When a child is intrinsically motivated to develop their agency, it is motivating for the parent to offer growth providing opportunities. The child’s learning, growth and development accelerates as a result of this natural cycle between parent and child. Over the years a parents role to provide growth opportunities naturally reduces as the responsibility to manage learning is transferred to the child; they follow interests, pick up clues, get curious about the world and people, develop hypothesis, and essentially develop personal and interpersonal agency.
For children with autism, that growth seeking aspect may not be there as strongly or for some at all, this is what makes it particularly challenging for a parent of an autistic child to help their child grow. Because of this challenge met with strong desire for static stability, the parent child relationship focus is not a guiding relationship but instead based on keeping everything the same/ static. The child creates static, repetitive systems and the parent typically goes through phases of adhering to that and then at times aiming to change it however without the basis of a solid guiding relationship between parent and child the change is perceived by the child as chaotic, too dynamic and a disruption to their comfort zone, hence both parent and child retreating back to static which negatively reinforces the pattern of static stability.
It is possible to develop intrinsic motivation, spark growth seeking and strive for personal agency. CORE Steps: The Guide to become Confident, create Opportunities, build Relationships, and enhance Engagement is a step by step way to learn the transformational steps towards improving the parent-child relationship and learning guiding tools necessary.