How navigating my son’s autism diagnosis made me a better leader | Karen Fisher | TEDxSNHU

How navigating my son’s autism diagnosis made me a better leader | Karen Fisher | TEDxSNHU

Challenges of Raising a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

  • The speaker, a mother of two adopted sons, shares her experience of raising a child with ASD and the challenges she faced as a parent.
  • Despite her initial plans and goals for her life and career, her life took an unexpected turn when she became a mother and later discovered that her son had ASD.
  • The diagnosis of ASD and the subsequent struggles her family faced shattered her confidence as a parent and left her feeling frustrated, embarrassed, and judged.

The Importance of a Clear Team Vision and Collaboration

  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of having a clear team vision when working with a diverse group of professionals involved in her son's care.
  • She highlights the need for defining roles and responsibilities to create a high-performing team, drawing an analogy to a symphony orchestra where the conductor guides the musicians to perform in harmony.

Embracing an Agile Mindset and Building Networks

  • The speaker stresses the significance of embracing an agile mindset, slowing down, and not reacting impulsively, but instead taking a long-term view and building networks and relationships to effectively advocate for her son's interests.
  • Leaders who embrace an agile mindset value innovation, flexibility, and diverse perspectives, allowing them to quickly pivot based on the best available information.

Cultivating Authentic Relationships and Prioritizing Self-Care

  • Cultivating authentic relationships is crucial for outstanding team performance. Genuine relationships rooted in trust, vulnerability, and deep connections foster commitment, collaboration, and investment in each other's well-being.
  • Prioritizing self-care is essential for leaders to send a strong message that it is necessary and valued. Leaders who prioritize self-care improve their own performance and that of their team.

Advice for Parents of Neurodiverse Children

  • Parents of neurodiverse children should have a clear team vision, be clear about their role, build a strong support network, and prioritize their own well-being to provide the best for their child and family.

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