I think kids (with and without autism) are better at their lives when they get to do stuff that makes them happy.
Many children (people) have to spend a large portion of their day practicing things they are bad at. This is especially true for a lot of kid with autism, who often have to attend a myriad of deficit-based therapies, in addition to going to school (which is usually inherently social).
I am actually really impressed with how well kids with autism manage to cope, considering how much of this negativity and criticism they put up with every day. Shoot, if someone even tells me two criticisms in a row about myself I feel like crying 🙂
In fact, on days that are packed full of stuff I don’t feel like doing, I’m a whole lot worse at my life. I’m more likely to be late, to be snappy or slow-witted, and I don’t have any innovative ideas. However, let me have a day where I get to go for a walk, laugh with somebody, hang out with some kids and watch/play sports–or even any ONE of those things, I’m so much happier and I get so much more done. I resent the hard parts less when I get to do stuff I’m good at too.
I don’t think I’m alone in this. I think kids (with and without autism) are better at their lives when they get to do stuff that makes them happy.
For more on increasing happiness etc, check out this great book by June Groden.