Thinking in shades of gray
Negative thinking or thoughts that make us feel negative about our lives are common. The key is to take a look at patterns of thinking that you can change and thus feel more positive and energized.
When you have a negative thought, ask yourself, "Am I looking at things in an either-or, black-or-white fashion? Am I thinking of myself as either a total success as a parent or a total failure? If so, you are more than likely involved in what is referred to as "all-or-nothing-thinking."
This is one of the most common cognitive distrortions and it can lead to anxiety, panic, depression, guilt, feelings of inferiority, hopelessness, perfectionism, and anger.
One helfpul technique is called "thinking in shades of gray." The basic principle is very simple: remind yourself that life's problems (especially those that are austim related) are typically somewhere betweem 0 and 100. When you feel overwhelmed because you have placed yourself at 0 -- rethink what is going on and search for positives that will lead you into the gray area.
This technique is also VERY useful with teens with ASD who live in a black-or-white world. Challenge your teen to re-think what is happeneing so that he can begin to see the gray areas of his life,