It struck me yesterday afternoon after a particularly challenging afternoon that Michael and I had both come a long way. He had learned how to bring himself down faster than in the past from his tantrums and meltdowns, and I had learned not to over-react myself to autism in the summer time. That is what was happening and what happens each year as the summer months are extra challenging for exceptional children and their families. Of course, there are always challenges during the whole year, but there is something about summertime’s lack of structure that makes it that much harder for our kids and hence, us.
The old me would have started to cry, to feel powerless and angry during such an afternoon. The me of yesterday, however, was angry of course for our fight, frustrated at how hard things are sometimes for Michael and I to understand about one another, but there was also this peace inside of me at the same time. It was even there when I texted Dad back after he asked how Michael was doing. I told him about Michael’s rough afternoon, and Dad offered to take over when he got home from work. I thanked him and said he didn’t have to. I could handle it. This realization was huge for me to digest. Michael and I both were using our new strategies to manage our emotions, sometimes with success, sometimes with failure, but we were trying.
Exceptional Parents, what realizations have you come to about you and your Exceptional Children recently? Maybe you have found way to reach them verbally or non verbally as never before. Maybe it is a social breakthrough. Whatever it is, celebrate it. Your child and you have tremendous extra stress in the summer time so pace yourselves and always look for the positives. They are there among the rough times. My child is asserting himself, albeit not appropriately with a tantrum or screaming. My child is discovering his boundaries with people when he tests with challenging comments. My child is not liking certain people, but is at least taking time to socialize. The important thing is to steer them in the right direction and encourage them to rebuild what was torn down, hurt feelings and other issues. Don’t worry. It will be a positive learning experience for both of you. Until next time.