You ‘Shouldn’t’ Do Anything…What You Should Do Is Choose



In this episode of Autism Parenting Secrets, we take a deep dive into how the word ‘should’ can make a hard journey even harder. The power comes when you replace ‘should’ with ‘choose’.


It is so easy to feel pressure to do things that others expect. But when you commit to helping your child with Autism, the pressure can do way more harm than good. It puts enormous weight on your shoulders to meet specific guidelines and benchmarks that, in the long run, don’t really matter. 


When our son was first diagnosed, most people believed the window of “opportunity” closed around the age of five. For Len and I, that meant we were on a mad dash to do any and everything we could in the span of a few short years. We were so stressed and overwhelmed throughout those years and frankly missed precious time to just be present with our child. (There is no window, there is no deadline.)


We had succumbed to the pressure of the ‘shoulds’. 


It’s the pressure of what I should be doing right now as a parent to help my child and the should of what my child should be doing right now that shows he’s moving forward. 


Comparing your child to standard targets is a huge source of the ‘shoulds’. These targets aren’t meaningless, but they need to be processed as data for you to understand. Targets are definitive markers for the progress your child is or isn’t making. 


Maybe your ‘shoulds’ are also coming from your social influences. We all know that friends and family can be vocal about their own parenting beliefs. Or maybe, your ‘should’ stems from the way you were raised. After all, your childhood is the most comprehensive data you have regarding child-rearing. 


We’re not saying all the advice you’re being given is wrong but we do believe in any situation where you feel like you should do something, ask yourself, do you understand the why?


 Why should I do this? or Why do I want to do this?


You should know why you’re making the choices you make. Shifting from “because I should” to “I choose to” moves you from living as powerless into a powerful stance of free will and agency over what happens. 


 The bottom line here is to make a habit of noticing when the shoulds are operating. Those moments decide to choose actively, and you’ll notice you’ve alleviated the weight you’ve probably been feeling.


Key Takeaways


  • Today’s secret is that you shouldn’t do anything (1:08)
  • There’s no window and you can make progress after age five (4:12)
  • Why living the ‘should’ life felt frenzied and overwhelming (7:04)
  • A source of where the shoulds may be coming from (10:40)
  • Approach your decisions from a place of choosing (15:19)
  • Reflection is the precursor to being the CEO of your child (17:10)


Additional Resources


To learn more, visit us at


Be sure to follow us on Instagram at

Check it out…Autism Parenting Secrets is number 12 on the Top 20 Autism Podcasts by Feedspot👉

Get Started with Cass & Len

We help autism parents like you raise your game.

You absolutely CAN operate with greater ease and hope with the right support. From parents who have lived this path. Coaching support gives you the space to see things more clearly and perhaps differently.

With support you can quickly learn “how” to operate better to attain your goals for your child faster. Why wait?