Starting at the top and working her way down

Autism clouds the understanding of the hierarchy that our society works in- start at the bottom and work your way up, start with the grunt work and earn a leadership role, wait until you’re an upperclassman to get privileges, and in theater you work on the crew before getting on stage. That confusion, along with a desire to be in charge, get attention, and the need for immediate gratification can frustrate a child with autism.
Belle often enters new situations demanding what she wants, being inflexible, unwilling to conform to constraints of an organization (like theater). Belle’s first experience in the school play ended up a mix of power struggles, disappointments, and finally enjoyment and pride as Belle adjusted to being told what to do, how to do it, and figured out the hidden curriculum of theater arts. Now, entering her second year, she’s agreed to work on the crew, help behind the scenes, be part of the team, and take time to learn the ins and outs of theater.

Expect compliance, even if it’s a little delayed.

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