So you are afraid. You are afraid of sickness, danger, money problems, job problems, relationship stress. We are all afraid. It’s normal. Fear is normal. But remember, what we as parents feel as fear our kids with autism fear double. Autism will do that, along with its co-morbid conditions of OCD, Anxiety Disorder and other things that make navigating the fear of daily living difficult at best. That’s why having a plan is really important when navigating day to day life with your child, and why sometimes, having no plan can work too. You may have to wing it and introduce other things like personal stories from your life.
Michael is a child that does not forget ANYTHING. He will remember what happened on a play date two months ago that went wrong or right. He will remember when I made a mistake in handling a situation two months ago. He will also worry about the future, past, and the present. I have learned how to navigate these situations with him. Writing a Social Story here, or talking about scenarios there have helped. Also, talking to him about my fears has helped.
How did I do this? I encourage him that fear is ok. For too many years I thought if I had fear and thought negatively I would be punished. The wrath of God would come crashing down. Hey, I’m a writer. We can get a little melodramatic. 🙂 But seriously, I avoided anything negative, stress, dark thoughts. I couldn’t be having them. If I was, it meant I wasn’t happy. I was failing. Then after getting therapy, starting meditation and really really beginning to talk to people around me, I realized as the REM song states, “Everybody Hurts.” We all have pain. We all suffer from time to time. We also all have joy and passion and laughter in our lives. It’s up to us to learn to tap into all of it, the joy, the pain, the passion and come out the other side. Only when we can do this as parents, will we be able to show our Exceptional Children how they can do it. This is no easy task, but is doable. We need to trust in the process.
Exceptional Parents, how do you help your Exceptional Children through the dark times in their lives? It’s important they learn that there will be dark or hard times and light or easy times. It’s important they learn healthy strategies to cope: talking, laughter, meditation, exercise, time with family and friends. Without a balance, all is lost. You are your child’s best teacher. Show them all the colors of your emotional rainbow and they will learn to come out the other side of fear unscathed. Until next time .
Tired of anxiety controlling you and your family? Download my FREE EBOOK ON “5 WAYS TO HANDLE EXCEPTIONAL FAMILY ANXIETY” at: http://www.exceptionalparenting.net/EBOOKS.