The Two R's
When speaking with adolescents and young adults with high functioning autism or Asperger’s about soft skills, and about positive social communication behaviors generally, we always bring up “the two R’s”: Respect and Reputation. We highlight the two R’s as the reason that we talk about these skills in the first place--it is because we want to show respect and to build a good reputation with others. We have found that most young people on the autism spectrum are respectful and do care about their reputation. But we recognize, and it needs to be a point of discussion, that autism and Asperger’s can get in the way of showing the behaviors that are perceived by others as respectful and that can earn a young person a good reputation.
When a young adult on the autism spectrum makes a mature commitment to working in partnership with a parent or other loved one to positively address any issues that may interfere with the two R’s, then he has taken a huge step toward independence and employability. We encourage our parent or caregiver readers to refer often to Respect and Reputation when discussing or practicing any of the blog topics with your adolescent or young adult!