Build on Strengths Not on Deficits

Nadia Shanab | Uncategorized
17 Sep 2013

Every person, whether on the autism spectrum or not, has got a set of deficits or weaknesses: mental capacities, physical capabilities or social skills, among many more.

On the other hand, the set of strengths and talents a human being has been endowed with are endless.

Why do most people focus on what’s not working so well in a person and turn a blind eye to what’s working so well? Maybe it is taken for granted that everything and everybody should function perfectly by default! Worng assumption. Nothing should be taken for granted. Not everybody can walk, talk, hear, see, and comprehend the universal rules of the world’s order.

As a parent, when your child shows you her progress report, do you spot the low grades first or the higher grades? What do you talk and elaborate more about, the good grades or the less better ones?

Teachers praise students for their achievements and encourage any progress; they have to abide by the authorities’ guidelines! Discouraging, repressing, putting down… is against the law. They can lose their jobs.

But parents are free to decide what approach to adopt to raise their children. This is exactly what makes the difference in a child’s future.

Watch the video.


If your child loves singing, drawing, painting, playing a musical instrument… let her express herself and praise her. The more she does things she is good at, the happier she’ll be. The happier she is the more balanced and flexible she’ll be. Letting your child discover her strengths can help her turn this strength into a career. Besides, feeling good about oneself promotes self-confidence that she needs to excell, and eventually reach her full potential. I talked about many artists, who are autistic, but their parents and educators helped them reveal and polish whatever precious talents they carried all along.

Sometimes parents complain that their child is interested in one or two topics only and doesn’t care about what most people are interested in. I see this problem as an opportunity to perfect and hone your child’s talent and strength. Taking the special interest to higher levels where she can compete with others will open doors for her future.


A young adult with Asperger’s syndrome managed to get a college degree with great scores, but couldn’t find a job though. His passion was to study and learn new scientific subjects. He was talented in quantum mechanics, math, and other related subjects. He wasn’t good at communication and social interaction. One day he applied on a job in a research center that was looking for somebody with his qualification. He went to the interview and got immediately hired. Now he is the happiest person ever. Eventhough he is not good with relationships and social networking, his strength overrode this weakness and got him to find his dream job.

Your child may be talented at sports, farming, raising animals, training dogs, keeping logs, etc…the possibilities are endless. By supporting a child you can only help her win.

Parents and educators, find the child’s strengths and empower her to keep nourishing her talents.

People on the autism spectrum are not weaker, they are unconventional!

Listen to what Temple Grandin says:

nadia shanab

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