy like, 200 boxes off the internet. We know that "inflexibility" leaves you energy for more flexibility in other areas!
Forming real connections
You might be having a hard time making friends, but are you trying to be friends with the right people? We firmly believe that, if you have to act differently to make someone like you, then they're not the right candidate in the first place. We'll help you find ways to meet people who share your interests and agree that infodumping is a valid conversational tool.
We understand what actually helps Autistics in their relationships, including things like:
We don't "teach social skills." Instead, we explain why people might be misinterpreting you and give you concrete examples for how to clarify and move on. We'll help you learn to decode neurotypical communication, not tell you to emulate it.
"Practicing" social interactions can feel more awkward than actually doing them in real life, right? We're not going to make you do that, either (unless you find it helpful).
We think scripting is valid communication, even if it's borrowed from a TV show. As long as you get through the checkout line without panicking, that's a win!
We know that navigating social situations "with confidence" is a pretty lofty goal. Instead, we'll help you accept that it's okay to just get through it, stop beating yourself up, and recharge afterward. After all, feeling awkward for a while is the first step to a comfortable relationship where you can truly be yourself!
Career development and employment success
If a job is something you want in your life, we can help you find one that feels like the right fit. But traditional employment might not be the best answer for what you need. An autism life coach will help you figure this out, explore alternatives, and disengage from ableist thought patterns around productivity and independence.
Coaches work closely with individuals to figure out what jobs they might like, what they're good at, and how to get and keep a job. They also help with workplace challenges and make sure workplaces are inclusive and supportive.
Get connected with your own autism life coach
In the end, an autism life coach will validate and empower the things you've probably known you needed all along, despite how others may have criticized you in the past. Your coach will help you believe that you're "allowed" to put your phone on silent, eat the same thing every day, and talk about your favorite video game. You deserve a life and a home where you feel comfortable, valued, and like you're handling things. Your coach will make this happen for you by creating personalized plans, encouraging self-advocacy, supporting you during big changes, identifying healthy relationships, and figuring out finances.