Now how does this have anything to do with fail set? Let's take this next example:
In this example there are no moves to begin the game and there are already two kings on the left-hand side. Where as this game does have potential if a black queen or black 10 is unveiled a person in a fail set mindset won't even try because, after all, what's the point? Since right now there are no moves there will always be no moves therefore what is the point in proceeding?
Whether it's from parents, or teachers, this is probably the #1 thing I hear in terms of areas of concern. When trying to learn a new concept in school, whether it is learning about adverbs, or going into fractions in math, or later in life navigating the work environment, fail set is a constant issue lurking around every corner. I firmly believe that this fail set is the reason as to why the unemployment rate, per this article on Forbes.com states the unemployment rate is a staggering 80%! With a fail set mindset a person with Asperger's might have already relegated her or his self to unemployment just from hearing that stat because, since it's a vast majority, what's the point in trying?
Fail set can also be created within the schools. If a person is bullied throughout their school career what motivation is there to leave the house when school is over with? Within the confines of home there aren't others to bully, and since being bullied happened that means it's always going to happen therefore why try?
Another possible creation of fail set, and this happened to me, is if we get to the workplace and we have issues. I deeply struggled with the social aspect of working; I could do the actual job just fine but when it came to interacting with my coworkers I had no idea that I seemed "standoffish" or if I "fully loathed everyone else" but I did and there was friction. The end result was often employment that lasted about 6-9 months and then the friction became too great and I would just quit on the spot. This happened four times and there wasn't a fifth job until I started working at TouchPoint.
Fail set is something that can be combatted, but understanding it is the first key. Those whose minds don't operate on that system have a very hard time understanding it which is why I got super excited when I came up with the solitaire example as a visual aid in describing it. It's difficult for me to understand how one doesn't think this way, that of if failure is done once then that is always the outcome. But yes, it can be combatted in ways. One is, in school, slowly transition into new materials and before one is truly put to the test make sure the person knows it. Secondly, and I'm so thankful I've spoken to about 7,500 students, is better understanding and awareness of those around us. Look, words hurt and if a person in constantly poked and prodded about their "quirks" and maybe even physically bullied then, under the fail set, this means this will be the reality forever. It is very easy for a person to be resigned and accept a fate of failure and not trying and be part of the 80% even before they reach the age of employment. And when it comes to the workplace, understanding of those around us is important but also trying to raise the understanding of workplace politics and etiquette (this blog post is a great example of a mistake I made.)
I have always said and firmly believe that "understanding is the foundation for hope" and I hope this post, with the visual aid, has added just a little bit of knowledge to you about the challenges of fail set and the way our minds on the autism spectrum sometimes, unfortunately, think.