In today’s post, I would like to talk a bit about changing approaches to situations which is something that I’ve had to deal with lately hence the inspiration for this post.
A bit of background info regarding my inspiration. I have been busy preparing for the second half of my year abroad which has been very demanding on me. I had returned to the UK for the winter (instead of traveling or attending the optional Winter School) as I realised beforehand that I wasn’t able to handle a whole year abroad out there in one go.
The first term I did last year led to an autistic burnout. This was due to struggling with the different educational and cultural differences in that country (which I have touched on before*). The causes included things from the academic workload to the social pressure to travel the region by my international peers. Now I’ll be going back for the second term – essentially being a do-over in some respects. By do-over I mean there is an opportunity to take what I’ve learned so far to (hopefully) cope better and not have as bad of a burnout.
A do-over can be an opportunity to grow as a person while also building on the foundations that already exist. It is also the chance to go down paths that could not be followed the first time around. For instance – is there a social or academic opportunity that couldn’t be followed the first time? It may be possible to pursue it the second time around (or even something else entirely!).
Aspects of personal development that can help include self-awareness as well as learning limitations – both of which for me have been greatly aided by my study abroad experience as well as joining the online disability community. Both personal development characteristics that were mentioned above are much easier said than done. However, they do come with maturity and life experience so it is worth noting.
“A change of approach shows maturity, integrity and that determination within someone is there.”
A change of approach can be used to learn from past experiences and try to think what could be done differently. There is usually something that can be learnt even if small. For example, is there a situation that could have been done differently? Are there any limits that could potentially be overcome on the do-over (that are within reach)? There’s no shame in admitting that the first attempt may have had flawed decision making/reasoning behind it or anything else that puts the original decision in question.
Being disabled and/or neurodiverse (ND) brings unique challenges to changing approaches. They include that someone may have to change approaches to achieve things that many non-disabled peers consider “normal” or can be easily done by them. The fact that certain approaches will be off-limits due to physical or mental limitations. On the flipside, new approaches not considered by non-disabled peers open up due to being disabled and/or ND. Plus the right people will appreciate the additional hurdles that disabled and/or ND people have to hop over to achieve their goals. Those people are to be treasured.
In short – it is not easy. However, deciding on a change of approach shows maturity, integrity and that determination within someone is there. Coming up with a solid plan (or at least the foundation for an approach) helps formulate structure and resolve. Furthermore, it may better allow someone to better cope with the situation at hand knowing that they’ve thought it through.
A change of approach can be the difference between doing something well or not so well after all.
That’s all for today.
*Note that when I had originally written this I had omitted any mention of my year abroad so it is missing a lot of contextual information and rather discusses university in general. I may revisit this topic in the future.
Featured image screencapped from video clip by MaddTroysStudioX